I’m sure you often have that awkward millisecond of silence after the usual formalities on the phone, and you’re thinking about what to say next.
Here are a few simple phrases to get over the silence and get the conversation underway:
“I’ve just received/been given your message so I’m returning your call.”
“My colleague just informed/told me you called/rang so I wanted to call/ring you back.”
“I just heard your voice mail and so I’m calling you back.”
“I just noticed/saw you called so I’m getting back to you.”
If you know what the missed call was all about you could (after some small talk) then lead straight in with addressing the issue with:
“Regarding / with regard to / concerning / as far as ……. is concerned / as for … / about ”
If, on the other hand, you don’t know what the call was about, you could always use one of the following questions depending on your relationship to the caller:
In a more business-like manner:
“What exactly can I do for you?”
“How can/may I help you?”
In a more familiar situation: “So, what’s cooking / the score / up?”
Good luck getting back to people and happy telephoning.
Awkward (Heikel), to get the conversation underway (etw in die Wege leiten), to address the issue (Hier: auf die Frage eingehen)