Establish a standard manner of answering
the telephone in the office of the chaplain. Some of
your techniques might include: Office of the
chaplain, Petty Officer Doe speaking. May I help
you? You should first identify the organization and
office, next identify yourself, and then offer
assistance. Be polite.
You may ask the callers identity. Simply ask
May I tell the chaplain who is calling, please?
When the chaplain with whom the speaker
wishes to speak is not in the office, you may offer the
services of an available chaplain. Whenever
appropriate, you may take the callers name and the
message that he or she did call and inform the caller
that the chaplain will return the call.
You must answer the phone promptly.
During normal working hours, you must be available
to attend to the telephone.
If you must place a caller on hold for a period
of time, you should explain the reason for the delay.
Then check back regularly with the person on hold to
ask if he or she wishes to continue to hold.
Above all, remember that the way in which you
handle all telephone contacts directly affects the
callers impression of the RMF.
Counseling and office visits to chaplains are
arranged by a combination of walk-in and
appointment visits. Whereas walk-in counseling has
an advantage of promptly dealing with problems,
appointments may be a more effective time-sharing
tool. This permits the chaplain to provide ministry
out of the office and avoids having several people
waiting in the office and being observed by other
Accurate appointment schedules are a necessity
in the chaplains office. Make sure you record each
chaplains appointments on his or her desk calendar
to make sure you do not overlap appointments.
Figure 6-1 shows a sample appointment calendar. In
this example, the CRP planner provided by the
Chaplain Resource Board is used as the appointment
Figure 6-1.Sample appointment calendar.