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Exciting New Ways to Greet Customers on the Phone

Jeannie has been writing online for over 10 years. She covers a wide variety of topics - hobbies, opinions, dating advice, and more!

May I Help You?

There are plenty of boring ways to answer a phone while at work. Some of the most popular greetings I hear each day when I deal with customers on the phone are:

"Good morning, this is _______. How may I help you?"

"Hello, you've reached ________."

"Good afternoon. My name is _______. What can I do for you today?"

"Hi, this is ________. How may I direct your call?"

"Thank you for calling ________. This is _______ and I am happy to help you."

I am here to say I am simply tired of all the monotony. It's pretty much the same greetings day in and day out. Well, I would like to liven things up a bit. I want to create a list of inspiring and innovative new phone greetings.

Now, I am asking you to think a little "outside the box" today. You might not be ready to incorporate these bold new phrases into your daily work life. It is OK. Not everyone is ready to get on the bandwagon just yet. Perhaps you'd still like to take some time to enjoy some of these wonderful new greetings I assume the world will start using while at work in the very near future. I am basically introducing you to the telephone greetings of the future. You can thank me later.

The Bold and Honest Approach

I have some phrases I feel will be some real winners with customers in the future. Instead of hearing the same standard, overly cheerful greetings from call center workers and receptionists, customers might appreciate a good dose of reality. Some examples of bold and honest greetings are:

"Thank you for calling five minutes before closing. If your call is going to be complex in any way, perhaps you might want to call back during the other 8 hours and 55 minutes we are open each day Monday through Friday."

"Hello, I hope you are having a better day than I am having. How may I help you?"

"Hi, I don't have time to take your call because I'm overwhelmed with more important work, but I have no choice. How can I assist you today?"

"Greetings! Please make this as short as possible... I need to use the bathroom."

"Good afternoon. If you are making a payment, please have your credit card ready. If you have a question about your account, please have your account number ready. If you are prepared, I can really help you. If not, not so much."

"Thank you for calling Frank's Flaming Fire French Fries. We really need some money to pay our bills, so I hope you are making a payment today."

The Casual Approach

Who wouldn't want more fun while at work? Some companies are just so uptight! They expect the folks answering the phone to sound professional all the time. You know what is interesting? It is exciting to call a worker who knows how to be fun and casual on the phone. Let's explore some greeting options:

"Yo, what's up? You've reached Teddy. What do you need today?"

"Hey, bud! Let's rock it out with this call. Let me crank up the music and let's get down to business."

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"Hey there! Thanks for calling. I would like to try to guess the reason you are calling. Are you ready?"

"Woo-hoo. Hey, how are ya today? I've got a weird rash right now, but other than that, I am pretty good. What about you?"

"Hey friend, why are you calling today? I hope you are having a freakin' great day!"

The Confuse the Customer Call

Sometimes it is just fun to play a little prank on your customers and callers. What better way to do that than to answer the phone in a way that totally confuses them? After all, we are all accustomed to certain greetings from certain companies. Why not change that by answering the phone in a way that makes the caller believe he's reached the wrong number?

Some exciting greeting suggestions for confusing your customers include:

"Hi, you've reached Billy Bob's House of Pretzels, Pizza, and Dart Boards. Nah, just kidding. This is Brenda from Dr. Barrett's office."

"Hola... Bonjour... Ciao... Guten Tag.... Just kidding. I don't know any other languages."

"Hello? Hello? I can't hear you... you're breaking up... you're not on a cell phone?"

"Hi, how can you help me today? I am tired of helping everyone else. Let's reverse roles and see how it goes."

"Spiders! Spiders everywhere!!!"

"Hi, you've reached Patrick. Would you like to share any secrets with me today?" (It helps to whisper this into the phone.)

Children and Pet Greetings

Why should you have to do all the work and make sure everyone is feed? What is up with your kids and pets not contributing? They want to eat, don't they? I mean, sure, there are those pesky child labor laws and all that, but don't let that stop you. Put those pets and kids to work on the phone. You might just find you no longer have to answer the phone.

Awesome greetings your kids and pets can use:

"Hi, this is Austin and Daddy doesn't have time to talk to you right now. What can I do for you?"

"Thank you for calling Ellen's Daycare Center. This is Kaitlyn. I am only 5, so be nice to me."

"Woof... woof, woof, woof... grrrr."

"Meow? Meow, meow, meow."

"Tweet, tweet, chirp, chirp..."

Let's Put These Ideas Into Action

As you can tell, all these greetings are definitely more interesting that the tired old greetings we've come to expect from companies. I can't wait for the day when employers begin implementing these much needed changes in telephone standards at companies across the U.S. and possibly the world.

If you are a business owner, please consider using some of these greetings. Not only will you get attention (and I would assume major respect) from all your callers, you will be an innovator. Don't be afraid to take some bold chances with your company! The time is now to begin this exciting telephone greeting revolution.

Copyright ©2012 Jeannieinabottle

More Important Work Advice:


Robert Levine from Brookline, Massachusetts on August 26, 2020:

I've long fantasized about answering the phone with, "Misanthropy Society of America, go @#$% yourself."

Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on March 27, 2019:

Thanks so much! I am glad you enjoyed my hub. I hope I hear one of these phrases one day when I call a place of business.

William Thomas from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things! on March 26, 2019:

Hi Jeannie InABottle!

I just found this piece and it made me smile. Your alternate greetings ideas are all winners, though I do have favorites. This essay resonates with me because I am in retail myself; and I implement the principle you describe here, when I can.

My sense of humor might be a touch weirder than yours. For example, when there is a very long line at the register, and I go up to help out, I might say something like, "Mr. Spock! Where are all these humanoids coming from?"

I have a number of stupid catchphrases. When I come to the register to ring somebody up, I might say something like: "Okie dokie, as they say in the movies." Its stupid and means nothing, but it sometimes gets a smile.

Or when our register freezes up sometimes, I may talk about our "Bronze Age cash registers," or I may sometimes say something like: "We'd be better off using an abacus and printing the receipts on papyrus."

And so on. But I am going to discretely try some of your alternate phone greetings, when answering the phone. I tend to play it straight (and boring) when answering the phone. I particularly like: "Spiders! Spiders everywhere!!!" and the Billy Bob's House of Pretzels thing.

Great Share!

Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on September 12, 2013:

Hahaha... I've stopped even asking how people are doing. I am scared of what the answer will be sometimes! I think people get crazier each year! Thanks for your comment.

Nicole S Hanson from Minnesota on September 12, 2013:

haha there were some good ones in there. I think the funniest one that caught me offguard one time was when I was asked by a customer service rep how my day was going, I said "good, and you?" to which he responded, "great, best day of my life." lol

Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on March 15, 2013:

I am happy you liked it. I never realized men did not like being called "sir." I will keep that in mind. I can't stand it when someone calls me "ma'am"... I feel so old! Thanks for your comment.

Eugene Brennan from Ireland on March 14, 2013:

Jeannie this gave me a laugh before bedtime tonight! I think these would be brilliant greetings!

My pet hate is being called "Sir" - I almost feel like saying - "How did you know I was knighted?"

Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on March 14, 2013:

Thank you for your comment and votes and sharing! I am happy you liked it.

livingsta from United Kingdom on March 14, 2013:

This was interesting and I enjoyed reading this laughing all the way. Thank you for this, very creative ideas and greeting messages.

Votes up and sharing!

Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on September 23, 2012:

Thanks so much! I am hoping customer service reps across the nation start using these phrases soon. :-)

Ann1Az2 from Orange, Texas on September 23, 2012:

Great suggestions, all! lol I laughed through the whole thing. You have a great sense of humor. It would be actually refreshing to hear some of these.

Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on September 16, 2012:

Mama Kim 8 - Thanks so much for the vote up and for sharing my hub. I am happy you liked it.

Hunbbel Meer - Thanks so much! I really like confusing my co-workers when they call me and I actually do that to them. They've got me figured out now though. Bummer!

Syed Hunbbel Meer from Karachi, Pakistan. on September 15, 2012:

Haha. These are all amazing ideas. The best one, for me, was probably the 1st idea of the 'confusion' category. Thumbs up!!

Aloe Kim on September 15, 2012:

These are fantastic ^_^! So funny. I just can't help but vote and share!

Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on September 13, 2012:

Thanks so much! I really wish I could use some of this ideas at work. I would get fired though. It is a shame they can't be as "innovative" as me. ;-)

Rema T V from Chennai, India on September 13, 2012:

Innovative, entertaining and absolutely funny. You have a very good sense of humor Jeannie. Great hub. Cheers, Rema.

Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on September 03, 2012:

cclitgirl - You should give the fake accent a try. It is fun, but I only do it at home. I can't afford to lose my job by doing the accent at work... but oh, one day I hope to do so! Thanks for the comment.

Movie Master - Wow, it must have been a very bad day. I can at least remember my name, although sometimes I wish I couldn't. Thanks for the vote up and the comment!

fpherj48 - Hahaha... hmmm... never know. ;-)

Sunshine625 - I can imagine that is something that would happen quite a bit, especially if one shops at Walmart a lot, too. When I work two jobs, sometimes I have to pause before picking up the phone and think, "Wait, where am I?" Hehe. Thanks for checking out my hub.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on September 03, 2012:

I used to be a Sales Rep at Kmart and it was too funny when I would hear an associate at the Service Desk answer the phone saying "Thank you for calling Walmart!" Their expression was priceless when they caught what they said. I guess WM and KM employees flip jobs too often.

Suzie from Carson City on September 03, 2012:

OH....I DO believe you're serious, jeannie....that makes it even funnier!!

Movie Master from United Kingdom on September 03, 2012:

I remember working in an office on a busy day, the phone was ringing non-stop and we were all harrassed - so much so that Rachel answered the phone and accidentally said she was 'Robert speaking' I always thought that would be so much fun to pretend I was someone else!

A great entertaining read, thank you and voted up!

Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on September 03, 2012:

billybuc - Thanks so much! I am happy to brighten your Sunday morning.

carol7777 - Hey, that gives me a great idea. Maybe I can start giving seminars on these ideas. Perhaps I can teach others to use these great phone techniques. Hehe. :-) Thank you for checking out my hub... and I know what you mean... irate customers are the worse!

Alecia Murphy - That is my biggest pet peeve. People have all day to call a business, but the folks with the most complex problems call late in the day. I always laugh when I check voicemail in the morning and someone left an annoying message at 8 at night. I mean, seriously... how many offices are open at 8? Thanks for the comment!

rcrumple - I think I've even answered the phone like that once or twice... sometimes someone you know is supposed to call right back to give you info and then what a surprise when it is a customer! :-) Thanks for checking out my hub!

fpherj48 - Oh come on, I am totally serious in this one. You don't think these are some great, practical ideas? ;-) I am happy you enjoyed the hub so much. Thank you for the vote up!

KathyH - Wow! That is great. You are an inspiration to customer service workers everywhere! Once I told someone I thought I had the Swine Flu so he would get away from me. The creepy customers that return over and over again are the worst. Thanks so much for sharing your experience!

bravewarrior - You are so right. Our customers always get a live person at my job... usually me! We always put the customer first... great for them... kind of a drag for me since I have too much other work to do. Thanks for the comment.

Suzie HQ - Sounds like your dad had the perfect technique for getting rid of people. That does sometimes help with telemarketers, although they are sometimes too persistent. Thanks for the comment and thanks for the votes!

Vellur - Thank you so much. I am happy you enjoyed my hub.

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on September 03, 2012:

Inventive! I've always wondered if I could pull of a strange accent from some far away land. Haha. I've often thought of blaming my idiocy on aliens, too. :D Great read!

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on September 02, 2012:

An enjoyable read. Entertaining and creative!! Great hub.

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on September 02, 2012:

How friggin' hilarious! Jeannie, you have captured it to a T! It reminded me growing up, my dad would answer the phone with " Hello, Dundrum police station how may I help you?" or " Hello . . . Ridgeway's madhouse"

Oh how we used to laugh as people hung up!!

Thanks for a great laugh and voted up, useful, funny, interesting and sharing:-)

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 02, 2012:

These are all awesome alternatives. That is if you can actually get a live person on the other end of the phone!

KathyH from Waukesha, Wisconsin on September 02, 2012:

OMG! I actually USED the one about the rash once! LOL!!! It was when I worked in retail, and I was down an aisle with some co-workers. I told them I had this pesky contagious raging rash that just would NOT go away... guess what? No one asked us any questions! Ha!!!! It really WAS a joke, and my co-workers thought it was hilarious, not so sure if the customers thought it was funny! I think they went to find someone ELSE to ask if they had questions! Voted up and funny!

Suzie from Carson City on September 02, 2012:

Jeannie....Once again, you have caused me abdominal pain and injury. Between you and Thoughtsandwiches, as well as a few other loonie comedians here on Planet Hub......I'm either going to expire or get one hell of a lawsuit settlement..........UP +++

Rich from Kentucky on September 02, 2012:

This is hilarious! Sadly, I've heard some of those when calling a business. The worst ever heard was, "Yeah!" That was it! It took my by surprise, so my gut took over and I used the old Lily Tomlin line, "Is this the party to whom I am speaking?" I was immediately put on hold and hung up. Great job and extremely funny! 8 )

Alecia Murphy from Wilmington, North Carolina on September 02, 2012:

This is a funny hub and I especially like the one where you say you could've called the other 8 hours and 55 minutes of the day- so true! Great job Jeannie!

carol stanley from Arizona on September 02, 2012:

I found this hub particularly interesting because I used to give seminars on telephone etiquette. You covered some very good points here. The most difficult situation is dealing with an irate customer. Good hub! Voted UP.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 02, 2012:

There is no doubt you are the funniest Hubber on the block. Great hub and thanks for the laugh this Sunday morning.

Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on September 02, 2012:

That an awesome! I know you will have that dog trained in no time. Let me know when he is answering the phone so I can give you a call. ;-) Thanks for the comment!

Sherri from Southeastern Pennsylvania on September 02, 2012:

These are wonderful. I've been teaching the dog to bark on command. I think I can get him to woof four times in a row, but I'm not so sure about the grrrr part. I've got work to do! Up, funny, and very useful.

Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on September 02, 2012:

It is so funny the way some businesses make their employees answer the phone. I worked at a store once where we were supposed to answer every phone call with the sales of the day. No one could ever remember the right sale to use for each phone call, so no one actually did it. We used to get in trouble for it until the managers gave up, too. Thanks for the comment!

LaThing from From a World Within, USA on September 02, 2012:

Funny, funny, and funny! LOL Enjoyed the hub. My son use to go to a day care for a while and they always use to answer their phone with, 'Fun time at ....., this is Amy, how may I help you?'. I am sure every time was not fun time there! :)

Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on September 02, 2012:

Hahaha... I worked at McDonald's a long time ago. I wish I had thought of that! Thanks for checking out my hub and thanks for the comment!

Sunnie Day on September 02, 2012:

This was too cute! I remember one time when my daughter was working the drive through at McDonald's..She and a friend got the bright idea of saying..Welcome to Burger King and would then lean out the window to watch the people look up at the McDonalds sign..I am surprised they did not get fired..hehe Thanks for the smiles..


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