Have you ever heard this …
“Thank you for calling. Your call is important to us, please hold the line and we will be with you in just a moment…” then you get recorded music and after a few minutes you will hear “Please hold, your call is important to us…” over and over again. It makes you wonder…if your telephone calls is actually important to the business, and if it is why aren’t they answering it?
According to Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training who conducted a survey about the biggest telephone pet peeves, the top 5 offenders are: Automated Attendants, lack of good manners or rudeness and bad attitude, being put On Hold, speakerphones & people who use mobile phones with a horrible manner.
Automated Attendants have been placed first on the list as the biggest frustration people face, in particular when there is no option for an operator/human interaction. Sometimes the menus and the messages aggravate the frustration as they are unclear for the user.
That’s why it constantly amazes us here at Smart On Hold, how poorly many company’s switchboards and even their customer service lines handle incoming telephone calls. Very often the telephone is your businesses only contact that customers and prospects have with your company. So, remember that how your phone is answered and handled says so much about your business.
Getting it right is so easy. It is just a matter of a small amount of training and a fair amount of attitude. To avoid having your customer help lines fall into a pet peeve of your callers, here’s our tips on how to make a great first impression:
- Answer the phone quickly
There is nothing more frustrating than a phone that rings and rings before being answered. If customers have to wait through more than three rings they usually start to think that you have closed for the day or that their call is not important to you. This is nothing short of unprofessional. A business line should really be answered on the third ring typically – that’s how we maintain our Customer Service levels here at Smart On Hold.
- Come across as warm and welcoming
Put a smile on your face and in your voice when answering the phone because believe it or not, it will help enormously as people can hear you smiling through the phone. Your attitude will effect the callers instantly – so make it a good one.
- Introduce yourself and your business
Never just bark the company name as you answer. It’s provokes uneasiness, sounds unwelcoming, and almost aggressive. Try something like “Good morning, ABC Company, Suzie speaking. How many help you?” This will not only confirm that the caller has phoned the right place, but sets the tone for a professional conversation. We make sure all of our team here answer the phone with same friendly approachable response, providing consistency and a professional attitude towards all callers.
- Speak clearly
Don’t talk too fast when answering a call because you can come across as rushed. Speak slowly and clearly, in a moderate tone, so that you can be easily understood. The caller should never have to ask you to repeat what you said, making your customer experience count on every call – as positive word of mouth is always beneficial to a business.
- Watch Your Language
You must use polite and professional language at all times. Slang or jargon words are a definite no-no and never say ‘I don’t know’. If you genuinely don’t have the answer, simply say ‘let me find that out for you and come back to you as quickly as I can’. This shows interest and an eagerness to help and also provides a chance for your Custom On Hold Messages to play and to interact with your customers about additional services.
- Ask before you put people on hold
Be sure to ask the caller if it’s alright to put them on hold before you do so. When you come back on the line, thank the person for holding. If you have to ask the caller to continue to hold, offer to take a number and return the call.
- Transferring calls should be done with care
Before you connect the caller to another extension, make sure that person is in and able to help. There is nothing more frustrating than being transferred over and over again & having to retell the same story to a number of people before finding the right person who can help you. Don’t put a call through to a line without saying what you are about to do because it will come across as abrupt, and breaks any rapport immediately. A simple “I’ll just put you through’, or ‘one moment and I’ll connect you’ is perfect.
- Take messages the right way
When taking a message for someone, be sure to check all the details, and confirm any spellings that you’re not sure of. Because offering the caller the voicemail option over taking a message, is not personal or professional. It can also lead to the possibility of lost business, as they may get a voicemail and decide not to leave a message or simply hang up without leaving all the details that are needed. Before taking a message, find out if anyone else can help. 9 out of 10 times, an initial enquiry can be dealt with just as well by another member of your team.
- Lastly, use answering phones when necessary
By nature, answering your companies calls by using Automated Attendant and voicemails can become impersonal – to make them work, make sure that you make it as efficient as possible for your callers. An Automated Attendant greeting is the first thing your client and business will hear when they call your company, think about it and make them as simple to understand as you can. This same goes with the voicemail. Make sure you use a professional voicemail greetings because it can leave a positive impression on your callers.
Remember, that people who leave messages out of hours are just as important as those who call during the business day. If you get a lot of call out of business hours, or over the weekend it may be sensible to invest in using a professional answering service. Many are very cost effective, and extremely professional.
How can you make sure that your business meets all of the above?
That’s where Smart On Hold can help you in creating a professional automated attendant, voicemail messages and On Hold Messages. With over 10 years of industry experience, we know exactly what On Hold Messages, voicemail and auto attendants work.
Here, we will help you create high quality on hold messages, auto attendant and voicemail messages that will generate more sales and establish positive branding for your company.
Making simple changes to your business telephone handling can make an huge difference to your company. Getting new clients and keeping those we already have takes an enormous amount of effort. When they call, treat them with the service and respect they deserve. Remember, that the person on the phone has taken the time to call you, over your competition. We all work very hard to get business, and when it comes so easily, respect it for what it is.
Smart On Hold has been helping businesses through the creation, supply and maintenance of professional On Hold messages, telephone recordings that get results! Smart On Hold is keeping your customers engaged on the phone and informed ahead of time. Educate your callers and instantly increase credibility at the same time – provided 100% free of lock in contracts and backed by our No Questions Asked 180 day double your money back guarantee.