Modern phone manners – is it goodbye to hello?

Moneypenny and VoiceNation provide virtual receptionist services to thousands of businesses across the US, from healthcare and large legal firms to small businesses and tradesmen and large corporations too, and their highly skilled employees have perfected the art of being friendly yet efficient on the phone. Their decades spent handling calls mean they can spot the latest trends in what is acceptable and unacceptable in modern phone manners, and a recent Yougov survey* of 1,216 adults in the US highlights the most unacceptable phone behaviors. 

Survey highlights revealed 

  • Eight out of ten (81%) find eating or chewing during a phone call to be completely unacceptable 
  • Nearly eight out of 10 (79%) disapprove of people talking loudly on their phone when in a public place 
  • Similarly, 72% find use of speakerphone in a shared environment to be inappropriate 
  • 70% find shifting focus from a call to interact with someone else, without informing the person on the phone, to be rude 
  • Two thirds of Americans (66%) skipping greetings on a call is unacceptable behavior 
  • 67% object to late night calls while 57% object to early morning calls 

Generational differences in phone etiquette 

The survey showed that certain phone behaviors are more acceptable for some generations than others: 

Younger adults are more relaxed about timings of calls

Almost half (45%) of 18-34s think late night phone calls are acceptable, a sentiment shared with only 9% of over 55s. The same trend is observed in feelings towards early morning calls, with more than half (51%) of the younger group deeming these acceptable compared to just 20% of the older cohort. 

Younger age groups are less likely to mind calls without a hi or goodbye

35% of 18-24s find it acceptable to start or end a call without a hi or goodbye, while only 25% of 35-54s and 18% of over 55s feel the same way. 

Eating or chewing loudly on calls is more of a problem for women than men

The survey shows clear gender differences in attitudes towards manners during calls, with 86% of US women finding it unacceptable to eat or chew loudly during a call, while fewer men (75%) felt the same way. 

Similarly, 84% of women think talking loudly on a phone in a public place is unacceptable, compared with 74% of men who felt the same way. 

Insights from Richard Culberson, CEO North America 

Richard Culberson CEO North America from Moneypenny and VoiceNation comments: “This survey backs up what we’ve been noticing during our call handling – young people are much less likely to say hello or goodbye and we wonder if this is due to ‘telephobia’ among the younger generations, who are less confident or practiced in handling calls compared to older generations.  We advise anyone using the phone, whether to call a friend, family member, or company, to use basic courtesy such as greetings, giving the person at the end of the phone their full attention, and lowering their tone when in a public place.” 

Here are Richard’s top telephone etiquette tips 

  • No-one likes a rude, grumpy caller, so start a call with a hi – you’ll have a nicer call experience if you start in a friendly manner 
  • Put down that latte or chocolate bar until after the call has ended.  No-one wants to hear chomping and slurping, however well you know them! 
  • Give the person you are calling your full attention, with no distractions – it shows you are treating them with respect  
  • Think about what the other person is likely to be doing when you decide to call – if it’s early morning or late at night they are likely to be sleepy and they won’t be giving you their full attention 
  • Keep the volume down in a public place – other people don’t want to hear about your latest date, or work disaster, and you don’t want them listening in to the gossip either 
  • Consider texting ahead of, or instead of, a call.  Many people nowadays find unexpected phone calls intrusive, so it helps to give them the heads up before you dial 

Choose Moneypenny’s virtual receptionist service today

At Moneypenny and VoiceNation, we pride ourselves on providing the leading virtual receptionist service in the USA. Our virtual receptionists are highly skilled in handling calls with the utmost professionalism and efficiency. Whether you need help managing call overflow, ensuring no call goes unanswered, or providing a friendly voice to greet your customers, we have the expertise to make every call a positive experience. 

Why not let us handle your calls so you can focus on what you do best? Call us today on 844 364 6623 and experience the benefits firsthand of how we can make a difference for your business.