When screening calls, you take an incoming call and try to find out who is calling and what the caller wants. Screening is most commonly done by a receptionist who needs to direct calls, and by secretaries and assistants who need to protect their supervisors’ time.
Screening calls can be tricky. Callers usually don’t like to be screened. It feels like they are being evaluated or judged. Some callers go as far as to say that they don’t like being evaluated or judged by someone who isn’t qualified enough, smart enough, or important enough to appreciate the worthiness of the call. It is quite irritating to callers to be screened. If you must screen calls, be careful. Here are a few pointers:
- Sound concerned about the caller’s wishes.
- Ask for clarification to be certain that you understand the caller’s wishes.
- Explain why the party who was called is not available.
- Volunteer to be helpful yourself.
- Take an accurate message.
- Thank the caller for patience and understanding and give assurance that the message will be delivered.
- Do what you said – deliver an accurate message.