Phone etiquette, back to basics!

“you can’t afford any hangups”

Something came across my desk the other day about “how you answer your phone” It got me thinking that this is one of the most important things for a service company, yet so many companies do not have any guidelines on how to properly answer the phone. The saying that comes to mind is “you never get a second chance at a first impression” Answering the phone professionally can make the difference in a prospective customer hanging up or using your services. Companies pay huge sums of money on advertising and marketing, then they just say “hello”.

You have one chance and one chance only to turn that call into revenue, so why not stack the odds in your favor. It is relatively simple to answer the phone professionally. Some companies say, “xyz company, how can we help you today” or you can get a bit creative: “xyz company, how can we make you smile today?” I think it is important to identify the company name, greet the customer and then find out what they need as quickly as possible.

Once you determine what they want you can dig a bit deeper and ask for contact information, get an email address etc, ask them how they heard about your company. My point is that you should think it through how you want your company to handle calls and what type of impression you want to leave with your customers. Also, what types of information do you want to give out and what data do you want to get from each customer.

Companies put so much time, effort and money into advertising, so all I am saying is take a look at your protocol for answering the phone and put a plan into action to help portray a professional image which gives someone calling a much more compelling reason to do business with you!

The main goal is to get your customer service reps to book more calls. There are many tools out there that will help. First of all it is important to have a script. Once a script is in place there are other tools that will record calls so you can listen to them and make sure the customer service reps are doing the job correctly. This will reveal if they need re-training and/or if you have the wrong person and need to replace them! Proper training of customer service reps will make a big difference in your bottom line!

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