Sir Smiley here with a few tips on proper phone etiquette
Before we get into it, answer the following question:
The last time I called a business I-
A- Got a Busy Signal
B- Telecommuted to India or Mexico
C- Was greeted by someone who HATED their job
D- Got Lost in the Phone Tree
E- Received Genuine, Caring Service
It is surprising how many times the optimal answer (E) is not selected. The more technologically advanced we get - the more we seem to move away from those personal touches that really make us want to refer and revisit businesses. In a recent USA Today article, these tips were mentioned for achieving proper phone etiquette:
• Train everyone in your office on basic phone etiquette. Have a basic script of what they should say when they answer the phone. (For example, "Good morning, PlanningShop, this is Rhonda.") And what they should say if someone isn't in. ("I'm sorry, she's not available. May I take a message?")
• Ask callers to spell their name and repeat their phone number or email address. Most people say their name and number fast, substantially increasing the chance that the message will be wrong. Here's a phrase to add to your training: "How do you spell that?" Don't worry if the answer is S-M-I-T-H.
• Get a phone system with separate voice mail boxes for employees, reducing the possibility of missed or mangled messages.
• Train everyone on how to use the phone system. Some systems are complicated, making it easy to inadvertently hang up on someone. Make sure you have enough phone lines to support the volume of calls you receive.
• Define your company tone. How friendly or familiar do you want to be? Instill in your staff that their first response should always be a can-do attitude.
Read the entire article HERE
Consider the phone as Step #1 in getting and retaining your customers! Are you friendly- can the caller 'feel' your smile over the phone? Can they tell that you are there to help and that you LIKE what you are doing? There is nothing better than getting a friendly, knowledgeable person on the line when you need help.
Those positive phone experiences lead to referrals and repeat business (always a good thing!). Sir Smiley- signing off