20 Polite Ways to Ask “May I Ask What This Call Is Regarding”

There is rarely a need to ask why a person is calling you since he or she has to go straight to the point. Why not, anyway? It isn’t free.

However, you may feel the need to go straight to the point in a conversation. You may be busy so you may have to cut the salutations short so the conversation doesn’t last longer than you can endure.

It may be very hard to cut salutations short and lead your caller straight to the point while staying polite.

One of the best ways to ask what the call is about is by saying ‘You rarely call me. What’s up?’ You may also simply say ‘What’s up’ immediately.

Below are 20 ways to ask what your business calls or personal calls are about.

20 Ways To Ask What The Call Is Regarding

  1. How may I help you?
  2. You called me.
  3. It’s strange to receive your call.
  4. Is there a problem?
  5. What is this call about?
  6. Why are we having this call?
  7. What exactly is the webinar about?
  8. You beeped me. Why?
  9. What can I do for you?
  10. Have you got any update?
  11. Do you want to come see me with a gift?
  12. Why did you call?
  13. May I ask what you are calling about?
  14. What can I help you with?
  15. You rarely call me. What’s up?
  16. May I ask what the call is regarding?
  17. Why are we having a video call?
  18. What do you need?
  19. You only ever call for money
  20. Do you need my help with something?

How may I help you?

What This Call Is Regarding

This is a direct question to ask what your caller wants. While this should be an acceptable question, it will sound dismissive to say it to a friend. It is advisable to not say this during personal calls.

This question is phrased in a style that is suitable for business calls. Business calls are meant to go straight to the point anyway so this is a typical question for inquiring about the purpose of a business call.

You can use this in personal calls but only if you are talking to a total stranger. You may have received a call from a strange number.

Once the person introduces himself or herself, you can ask why he or she is calling with this question.

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You called me.

This truly isn’t a question but it still asks what the call is about. You can say this if the person has called earlier but you missed it. When you call back, you can say this to ensure no time is wasted with salutations.

When you call back and make this statement, the person will confirm it and give his or her reason or purpose to calling you.

The person really may have called to just greet you. If you don’t want it to take too long, you can jokingly mention that you were busy with something.

It’s strange to receive your call.

This also isn’t an actual question but it will give the answer to the question you intend to ask on the call.

The problem with this suggestion is the call may not be strange and this statement may be the only strange thing about the situation.

When you say this, there is a high chance the person will automatically give his or her reasons for giving you a call before asking for any other thing.

You can answer the person’s questions quickly if you want no time wasted.

Is there a problem?

What This Call Is Regarding

This is another question that will lead your caller straight to the point but you don’t want to say this to your friends. You just may sound rude.

This response is what a boss can say to his or her employee. However, you can also say this to a workmate or just someone who’s working on a project with you.

When he or she gives you a call, you can directly ask if it is about your project. If it isn’t, he or she will be telling you what the call is about immediately.

When you try to guess what the call is about, you are putting the caller in a position where he has to confirm your suspicions. He or she will either say Yes or say what the call is about.

What is this call about?

You can ask this question if you have been chatting with a friend for too long on the phone and you think he or she may have called for another reason. Virtually everyone can get tired of chatting during a phone call but it’s often hard to just end it.

Asking this question may come out abrupt and rude. You can make it understandable by saying why you are asking the question.

You can say you are busy at the moment and you only accepted the call to attend to him or her first. You can also promise to call him or her back when you’re done.

Why are we having this call?

This statement is used to shorten unnecessary discussions on a phone call. It is normal to have excessively long salutations when talking to a friend.

Asides from salutations, you may also have discussions that seem so unnecessary over a phone call. You may feel it is a topic that can be discussed anywhere and at any time.

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You may also be having what is meant to be a business call but it is starting off way too casually.

There is very little need for salutations in business calls. It is only formal to go straight to the point while remaining polite.

What exactly is the webinar about?

This should be used for webinars only. Asking this question implies that you don’t know what the webinar is about.

While this is quite rare, it is still possible to not understand what a webinar is truly about before choosing to join.

Also, you can only ask questions when you are allowed to use your microphone. Else, you will be simply talking to yourself.

You beeped me. Why?

If your friend is always disturbing you with unnecessary calls, you can employ this strategy in avoiding unnecessary discussions when next he or she calls you.

Saying you are very busy may not be believable enough so you may want to add just enough drama.

When your friend calls you, you can let it ring till it stops. Once it has stopped ringing, pick up the phone and call back.

You can claim that your friend beeped you, then ask why. You will be leaving no time for unnecessary discussions so he or she will either give you a reason to keep talking or talk about just wanting to greet you.

Now, you can claim to be busy and you will be believed.

What can I do for you?

You should say this as a customer service representative. When you get a call from a customer, you can greet and ask what the customer needs you to do for him or her.

Saying this on the phone with your friend may sound weird and dismissive. Most calls with friends are for casual discussions and rejecting such calls may really hurt your friend.

You can simply state how busy you are and suggest another time for a casual discussion.

Have you got any updates?

This is another question suitable for business interactions and it also makes your caller go straight to the point.

As mentioned earlier, making a wrong guess on what the call is about can make the caller immediately correct you with the right reasons for calling.

You can ask this question from your friend if you are expecting any information from him or her.

When you ask this question, the answer is either Yes or No. However, you will know what the call is about by what the caller says next.

Do you want to come see me with a gift?

You can be blunt with asking what a call is about but there are ways to say it without offending the caller. One of the best ways to do this is to start with a joke.

Immediately you pick the call, you can ask if he or she wants to come see you with a gift. There’s a zero percent chance that this is the reason for the call. Of course, it is way too precise.

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You can do a drift from your joke to a blunt question of the reason behind the call. If it is something serious, he or she would definitely go straight to the point.

Why did you call?

Here is a simple way to phrase your question and you can avoid sounding rude and dismissive by allowing the joke to go on for a while.

Starting the call with this question will definitely sound dismissive. You will seem uninterested in chatting with the caller and that may just be heartbreaking and rude.

However, you can dampen this feeling by letting the jokes go on for a while. Once you have given enough time for the casual discussion, you can ask this question without sounding too serious about it.

May I ask what you are calling about?

You can ask this question after greeting if you are receiving a call from someone you don’t expect it from. There are people whom you are not close to and do not expect to be called by.

It will be totally understandable if you want the conversation to go straight to the point. Therefore, this question is totally okay. Saying this to a close friend may not sound very cool though.

What can I help you with?

This is one of the ways customer service representatives respond when we call them. It is a correct way to ask what a call is regarding as long as it is a formal one.

No one expects casual talks and salutations so the caller will understand the need to be precise.

However, saying this to a friend will sound weird.

You rarely call me. What’s up?

Here is another one that asks the question bluntly but it gives the reason for the blunt question.

You are saying this to someone who rarely calls you because you know or believe he or she will not call you just to chat. You are indirectly asking him or her to go straight to the point.

May I ask what the call is regarding?

You can ask this question if you are receiving a call from someone who only comes for your help.  He or she may start with unnecessary salutations so you can just ask about his question so the person goes straight to the point.

It may also be a business call. This question is okay if the conversation is not going straight to the point.

Why are we having a video call?

Ask this question if you think there are better ways to chat than a video call. A call may seem unneeded or unimportant. A video call will be even worse.

You can ask your caller this question and suggest a normal voice call with him or her.

What do you need?

Ask this question if you are receiving a call from a younger sibling or someone with whom you are working. You can also explain that you are busy. This will explain why the question is coming so quickly.

You only ever call for money

You can say this to a younger sibling or a friend. Here is an example of making a wrong guess so you can get the right answer.

If the person always calls for money, the person may simply be calling for the same thing. If your guess is wrong, the person will say why he or she is calling you.

Do you need my help with something?

Here is a polite way to phrase a question when the call is from a friend you are not very close to.

You should say this after greeting each other warmly. By doing this, you will avoid sounding uninterested and dismissive.

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