multi phone line skills


Managing multiple phone lines in your business can be challenging at times. Mismanaged phone lines can lead to angry customers and frustrated employees.

Dexcomm wants to help small businesses learn effective ways of achieving successful customer service results while handling multiple phone lines. Here are a few useful customer service tips for handling multiple phone lines to think about when getting your space set up.


Provide an Appropriate Workspace

Great managers and supervisors know that in order for their employees to be successful, they must provide them with the proper tools and techniques they need to succeed. For phone operators who are handling multiple phone lines, this means having the appropriate workstation available.

If your small business has only one person answering phones and greeting visitors, the front desk may be the most optimal space.

But if your business has multiple phone operators, an area away from visitors may be more appropriate because of the noise associated with multiple operators. In addition, if your business does have multiple operators, it will be important to ensure that they can hear over each other.

You may consider using cubicle walls or spacing the workstations out enough so that they can properly hear their callers.  Every customer deserves to have their concerns heard and validated.   

how does a multi phone line system work

 Quick Tip: Workstations should be ergonomically set up to avoid safety concerns with repetitive motions. 

Update Headsets and Earpieces

Headsets or earpieces are another important tool in helping your operators achieve success. Wireless and Bluetooth are hands-free devices that allow operators to take better notes, decrease the repetitive motion of using a traditional phone and increase the amount of movement and flexibility for multitasking.

Multitasking activities can include things like greeting visitors and taking deliveries while continuing to manage the phone lines.

Ensure Call Privacy

If your phone operator is responsible for managing the front desk, consider having a window for privacy during phone calls or another way for the operator to notify a visitor that he/she is on the phone.

One important consideration is the Health Insurance Privacy and Portability Act (HIPAA) and legalities around what visitors overhear when they are waiting to be greeted by your front desk person. 

I need a HIPAA compliant answering service!

Consider the Customer Experience

The customer experience is the most important thing to consider when establishing workstations for multiple phone lines.  Using positive language at all times helps establish a camaraderie with your callers.  Negative phrasing should be avoided at all costs.  Remember, ensuring customer satisfaction will help to further your business' bottom line down the road.  

Increase Customer Service with Phone System Tools

Phone system capabilities are another important part of having the right tools in place for achieving successful customer service results. Features that should be considered when assessing phone systems:

  • call recording
  • logging
  • caller ID
  • voicemail
  • ease of use
  • ringing options
  • hold music
  • service listings and voice-over IP

Improve Operator Message Taking

Having a computer or standardized forms for your operators’ availability can help with message taking, note taking, form completion, customer resolution issues, etc. Assess what is unique to your business and set up systems for effective client management for your operators. Also consider having a system to allow operators to notify a supervisor or backup when in need. Consider a chat feature, a help button or other form of notification.

***Editor's Note: This blog post was originally published in February 2013, but was updated for freshness and accuracy in January 2020 by Marina Prestenbach.

Dexcomm is a Louisiana-based corporation that provides answering services to businesses and service agencies across the United States. We have been open since 1954, employ a staff of roughly 80 people, and our average client retention rate is 10+ years.

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