I have anxiety using the phone to ask for information. Somehow I end up forgetting something and then have to make at least another call. Or I get rude service (which I don't have time to complain about)

I'm not even sure how to frame this question.

Bottom line, I wish to feel comfortable using the phone to get information before, during, and after the phone call. How do to this?

1st Scenario

I was calling my bank to inquire about certain fees at rates. This was the umpteenth time I was calling because I want to be certain of something before I invest.

One broker was really rude, i.e. was giving wrong information, refused to give his last name (brokers always give their last name, I guess he thought he wouldn't make much commission on my account). When I asked to be transferred to a supervisor he said he is a supervisor.

He said if I don't believe the information he is giving I can call back and get someone else.

I got so frustrated I hung up. Then I called the same center, and got someone who was more helpful. This person even said, "You just spoke to my colleague XYZ" and I said yes. Then I started to say I know you guys are really busy, I want to get smart on finances, because if I'm smart on finances, I will invest more, and it will be good for your bank. Then I said, I understand, if my account had 3 billion (rather than 3 thousand), XYZ might have responded differently.

2nd Scenario

Making appointment for my Dad. I spoke to Dr's answering service who are able to make appointments. When I told my Dad he said, "I never asked you to make appointment, only find Dr's hours". I had to make two more phone calls to get appointment cancelled.

But the answering service said they can only give message to office staff, then I will get confirmation (of cancelled appointment) when staff is in the office.

Yesterday (weekend) I heard old-fashioned land-line phone ring, and on caller ID, another phone number for Dr's office.

I googled that phone number to make sure it belonged to office. However when I called, it turned out it was the Doctor's personal cell number.

Why is Dr's personal cell phone number listed as his office's number, but I didn't ask (wasn't sure if that would be appropriate)

I was stunned, and I said, "sorry to disturb you, this appeared on my caller ID, and I thought it was the answering service returning a phone call." The Doctor said no problem, and he was able to answer a question I had (i.e. does he take my Dad's insurance).

There was another question I had, and the Doctor said the staff is in on Monday (but I didn't ask what time Monday)

Still, I was very tensed talking on phone. Plus, I didn't want to take up Doctor's personal time, so I said, "have a nice weekend"

Now, it's hanging over me that I have to call the staff on Monday. I am tensed that the situation won't get resolved and because of lack of interpersonal skills, general knowledge, it will be exercise in frustration (at the very least), or the office staff will get aggravated and won't help me.

Honestly, I hope I am expressing my issues correctly.

2 Answers 2

  1. Write down the questions you need answering
  2. Practise going through your questions, and what you expect to be the likely responses. You need to do this so you know follow up information that might be required if you have to go down this route.
  3. Talk through your approach with someone else. They can help point out things you may have missed.

This might be over-kill, but when you have more than 3 issues to cover it is easy to get into the detail of one of them and forget the others.

When talking, realise the person you are talking to is just conveying information to you, and you want them to be co-operative even if the subject might be quite confrontational, hopefully not with them individually.

I do this with my wife when having to talk through issues about my mothers medical and support requirements with the care home we deal with. And I know it works.

  • This is great advice. Better to take few moments to write things down. God bless your Mother, hope she has best of health (I help my older parents with their medical care as well) Apr 29, 2018 at 18:26

I also often struggle with calling people over the phone, but I've found the following can help

  • Write down what you want to ask. This will help to make sure you get all your questions answered.

  • Have information that you might need to provide at hand. For example, write down your customer/order number if you have one, etc.

  • Do some research beforehand if possible. I've had to make calls before where there was just a small part of the process that I didn't completely understand. If you have researched all the rest beforehand and can convey this to the person you are calling, they will be better able to answer the part that you really need help on instead of also having to explain the rest.

  • Don't wait too long with calling. Eventually you'll just make yourself crazy, so its better to just make the call and get the answer you need. Also, it helps to remember that most people who answer calls have probably received a question like yours often, and most of these people genuinely want to help you.
  • Have a pen and paper ready to write down some notes of the answers you receive. I know that the stress of having to make the call and receiving all this new information sometimes kind of overloads me, so it is important to make short notes so that you can later review the information you have received. Also, kind of repeat and paraphrase the answers you receive, so that the person you are calling knows you have understood them and can provide clarification if you missed something.

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