“How can my business improve our image over the phone? We have spent a fortune on advertising and marketing to attract customers, only to have our staff answer the phone with lack lustre and a dismissive manner.”
Let’s face it, many first time enquiries are initiated over the phone and there is a lot of truth in the famous phrase – if you don’t satisfy your customers, they will find someone who can – sadly, that will be your competitor.
You need to become the logical choice for those potential customers who are phoning around, looking for a business to buy from. They are looking for someone who connects with them and who they feel they can trust.
Here are some strategies you can put into place to improve your organisation’s phone image and become the logical choice for all your phone enquirers.
1. Smile when answering – the caller can hear your smile over the phone. Great phone manner is rare, so they will be more attracted to dealing with your business instead of the others they have called that day. Your staff will encounter less difficult callers as any dissatisfaction the caller may have been feeling will diffuse as soon as they hear a smiling, friendly voice answering their call.
2. Prepare responses for commonly asked questions and stressful situations – In many cases, when serious issues arise with phone manner, it is because the employee had been caught off guard and was unsure what to say. Preparation by anticipating how you would handle likely situations can improve confidence, consistency and create a much more professional image. Your staff will feel happier on the phone because they have a set of tools to use and they’ll convert more calls into satisfied customers. This works really well not only for Reception, but for a team situation such as an IT help desk, service, sales or accounts departments.
3. Continually monitor the performance of the people who converse with your customers over the phone – Good customer service is measured by the customer’s perception at the receiving end. Do you know what your customers’ perception is? Make regular mystery calls into your business to monitor and measure their performance. Keep your staff accountable so they recognise the importance of their role in creating the first impression for your business.