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How to work a switchboard

By: Lucia Flores

  Ever wondered what it would be like to manage and operate a switchboard? By following these steps, you'll be directing phone calls from office to office in no time.


Things you will need:
  • Switchboard network phone
  • Friendly attitude
  • Patience

imgIt's the beginning of your shift and all is quiet in the office. Suddenly, the phone rings and you see a flashing red light. What do you do?



imgPick up the phone receiver and locate the button where the red light is flashing. This is Line One. Press the Line One button to answer the call.



imgHave basic information readily available so you can answer any questions the caller might have. Proceed to give the caller any information they need.



imgIf you need to transfer the call to another line, office, or department, press transfer and dial the extension. If the caller asks for an outside line (which is usually a personal or business number) dial 9, then the area code and the rest of the number. Wait for a ring and then hang up the receiver.



imgIf a second call is coming in while you're still on the line with the first caller, politely ask the first caller to hold. Press the Hold button.



imgLocate the Line Two button. You should see another red flashing light. Press the Line Two button to answer the second call. Politely ask this second caller to hold and press the Hold button.



imgNow go back to the first caller by pressing the Line One Button. Finish up the call and press cancel to hang up.



imgGo back to the second caller by pressing the Line Two button. Finish up the call and hang up the receiver. Now you're done (unless more calls come in, but now that you know how to use the switchboard, you shouldn't have any problems).



Tips & Warnings

  • Remember to maintain good phone etiquette when answering phone calls (no cussing or rudeness)
  • Have a list of extensions readily available so you can easily transfer calls
  • Answer the calls in the order that they came through. In other words, don't try to finish up with the second or third caller if you haven't finished with the first.
  • Beware of rude callers


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