Yesterday, the Synergy Merchant Services Blog visited the concept of keeping your phone manner as pleasant as possible for the benefit of your business. A courteous and professional approach to answering your business line is a surefire way to make a good impression. Considering that the way in which your phone is answered is the first impression you can give of your company, it is imperative to make sure that it is done properly.
To be honest, this topic drew our interest when a staff member commented on a number of outdated voice messages he received when calling certain businesses. Susan Ward of About.com agrees that keeping your phone greetings (be they live or recorded) accurate and attentive is of great importance to the success of a company’s image.
Revisiting some of the many useful tips that she provides business owners, Ward also advises that the taking of telephone messages should be done in a complete and concise way. The only way to make a favourable impression when returning a call is make sure that you know exactly who you are calling and what the nature of the call is.
She writes that if there is something you do not understand and can’t spell – important things such as someone’s last name – you ask the caller to repeat or spell it so that the right message gets to its intended recipient. It is also a good idea to return phone calls within one business day.
Writes Ward: “I can’t emphasize this one enough. Remember the early bird? The early caller can get the contract, the sale, the problem solved… and reinforce the favorable impression of your business that you want to circulate.”
Another great suggestion that so many businesses tend to forget is to ask the caller if it is okay to put him or her on hold. Simply saying, “please hold” can be taken as rude and abrupt, not to mention, annoying. Also, be sure to not keep the caller on hold for too long. If necessary, return every 30 to 45 seconds, simply to offer choices such as, “He is still on the other line, would you like me to have him call you back?”. This courtesy will be much appreciated.
Avoid the speaker phone, if possible, says Ward. They give callers the impression that they do not have your full attention. It also implies that the call is not private and may make the person who is on speaker uncomfortable. A speaker phone should only be used when more than one person needs to take part in the conversation on one end and all parties are aware that the feature is being used.
Finally, all of the tips from today and yesterday’s blog would not be useful if everyone in your company who answers the phone wasn’t trained to adhere to them. You may even want to call your own business yourself just to make sure the phone is being answered in the professional manner that you trained. Following these tips will keep the impression of your company a top-notch one for years to come.