BEP 11: Handling Questions on the Phone

19 Jul 2015


In this podcast lesson we are going to examine the different types of questions that are used to clarify details and handle enquiries on the phone.

Customers and colleagues call you with questions. To answer their questions or to address their needs, you need to ask questions, too. But, all questions are not created equal; to get the kind of response you want, you need to know how to choose the appropriate type of question to ask.

Using effective questioning techniques allows you to get information you need. It also helps you stay in control of the conversation.

Also, when you are confronted with difficult situations, the use of different types of questions will help diffuse the situation.

We're not going to look at the five main question types and the various situations where these questions can be used.


BEP 68: Telephoning - Checking Back and Confirming

30 Apr 2014


Talking on the telephone is a skill that you can develop by paying attention to the different things that you have to remember.

Many times, you need to take down details like names, addresses and telephone numbers. You should always repeat these details back to the caller and confirm with the caller that you have noted them correctly. This is especially important if you are speaking to someone for the first time.

You should take down their name and contact details very carefully and confirm all the details with the caller before ending the call.


Andy Wang has been asked by his boss, the Training Manager, to collect some information on language consultants offering in-company training courses. Andy then phones World Language Centre after seeing an advertisement in an English language learning magazine. Amy Nassar handles all phone enquiries for World Language Centre. It's very important that she notes down the details of each enquiry very carefully. She has developed several techniques to ensure that she notes down the correct information.


BEP 41: Placing, Changing and Canceling Orders

10 Feb 2014

A lot of people and businesses place their orders for products and services over the Internet these days, but many still prefer to do business over the phone. Speaking to someone personally gives a sense of security and peace of mind. And if you need to change or cancel an order, speaking directly to a representative of the company you’re ordering from gives confidence that they will carry out your instructions correctly.

In this podcast lesson, you’re going to listen to three telephone conversations: placing an order, changing an order, and canceling an order. As you can imagine, when business is done over the phone, it’s important that details are recorded accurately. This process involves a lot of checking, repeating and confirming. We use specific phrases in English for these functions, which you’ll hear throughout these dialogues.


You’re now going to hear a telephone conversation between Sara, a customer service assistant at a retail firm, and Bob, a regular customer who has called to place a new order for clothing items.


BEP 14 - Telephone Talk (Buying Time)

09 Dec 2013

When busy at work, we don’t always have time to return calls right away. Many times, too, a colleague or co-worker will ask us to do something and not leave us with enough time. So how can we politely “stall for time”? How can we say politely that we need more time to complete a job? Listen to this podcast lesson and we'll teach you!



BEP 07 - Business Telephoning - Key Phrases

24 Nov 2013

In this podcast lesson we look at making business calls in English and go over some of the key phrases for speaking on the phone.
First, listen to the two short phone calls. Then work through the debriefing and practice the phrases.