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How do cutomer care representatives normally address a caller?

Is it common to say sir or ma'am? Do Americans generally prefer to be called by the first name (regardless of the age difference between the caller and the recipient)?
Is it ever possible to use Mr/Ms + First name (i.e. Did I get your number right Sir Arnold) on the phone?
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Comments  
Some people don't like being called "ma'am." They say it makes them feel old. I was called ma'am at 22 because I was a naval officer, and I'm fine with it.

I prefer "ma'am" to Barbara, since most of my real friends call me Barb, and if you call me Barbara to make us feel like we're friends, you're missing the mark. Likewise with people named Catherine who prefer Cathy, but it's far worse to assume it's Cathy when she might be Cat.

Don't say "Ms. Barb" unless you are pre-school child talking to her teacher or in the American South.

My advice is, if you have their name, call them Ms. Smith or Mr. Jones unless they tell you otherwise. If you don't have their name, go with ma'am or sir.
Hi,

As a Canadian, here's my view.

Is it common to say sir or ma'am? It's not unusual.

Do Americans generally prefer to be called by the first name (regardless of the age difference between the caller and the recipient)? As a Canadian, I don't like that. It's too familiar.

Is it ever possible to use Mr/Ms + First name (i.e. Did I get your number right Sir Arnold) on the phone? No, that's not how it's done in our culture.

I prefer not to be addressed by any name or title in such situations. We should just discuss the reason for the call in a polite manner.

Clive
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How about Sir/Ma'am + First name? as in Sir Arnold or Ma'am Alice...

and

Sir/Ma'am + Surname? as in Sir Smith or Ma'am Lewis?
lagatawHow about Sir/Ma'am + First name? as in Sir Arnold or Ma'am Alice...andSir/Ma'am + Surname? as in Sir Smith or Ma'am Lewis?
God no! Not unless you've been knighted by the Queen, which isn't like to happen to many Americans.
Sorry, my follow-up question came before your reply appeared. Anyway, it's clearer now.
But, do customer care representatives try to get your name?
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It depends. In some cases, you don't get to talk to someone until you've entered identifying information, so by the time someone talks to me, my file is up on the screen in front of them.
Grammar GeekGod no! Not unless you've been knighted by the Queen
Hahaha...thanks GG! Now could you assess this phone conversation please?!

........... (cut short...but not really short...sorry)

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Rox Rodriguez: OK that’s an eighteen-inch pan pizza topped with pepperoni, beef toppings, Hungarian sausage, ham and bacon bits in mozzarella cheese. Anything else sir?

Arnold Chua: No. That would be all!

Rox Rodriguez: OK let me just repeat your order sir. You ordered a box of sausage rolls topped with cheese and basil and a family size super meatza. Did I get your order right sir?

Arnold Chua: Yep

Rox Rodriguez: OK. That would be $46.95. Do we need to bring a change?

Arnold Chua: Yeah. Change for fifty please!

Rox Rodriguez: OK sir. That’s change for fifty dollars. Please synchronize your time. It’s currently 4:46 pm. Your pizza will be delivered hot and fresh within 30 minutes.

Arnold Chua: All righty!
Rox Rodriguez: Thank you for calling Pizza Express sir. We hope to hear from you again
I don't find the "sir" weird.

That WILL be or that IS $46.95. Will the driver need to make change?

The synchronize your time part sounds odd. Is this a 30-minutes-or-it's-free deal?

You could end with "We appreciate your business" instead of "We hope to hear from you again." What if he calls to complain? Emotion: smile

(Cheap buyer won't even tip the driver $3??)
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