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Making an Appointment on the Phone

Making an Appointment on the Phone

Alternative flash content


Making an appointment on the phone

Hello! In this lesson, we will learn how to call on the telephone for an appointment.

We use the same basic template to make every kind of business or medical appointment to go to someone's office or business to receive services. Check other lessons to find more information about specific vocabulary to use with particular businesses or medical providers.

Here is a dialog which follows the basic template of identifying yourself to the representative of the business, stating what you need, negotiating for an appointment time, verifying, giving any required information, thanking the representative, and saying goodbye.

Receptionist: Good morning, Wilson's.

Jennifer: Hello, this is . . .

Receptionist: I'm sorry. Can I put you on hold?

Jennifer: Yes.
(music playing on hold)

Receptionist: Thank you for waiting. Can I help you?

Jennifer : Hello. This is _____ _____. I'd like to make an appointment with _(person)__ for _(service)__.

Receptionist: Have you been here before?

Jennifer: No, this will be my first visit.

Receptionist: Okay, are you looking at a certain date and time?

Jennifer: I was hoping for some time this week.

Receptionist: We have an opening at 12:30 Thursday.

Jennifer: 12:30 this coming Thursday? That works!

Receptionist: Okay, can I get your name again please?

Jennifer: My name is ______ ______.

Receptionist: Okay, then we'll see you at 12:30 this Thursday!

Jennifer: Thank you!

Receptionist : Thank you. Good- bye!

Let us say that you have chosen a business or doctors' office, and a receptionist has answered the telephone by saying the name of the business.

You might begin the conversation by giving your name and saying that you need an appointment. The receptionist might say "We don’t have any openings this week, but we do have several openings next week.". When the receptionist speaks of "openings", she means times that they have "open" time to help you.

Sometimes the receptionist might say the name of the business and then "Can I help you?" or "How can I help you?". When you hear either of these questions, go ahead and give your name and say the reason for your call. "Hi, my name is _______. I'd like to make an appointment with _(person)__for __(service)_.".

It is possible that the receptionist is busy answering many calls and might say "Can you hold?" or "Can you hold on?" or "Can I put you on hold?".

If you are able to wait a few minutes, you should answer "Yes.", and you will be put on hold. The receptionist cannot hear you during this time.

Some businesses have automatic music that plays while you wait on hold. When she comes back to the phone, she might say "Okay, thank you for waiting. How can I help you?" or "Sorry for the wait. Can I help you?". Then you can give your name and tell your reason for calling.
The receptionist might ask "Have you been here before?". The receptionist asks this question in order to know whether the business has your information on file. If you have been there before, you may not have to answer as many questions as if you are a new client. The receptionist might also ask "Have you seen anybody here before?" or "Is this your first appointment here?".

Some possible answers are "No, I'm new in town." or "No this will be my first visit." or "Yes, I was there last month."

The receptionist might ask "Are you looking at a certain time?". She is asking you when you want your appointment. She might also ask "Do you have a time in mind?", "Are you thinking of a particular date and time?" "Do you know what day you want?"or "When can you make it?".

Some possible answers are "I was hoping for some time this week." or "Are there any openings this week?", "Do you have any openings this week?", "Can I have an appointment this week?", "Do you have any time this week?". If you want an evening appointment, you might say "Do you have any evening openings this week?" or "I need to come in the evening – after six.".

The receptionist might then give you a possible appointment time. For example, the receptionist could ask "Could you make it at 12:30 on Thursday?". She could also say "How about 12:30 Thursday?". By saying "how about" she means to suggest that time. She could say "Does 12:30 Thursday work for you?".

If you do not agree on the time, you can say "That doesn't work for me. Do you have any openings in the evening? I can't get there until after 5:00.". You could say "That doesn't look good." or "That isn't a good time for me." or "I can't make it then." In saying "I can't make it then.", you are saying that the time is impossible for you. You could ask for a different time. "Do you have anything in the afternoon on Thursday?". By asking "Do you have anything", you are asking whether there is an opening. You could say 'Do you have any openings on Thursday afternoon?" or "Could I come on Thursday afternoon?" or "Can you take me on Thursday afternoon?".

If you agree on the date and time, you might verify the appointment by saying "12:30 this coming Thursday? Yes, that works!". The expression "This coming Thursday" means the (translate: this coming Thursday). You could also verify the time and date by saying "This Thursday?" or "Thursday, June 25?". If it works, you can say "Yes, that works!" or "That will be fine." or "I can make it then." or "That works for me.".

The receptionist might say "Okay, so can you give me your name again?". She is asking for your name. She could also ask "What is your name again, please?", "Can I get your name?" "And your name, please?" or simply "What is your name?". Give your name, spelling it in English if the person does not understand you. If possible, give an anglicized version of your name over the phone. You can clear up the actual pronunciation of your name when you talk to the businesspeople in person.

You and the receptionist can close the conversation by repeating the time and date of the appointment. You can say "Thank you – bye!" You could also say "Thanks – good bye!" or "Thank you very much, good bye.".