How do you answer your phone?

I’m a new inspector setting up my biz and debating on who to have handle my phone calls. I’ve called inspectors and got their lame cell phone message or them answering their phone “This is Bill.”, etc. Not very professional. Can anyone share their views on how they do it? Has anyone used specialized answering services that can sell and book inspections? I can see there would be advantages to never missing a call or interrupting an inspection. Thanks.


“Thanks for calling A to Z, this is Mike”

Simple and informative…

I sometimes add “how may I help you, Sir or Ma’am” a throwback to Military training… (Kidding!):smiley:

I feel it’s important that I or someone in my office answer the phone. I thank them for calling, use the company name and let them know who they are talking to.
Also put on your happy face, even though they can not see you it will show in your voice.
Sometimes i must let my voice-mail answer. Keep your message as short as possible but identify yourself, your company, apologize and let them know when they can expect you to call back.


I’m probably showing my age but when I was a kid we learned phone etiquette in school. Simple is best and I personally think people want to talk to a real person not a machine. I know that is not always possible but should be the desired goal. We have ours set up so someone always answers the phone usually within two or three rings. If no one is going to be in the office we put the office phone on call forwarding (only costs a couple of bucks a month to add on to your phone if it doesn’t come with your package). That way the call is routed directly to one of our cell phones. The customers almost always has questions and if they get a machine they will generally just move on down the list of inspectors unless they are specifically wishing to use your company. I have a commercial phone account because I get more features plus the automatic listing in the phone book. It ends up costing me less than trying to run a business using a residential account. The caller ID helps to screen the salesmen and the nuisance callers.

The one thing about having an answering service is they can’t answer any questions about home inspections. Kind of a contradiction

“Good morning, Dominion Home Inspectors, George here . . .” Of course people found this a little off-puting when they called after noon so I quickly learned to change to "Good afternoon . . . " and then added “Good evening . . .” following success with success.
I found that in this area my clients would hang up on an answering machine. I changed to having a service pick up my calls so that client could hear a human voice and found that if they did not hear my voice I would lose the inspection. So I now carry my cell phone everywhere. I am like a dog on a leash.
But it works. I rarely revert to the answering service included with my cell phone and am able to convert most calls to business.

The Nachi information from the Articles & Links has some good information.

After calling a great number of businesses that use answering services, I feel they all pretty much blow… rushed, uncaring and often almost bored (or even at times adversarial!) sounding.

Since the day I started my business, I have answered my own phone, and there are very few times that I let it go to voice mail. My cell has the differential ring feature, so I program different ring-tones for different callers. That way I don’t even have to look at my phone very often when it rings.

I have also started recording my own voice-mp3s and using them as ring tones. For example:
I was on an inspection yesterday, and while in the kitchen with the agent my phone chimed once and said:

“Inspection Request from Sterlent Credit Union”

The agents eyes went wide…‘thats very cool!’ he said, and then asked me how I hooked up with that particular credit union.

I proceeded to sell him on my services again…Took a few moments, and I feel that it helped me secure future business.

Its like a small ad that runs for me while I am on the job!

I agree it is always best to answer your phone. But sometimes you I can’t. In a rural area I have dead spots, some buildings I have dead spots, so then and only then my voice-mail answers the phone.

I use Americas Call Center. It has been the best investment I have made in my business. They ONLY answer phones for Home Inspectors.

These types of Cellular Amps and extended antennas work very well. The Wilson brand is one of the best in my opinion. You might consider looking into one. Please remember, they are application specific…you will need to match it to your phone.

Always carry my cell with me…answer it personally all of the time, don’t like answer machines, old school, I guess. I never shut it off, even at night. If I’m in a location that requires NO cells, I just leave it on in my truck and if any missed calls show up I just return the calls ASAP.

iF IT IS A BILL COLLECTOR. Gary has moved overseas

I did look into an amp for my cell. What I did do was buy an external antenna. This has helped in the car now the problem is when I leave the car.I’ve been with the same carrier for 4 years now and it has only improved. But thanks for the info.

“Hello. Hello? Can you hear me now?..” :smiley:


Keeping in mind my Interactive Report System and its acronym (IRS), I now answer: Internal Revenue Service. If you are calling to turn in a neighbor, press 1. If you are calling to turn in your employer, press 2. If you are calling to turn in yourself, press 3.

Only kidding.

“The HomeTeam Inspection Service. May I help you?”

RR has an excelent post on answering your phone… Look it up in the archives.

I amswer my phone 24/7 and it does make a difference as I have had calles from folks in the Europe and Asia, mostly military folks that found my web site.

Hey, Todd. I created a new poll in your honor.

By the way, your jade plant is beginning to bloom.

I just say “wtf do you want ?” as soon as I pick up the line. This way, I don’t get those pesky clients calling all the time.:shock:

Guys I simply say hello,and have been doing it since I started my construction business 21 yrs ago. I’m not saying it’s right,but it works for me.

Inspector Wendy or hello depending on which phone.