Pamphlet - Active offer: A culture of respect, a culture of excellence

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Active Offer pamphlet

How do I make an active offer?

In each instance (in person, on the telephone and by e-mail), I first use the official language of the majority community and then the official language of the minority community when I make an active offer of service:

  • In Quebec: French first, then English
  • Elsewhere in Canada: English first, then French

Active offer in person

I make sure I greet clients in person in both official languages at all times.

  1. I provide a short greeting that is the same in both languages. This is an appropriate way to show that service is available in English and French, without exception. For example:
    • (in Quebec) Bonjour! Hello!
    • (elsewhere in Canada) Hello! Bonjour!
    • or
      (in Quebec) Bienvenue! Welcome!
    • (elsewhere in Canada) Welcome! Bienvenue!
  2. I pause to let the client respond.
  3. I continue to provide service in the official language of the client’s choice.

If I am unilingual, I know whom to contact to ensure that service is provided in a timely manner in the official language of the client’s choice.

  1. I inform the client that another colleague will provide service.
    • (for a client who chooses English) One moment please. I will find a colleague who can help you.
    • or
      (for a client who chooses French) Un instant, s’il vous plaît. Je vais trouver un collègue qui peut vous aider.
  2. I inform my colleague of the official language chosen by the client.

Active offer on the telephone

I make sure I answer the telephone in both official languages at all times.

  1. I provide a short greeting that is the same in both languages. This is an appropriate way to show that service is available in English and French, without exception. For example:
    • Name of your institution in both languages, your name
      • (in Quebec) Agence des services frontaliers du Canada, Canada Border Services Agency, Étienne Côté
      • (elsewhere in Canada) Canada Border Services Agency, Agence des services frontaliers du Canada, Étienne Côté
    • or
      Bilingual greeting, your name
      • (in Quebec) Bonjour! Hello! Annie Bennett
      • (elsewhere in Canada) Hello! Bonjour! Annie Bennett
  2. I pause to let the client respond.
  3. I continue to provide service in the official language of the client’s choice.

Clients who are not immediately offered service in the official language of their choice may assume that service is not available in that language or that asking for it may cause delays or embarrassment.

Check: Answering the phone by saying your name only is not an active offer of service!

 

If I am unilingual, I know whom to contact to ensure that service is provided in a timely manner in the official language of the client’s choice. For example:

  1. I inform the client that I will transfer the call to a colleague.
    • (Client who chooses English) I am going to transfer your call to a colleague. One moment please.
    • or
      (Client who chooses French) Je vais transférer votre appel à un collègue. Un instant, s’il vous plaît.
  2. I inform my colleague of the official language chosen by the client.

My recorded telephone message contains the same information in both official languages. For example:

  • (in Quebec) Bonjour, vous avez joint la boîte vocale de (name) au (French name of department). S’il vous plaît laissez-moi un message et je vous rappellerai dans les plus brefs délais.
  • and
    Hello, you have reached (name)’s voicemail at (English name of department). Please leave a message and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
  • or
    (elsewhere in Canada) Hello, you have reached (name)’s voicemail at (English name of department). Please leave a message and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
  • and
    Bonjour, vous avez joint la boîte vocale de (name) au (French name of department). S’il vous plaît laissez-moi un message et je vous rappellerai dans les plus brefs délais.

Check: Can a unilingual person understand all of the information in my message?

 

My telephone message for extended absences contains the same information in both official languages. For example:

  • (in Quebec) Bonjour, hello. Je suis absent/absente du bureau et je serai de retour le (date). Veuillez me laisser un message ou communiquez avec (name of colleague), au (telephone number).
  • and
    I am out of the office and will be back on (date). Please leave a message or contact (name of colleague) at (telephone number).
  • or
    (elsewhere in Canada) Hello, bonjour. I am out of the office and will be back on (date). Please leave a message or contact (name of colleague) at (telephone number).
  • and
    Je suis absent/absente du bureau et je serai de retour le (date). Veuillez me laisser un message ou communiquez avec (name of colleague), au (telephone number).

Just because there is little demand for service in one of the two official languages, that does not mean there is no need for it. An active offer invites members of the public to use the official language of their choice.

Active offer by e-mail

The signature block in my e-mail contains the same information in both official languages to show that service is available in English and French, without exception. For example:

(in Quebec)
Marie Canadienne

Analyste, Direction générale des services d’infotechnologie
Parcs Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
marie.canadienne@canada.ca
Tél. : 613-955-5555

ATS : 613-955-5556

Analyst, Information Technology Services Branch
Parks Canada / Government of Canada
marie.canadienne@canada.ca
Tel: 613-955-5555

TTY: 613-955-5556

or
(elsewhere in Canada)
John Canadian

Analyst, Chief Information Officer Branch
Treasury Board of Canada
Secretariat / Government of Canada
john.canadian@canada.ca
Tel: 613-955-5555
TTY: 613-955-5556

Analyste, Direction du dirigeant principal de l’information
Secrétariat du Conseil du Trésor du
Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
john.canadian@canada.ca
Tél. : 613-955-5555
ATS : 613-955-5556

Instructions for signature blocks can be found in the Government of Canada’s Standard on Email Management.

 

My message for extended absences contains the same information in both official languages.

  • (in Quebec) Bonjour, je suis présentement à l’extérieur du bureau. C’est avec plaisir que je vous répondrai à mon retour le (date). Si votre demande est urgente, veuillez communiquer avec (name of colleague) au (telephone number) ou par courriel à l’adresse (e-mail address). Merci.
  • and
    Hello! I am currently out of the office. I will gladly reply to your message upon my return on ( date). If you require immediate assistance, please contact (name of colleague) by telephone at (telephone number) or by e-mail at (e-mail address). Thank you.
  • or
    (elsewhere in Canada) Hello! I am currently out of the office. I will gladly reply to your message upon my return on ( date). If you require immediate assistance, please contact (name of colleague) by telephone at (telephone number) or by e-mail at (e-mail address). Thank you.
  • and
    Bonjour, je suis présentement à l’extérieur du bureau. C’est avec plaisir que je vous répondrai à mon retour le (date). Si votre demande est urgente, veuillez communiquer avec (name of colleague) au (telephone number) ou par courriel à l’adresse (e-mail address). Merci.

Check: Can a unilingual person understand all of the information in my message?

 
Date modified:
2019-08-14