How to Write a Telephone Conversation in a Screenplay
P hone calls can be an essential component to a film’s narrative and the driving force behind a scene. They can be an opportunity for suspense, humor, and conflict. It is important to understand how to write a telephone conversation in a screenplay in the common case that your story calls for one (no pun intended). Although formatting can often be confusing, we’ve broken it down so that you can implement a proper screenplay format phone call into your next script.
Phone call screenplay format matters
Most phone calls will involve at least two parties. Who the audience hears and sees during that phone call is up to the screenwriter. This decision can be made based on what information the writer is trying to communicate or what emotion they are trying elicit.
Are they trying to create suspense? Humor? Or maybe conflict? Remember that proper screenplay formatting is very important. If you’re trying to sell a script, improper formatting on Page One can get your screenplay tossed in the trash. When doing a script breakdown, the 1st AD needs build a tight and efficient shooting schedule, which is heavily-based on industry standard formatting. And, finally, one aspect of preparing a budget is based on the length of individual scenes and the script as a whole. More pages equals more shooting days equals bigger budget.
Therefore, when a phone call comes along in your script, format matters. We’ve created examples of telephone conversation script formatting and style using StudioBinderʼs Screenwriting Software to analyze how to write a phone call script in various ways.
How to write a phone call script
Use action descriptions
Some phone scenes involve only one character where we do not hear the person on the other side of the call. This can create curiosity in the audience as they are unaware of what the character is hearing.
Phone conversation sample script
How to write a telephone conversation in a screenplay • One-Sided Call Version
Sample Customer Service Telephone Scripts
When Potential Customers Call In
Customers and potential customers of an organization frequently call designated customer service telephone numbers to make inquiries about a company’s goods, services or operation. Here’s a simple customer service telephone script to ensure customer service personnel are efficient at collecting relevant customer information while remaining friendly and professional.
Customer Service Telephone Script (Example for Receiving Calls)
We are open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
We don’t open on weekends but on weekends you can place orders to Monday morning on our website for delivery.
* Listen to pause for additional questions or requests*
When You Call Out
Organizations often call customers to confirm orders or forward orders for delivery to partner organisations.
This is a simple telephone script for customer service to ensure that calls are carried out seamlessly:
Script Phone Customer Service (Example for Calling Out)
Jonathan from ABC Inc. “Good morning.
I call for an order sent to your company from ABC Inc. to be delivered.
This is 09****101 order number.
If the order was sent to the customer, can you confirm it?
* Pause and listen as the recipient answers * * Please take note of the data provided*
When There Has Been a Service Failure
Service failures occasionally occur in every organization, from minor late delivery incidences to any failure to satisfy a customer demand.
A process to receive or resolve customer complaints is essential.
Although a feedback form is used in most organizations, some customers may call to report service failures.
Customer Service Telephone Script (Example for Handling Service Failure)
I apologize for not having been informed of the longer delivery time by the customer who called to confirm your order.
In general, the data are placed on the site underneath the goods.
You can also track your delivery via your order number on our website.
When You Want to Market Your Products/Services
Cold calling potential and existing customers are a frequently used product or service promotion strategy.
The method used to make such appeals may however be the difference between getting a new business as a spam caller and being blocked.
Customer Service Telephone Script (Example for Cold Calling)
“My name is Jane, good day and I call Infomat Inc. “I call.
Our online business writing schedule has been completed recently.
I’d like your program feedback.
Were you pleased?
* wait and hear customer feedback attentively *
I would also like to take that opportunity to inform you that you are entitled to a 10 percent discount in future courses as a previous customer.
We also have an e-mail writing course which has just been added.
Sample Automated Attendant Scripts
Thank you for having called The Operations Tech Company, a venue for technology and business.
If you know the extension of your party, you can always dial it.
If not, select one of the options below:
Knowledge of the fundamental industry:
Trust is the result of knowledge.
Your receptionist should be able to understand and understand the inside and outside of your industry.
For example, if you are employed by a law firm and you recipients don’t see the difference between property planning and litigation, they won’t help callers very much.
3. Organization: Douze hats are worn during the day by receptionists.
Otherwise they can lose critical messages or forget to retract a customer without exceptional organizational skills, which results in lost revenues.
5. Tech-savvy: Welcome people work on multiple channels — including telephone, text, emails and even chatbots.
They also manage the appointments and online management of customer documents.
A receiver who is comfortable and technologically experienced will make fewer errors and take on more tasks every day.
6. Exceptional written and verbal communication: interactions are talked about your business with your receptionists.
In both written and oral communication, receptionists should be able to communicate ideas clearly and accurately.
Ensure that potential recipients use accurate language and evaluate their communication skills while interviewing and following up.
8. Time management: The job of a receptionist is shifty and inherently unpredictable.
But it can take time to jump from task to task.
Test your ability to manage your own time and schedules when evaluating receptionists.
They should use software for project management or an internal system for management of tasks, schedules and priorities.
The motherlode of sales email templates
Ask key questions to understand each of your prospect’s needs better and show that you’re genuinely interested in helping them. By asking questions, you’ll be able to tailor your pitch for the prospect you’re speaking to.
Sample cold calling script
Highlight product efficiencies
Show prospects they’re missing out on efficiencies by not using your product. Explain which product features address these inefficiencies, and give examples of current customer wins.
Sample cold calling script
The reason I’m calling is that we develop software that notifies recruiters when clients hire their candidates and forget to tell them. Last year, we found over 4,200 missed fees across just 120 customers.
Tell an engaging story
Capture the attention of your prospects by sharing the outcome of a customer success story. Talk about the problem they experienced—choose a problem similar to the prospect’s—and explain how you worked with the customer to solve it. Only use this approach when the prospect says they have time to discuss. They won’t be receptive if they’re pressed for time.
The cold calling script below tells the story of an industry issue and how the product helped find a solution. The language is descriptive and paints a vivid picture for prospects.
Sample cold calling script
Got it! So TalentBin develops tools used by recruiters to find talent. And it does this by crawling the entire Internet for activity that those folks engage in. Because these sorts of candidates are highly employed, recruiting them often requires a passive-candidate outreach approach.
But at the same time, these folks tend to not spend time on professional social networks like LinkedIn. Finding them there can be problematic. Unlike recruiters and salespeople, they just don’t spend time there.
However, these sorts of professionals do spend time other places online, leaving trails of information about what they do professionally. TalentBin scoops up all of that information and makes it recruiter-ready.
As a result, TalentBin identifies more of these professionals than any other sourcing tool on the market. It makes it easy for you to reach them directly by providing personal contact information (like personal email addresses) and social communication vectors (like Twitter, Meetup, Facebook, and so on).
Utilize your industry expertise
Prospects want to work with a salesperson who understands the industry and offers relevant solutions. Show off your expertise by referencing recent customer successes and industry awards.
Sample cold calling script
TalentBin identifies more professionals than any other sourcing tool on the market. It makes it easy for you to reach them directly by providing personal contact information (like personal email addresses) and social communication vectors (like Twitter, Meetup, Facebook, and so on).
Yeah, what’s more: In a given geography, for instance, say TalentBin will have five to 10 times the number of Ruby, Java, .NET, iOS, and Android developers compared to LinkedIn and will have oodles of personal email addresses for those candidates. This is because TalentBin has crawled GitHub, Stack Overflow, Meetup, Twitter, and many other sites where those engineers hang out.
Explain next steps
Even if a cold call goes well and the prospect was engaged and asked lots of questions, you can still lose the connection. Don’t close the sale—instead, explain the next steps so prospects know what you need from them.
Sample cold calling script
Because of [ACCOUNT NAME’s] current hiring characteristics, I feel that this is something that would be very impactful to your business. I would love to set up a walk-through demo for your team with myself and my TalentBin product specialist colleague to dig in more.
Be polite yet persistent
If the prospect says they’re not interested, don’t immediately lose hope. Restate the benefits of your product or service for their company. Prospects will voice more common sales objections, but calmly explain what you can do for them. Don’t be aggressive or pushy.
Sample cold calling script
[PROSPECT NAME], I wouldn’t be on the phone with you right now if I didn’t strongly think that this could help [ACCOUNT NAME] hire more people faster, with less cost and less work on the part of your recruiters. [In the case of an agency, “And ultimately make ACCOUNT NAME more money.”]
I promise you that this sort of technology is going to be industry standard. By deferring consideration of it, you’re putting your business and your ability as a recruiter at a disadvantage.
Prepare for strategic follow-up
Try to set up the next meeting during your call. Sometimes, prospects will deflect and ask to connect through email when they can look at their calendar. If you follow up by email and they don’t respond, be persistent. Following up multiple times is normal–63 percent of prospects have to hear your pitch three to five times before they trust it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I set up an auto-attendant?
Most business phone systems like GoTo Connect and CloudTalk make it easy to set up an auto-attendant using drag-and-drop visual editors. Auto-attendants come with a phone tree menu, allowing you to associate triggers and responses. Each provider is different, so check their documentation for detailed instructions.
What is the difference between an IVR & an auto-attendant?
An interactive voice response (IVR) is an advanced version of an auto-attendant. Auto-attendants rely on button-dialing options, while an IVR system allows voice response as well. To learn more about how an IVR works, check out our article about IVR systems and discover their role in improving customer experience.
How do you respond to a phone script?
Button dialing or voice responses are used to answer phone scripts. With a button-dialing system, the caller will use their dialpad to input their response. With an IVR system, callers speak to the system to submit answers and initiate commands.
Automated phone answering system scripts are an effective way to boost your brand image and streamline your routing system. However, this automated call management tool will be more efficient if they’re structured in a way that suits your customers’ needs and business goals. Whether it’s a holiday script or an individual extension script, make sure to follow the best practices to ensure an excellent calling experience for your customers.
About the Authors
Corey McCraw is a subject matter expert in the realm of VoIP and unified communications. He has leveraged more than two years in this space to become well-versed in both the providers and technology associated with VoIP and UC. His work has appeared on GetVoIP and the Mio Dispatch as well as places like the Let’s Move! blog. Prior to entering the world of VoIP, Corey has served as a communications analyst for GroupM and has 12 years of marketing and writing experience.
Marianne De Guzman
Before becoming a professional writer, Marianne worked as a freelance content writer and produced hundreds of content for global clients in Singapore, the UK, and the US. From there, she built her expertise in writing for various industries, such as information technology, real estate, business, lifestyle, education, and wellness. Today, Marianne is an Office Technology staff writer at Fit Small Business who covers business phone systems, VoIP, and video conferencing tools.