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Phonetic Alphabet Free Download

Asides from military or police use, a Phonetic Alphabet is often used in customer service to improve professionalism, avoid confusion, improve data accuracy and even make a call centre more efficient whether you are in Australia or on the other side of the world.

Sure, there is some amazing contact centre technology, great training courses and process optimisations that will help you develop an award-winning customer experience, but sometimes it’s the things that don’t cost a cent that is the most important and that’s exactly where a Phonetic Alphabet fits in!

What is the NATO Phonetic Alphabet?

Technically known as the NATO Phonetic Alphabet, it’s the universally recognised “A for Alpha, B for Bravo, C for Charlie” alphabet also known as the international phonetic alphabet, military alphabet, ICAO alphabet, spelling alphabet, nato phonetic alphabet chart, call centre alphabet, us phonetic alphabet, police phonetic alphabet or “that thing where you use the names to spell the words”.

What is the Australian phonetic alphabet?

The NATO Phonetic Alphabet is the same one used across the world so the one used in Australia is also the same one used in any other English-speaking country.

There is also lots of other jargon, acronyms and abbreviations used in call centres like Grade of Service (GOS), AHT, ATT and more – make sure you check out our CX & Call Centre Glossary where we explain the meaning behind common terms used in a call centre or customer experience environment.

How to use a Phonetic Alphabet

In short, the phonetic alphabet makes conversing with a customer a whole lot more professional when trying to spell out words using an internationally recognised list of words for the purpose of avoiding any confusion.

When you are trying to confirm the spelling of a name, place or word – rather than just saying the sound of the letters which can often be confusing, using a Phonetic Alphabet you also provide an internationally recognised word for EACH single letter you are trying to communicate.

For example, if you are talking to a customer and need to provide the reference number BCEG all those letters can sound quite similar.

Using the phonetic alphabet you would say:

OK, your reference number is BCEG that’s B for Bravo, C for Charlie, E for Echo and G for Golf.

It also saves your staff improvising with the classics like “D” for Dog, ‘C’ for Cat or some more concerning ones like ‘N’ for knife, or ‘S’ for champagne…

Why you should use a Phonetic Alphabet

Aside from sounding a lot more professional, using a phonetic alphabet provides lots of benefits for companies that require their customer service staff who use it including:

  • Increase the accuracy of your information as it eliminates the risk of being misunderstood.
  • Reduces Average Talk Time (as you don’t have to continually repeat information or risk the customer calling back as they got the wrong details).
  • Reduce customer frustrations and confusion.
  • Reduce the need for rework based on incorrect information.

Fair to say I think these are all pretty positive outcomes for the business and the customer!

The Phonetic Alphabet List (aka Military or Letters Alphabet)

If you just can’t wait to see what all the words are for each letter, the wait is over! Just refer to the Phonetic Alphabet list below or, to get a free phonetic alphabet list you can print that comes in a few different sizes to stick next to your phone, just keep scrolling to the bottom of the page.

A – Alpha

B – Bravo

C – Charlie

D – Delta

E – Echo

F – Foxtrot

G – Golf

H – Hotel

I – India

J – Juliett

K – Kilo

L – Lima

M – Mike

N – November

O – Oscar

P – Papa

Q – Quebec

R – Romeo

S – Sierra

T – Tango

U – Uniform

V – Victor

W – Whiskey

X – X-Ray

Y – Yankee

Z – Zulu

Creative uses of the Phonetic Alphabet

There are lots of ways you can get creative to ensure everyone learns the Phonetic Alphabet in your call centre or workplace to ensure it is always visible.

For example, you can print off big pages to represent each letter, paint it on the walls, use it as your desktop screen, print it on a mouse mat and so on.

We’ve seen plenty of creative ideas over the years!

The other option is to download our free template that you can just print off and attach it to your desk or monitor!

Phonetic Alphabet creative ideas

Looking to power up your customer service? As well as the Phonetic Alphabet below, ACXPA Members get access to a range of premium resources including live monthly symposiums with industry experts, site tours, discounted training, networking events and lots more!  Discover which membership is right for you >

Download the free Phonetic Alphabet

This Phonetic Alphabet printable template is free for everyone to download!  The template is a PDF, and it prints on one A4 piece of paper. There are three different sizes – just cut out the size that works best for you to stick next to your phone, computer etc.


Download FREE Phonetic Alphabet Printout >
Phonetic Alphabet Australia chart PDF Download button

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