How to respond to visitors in English? | Business English


Even when foreign customers come to our office, such as reception and guidance, we want to respond smartly without any hassle. I want to remember frequently used phrases in advance so that I don't give the other person a rude impression when dealing with poor English.
Here, we will introduce phrases that you should remember and things to be aware of when dealing with visitors in English.

At the time of pick-up

First, let's look at the phrases used when welcoming customers who come to our company. When responding, it is important to properly express your gratitude for coming to the company.


The first word when you pick up a customer is also important to make a good first impression. Don't forget to smile.

Welcome to my office.
Welcome to us.
Come on in!
please come in!
We have been expecting you.
I have been waiting for you.

"We have been expecting you" is a classic phrase that can convey the feeling that you have been looking forward to your visit by using the present perfect progressive tense. By changing the subject to "We" instead of "I", you can express that you were waiting for the customer not only for yourself but for the entire company or group.

Thank you for visiting us

When we welcome our customers, we express our gratitude for coming. Be sure to remember the classic phrase "Thank you for coming". In addition, if you want to have the nuance of "all the way", you can add the phrase "all the way".

Thank you for coming today.
Thank you for coming today.
Thank you for coming all the way from your country.
Thank you for visiting us in a distant place.

Ask for business, name, and company name

Basically, when a visitor comes, the other person often tells you the message or name first, but if not, you need to ask for the message or name from here. Subsequent responses will change depending on the requirements, so check after greeting.

How can I help you?
What kind of business do you have?
May I ask your name? (Could I have your name, please?)
May I ask you for your name?
Would you mind waiting here for a moment?
Can you wait here?

"How can I help you?" Can be translated as "Would you like to help?", But it is a standard phrase that is also used when listening to a message. After asking for your name and requirements, or if you don't know, let us know that you will be waiting here.

Make sure you have an appointment

Let's also look at the phrase when you want to check if there is a promise.

Are you here for an appointment?
Do you have a promise?
Would you like to make an appointment for later today?
Shall I make a promise for a later date today?

In addition, if it is a diving business or solicitation, we will refuse it as follows.

I'm afraid we don't accept any unsolicited business.
We apologize for the inconvenience, but we do not accept solicitations or sudden sales.

I have been waiting for you

If you have an appointment in advance, also say that you have been waiting.

Mr. ________, we were expecting you.
We are waiting for you, Mr. ________.

When it is difficult to respond to visitors

If for some reason it is difficult for the person in charge to respond to customers, or if there is no one who can handle it at that time, let us know.

________ is with a visitor now.
________ is currently visiting.
________ is out of the office at the moment.
________ is out now.
I'm afraid there might have been a mistake, but ________ is away on business.
I think it's a mistake, but ________ is on a business trip and is absent.
I'm sorry, but no one is available at the moment.
I'm sorry, no one is free right now.

At the time of guidance

Let's take a look at the phrases used to guide customers to the meeting room and drawing room. You can give the other person a sense of security by telling them exactly where you want to go. Take the lead and tell them the following before guiding you.
Also, if you want to wait for the person in charge to guide you, let us know.

Please follow me.
I'll guide you.
Please come this way.
Please come here.
I will take you to the meeting room.
I will take you to the drawing room.
Let me show you around the office.
We will guide you through the company.
Mr. ________ will be here shortly.
________ will come soon.

When recommending tea

While waiting for customers in the meeting room or drawing room, there may be occasions when you recommend a drink. This phrase can be used outside of the business scene, so it's helpful to remember it.

Would you like something to drink? (Can I get you a drink?)
Would you like to bring some drinks?
Would you like some tea or coffee while you wait?
Would you like to bring tea or coffee while you wait?
How do you take your tea?
How would you like to drink tea?
Do you take milk or sugar?
Do you need milk or sugar?
Here's some tea, if you'd like.
If you don't mind, have a cup of tea.

Also, be aware that the phrase "Could I bring you a drink?" Refers to alcohol rather than soft drinks.

When you keep me waiting

If the person in charge is stuck or needs to be prepared, the customer must wait at the guide. In such cases, be polite so as not to upset the other person. If you keep waiting silently, you will be worried about what time it is now. Let's hold down the basic phrases so that you can treat them properly.

I will see if ________ is ready to see you.
Make sure ________ is ready to meet you.
I will let ________ know that you're here.
I will tell you that you are in ________.
Would you mind waiting a few more minutes? (Would you please wait a little longer?)
May I wait for a while?
Could you please wait here for a minute? (Would you please wait here?)
Can you wait for a while here?
He will be right here in a minute.
He will be here soon.

It is polite to use polite expressions when waiting for customers. It would be nice if you could add the following words when you sit in a chair.

Please have a seat.
Please call me.

When to see off

From here, let's take a look at the phrases used to see off customers.

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to come.
Thank you for visiting us in a busy place.
Thank you once again for coming today.
Thank you for visiting us today.

In this way, if you want to thank you again for coming, use the phrase "Thank you once again". The nuance is "I thanked you earlier, but once again."

Also, when you return to the customer, the phrase "I will see you off to the front door" will be the signal. By telling this, you will be able to create a flow that naturally sees off to the exit. The word "see out" used here is a phrase with the nuances of "seeing off to the end" and "seeing off".

I'll see you out.
I will see you off to the exit.

Finally, when you reach the exit, say, "This is my guide." The word "see off" used here just means "see off", so remember it so that you can use it properly with the "see out" mentioned earlier.

I'll see you off here.
Excuse me here.

A nifty phrase to remember

Here are some useful phrases for chatting with customers and caring for others. If you can use it after guidance or when sending off, it will be a smoother response.

Did you have a good journey?
Did your trip to this point go smoothly?
Would you like to read through ________?
Would you like to read ________?
Would you like me to take your coat?
Would you like to keep your coat?
Is there anything you need?
Do you need anything?
Please send our best regards to Mr. ________.
Please give my best regards to Mr. ________.
Have a good trip.
Have a comfortable trip.

How to answer "Would you mind ~?"

Finally, let's review the notes about the meaning of the answer to the "Would you mind ~?" Question. This type of question means "is it okay?", So you have to be careful not to accept the meaning of the other person's reply.

When asking if you can wait for a visitor, the question and answer will be as follows.

Would you mind waiting?
Are you sure you want to wait?
No, I wouldn't.
Yes, I will wait.
Yes, I would.
No, I can't wait.
Actually, I am in a little hurry. I need to leave in 10 minutes.
Actually, I'm in a hurry. You have to leave in 10 minutes.

If you want to reply "No, I can't wait", you can use "Actually" because the expression may be strong and rude.

Let's remember the pattern and respond to customers with a smile

The pattern of dealing with visitors in English is relatively fixed, so if you remember some English, you will be able to respond as smartly as in Japanese. Don't be confused when dealing with visitors in English, and don't forget to smile.