When working withing the Group Plan Commission's (GPC) office, there may be times in which you will need to answer the phone. In this case we want to equip you to align with the brand and level of professionalism expected from our organization.

Below you will find the following: answering phone, putting a call on hold, taking messages, and more!


“Good morning/afternoon Public Square. This is (your name), how may I help you?”

  • Remember that you may be the first and only contact a person may have with the GPC, so make a positive first impression.

  • Answer phone promptly (before the third ring).

  • Before picking up the receiver, discontinue any other conversation or activity such as eating, chewing gum, typing, etc., that the caller may hear.

  • Speak SLOWLY, annunciate clearly, distinctly, with a smile, and in a pleasant tone of voice.

  • Use hold button when checking on requested information.

  • When transferring a call, verify the extension and explain to the caller that you are transferring them.

  • Transfer all media, city of Cleveland, or Cuyahoga County related calls to the CEO, GM, or DMD.

  • Do not give out information unless you are certain it is correct. Inquiries regarding facilities, events, programs, and policies must be answered accurately. If you are unsure, place the caller on “hold” and ask a staff member for guidance.

  • Staff personal cell phone numbers, home addresses, or work schedules are confidential information and will not be shared with callers


  • Ask the caller permission to place them on hold and wait for their response.

  • Answer the ringing line with GPC protocol, and then ask them to hold and wait for their response.

  • Place second caller on hold.

  • Return to the first caller and complete the call.

  • Go back to second caller and say, “Thank you for holding, may I help you?”


  • First, ask the caller if they want to transfer to voicemail.

  • Be prepared with a pen and message pad nearby.

  • ALWAYS obtain the following information:

a. Caller’s name, requesting correct spelling if necessary

b. Caller’s phone number with area code and/or GROUP PLAN COMMISSION extension

c. Repeat the message to the caller.

d. Be sure to fill in the date, time, and your initials.

e. Place message promptly in the individuals’ office.