30 June 2014

10 Phone Answering Techniques That Will Impress Your Customers

In today’s current economy, giving your business that all important ‘wow’ factor reigns supreme. The competition out there is tough – and impressing both new and existing customers is of utmost importance regardless of your niche. As we are experts at answering the phone for businesses of all kinds, we’ve compiled a list of 10 phone answering techniques that are sure to impress your customers – and generate more sales for your bottom line.

1. Create Systems For Answering Your Company’s Phone
You can create systems for answering your company’s phone that will impress your customers right off the bat. When you approach your incoming calls in an organized, well-crafted manner, you create an impression that your business is both organized and well-crafted.

2. Your Tone Sets The Tone
Pay close attention to the tone of your voice – because customers pick up on it without visual cues that normally accompany social interactions. A good rule of thumb is to pick up the phone with an actual physical smile – studies show that your customers will be able to hear the difference!

3. Minimize Background Noises
Too much background noise can really make things chaotic for your customers. A clean, clear sound on your end creates the impression of a clean, focused company – exactly what any business needs and wants to convey to their customers.

4. Outlaw Food and Beverages During Calls
Unfortunately, your customers can absolutely hear it if you are drinking, eating, chewing gum or doing anything else other than clearly listening to their reason for calling. Make a rule – and enforce it well: no chewing gum, eating or drinking during customer calls.

5. Fast Service Matters
Don’t leave your customers in limbo as they wait for someone to pick up your company’s phone. A good idea is to say that your phone must be answered within two or three rings at most – otherwise you could lose a customer and a sale.

6. Always Communicate Clearly
Sometimes, things come up and you need to put a caller on hold. When putting a customer on hold is necessary, be sure to communicate what you are doing, give a time estimate and ask for permission.

7. Write a Script
Yes, really! Write a professional script that everyone in your business must adhere to say when answering the phone. A simple example could be, ‘It’s a beautiful day here in Halifax at A&W Plumbing. This is Tim, how may I help you?’ Scripts like this may feel awkward at first for your employees to absorb, but having a cohesive approach to answering your phone is proven to make a real difference – all the major companies do it.

8. Avoid Sarcasm and Jokes
Without visual clues, sarcasm can be mistaken as rudeness. It’s a good idea to avoid any sarcasm or rudeness as a way to avoid any misinterpretations.

9. Find Out Your Caller’s Name (and use it)
Guess what? We humans love the sound of our own name – it’s a scientifically studied fact. A great way to bring the wow factor to your phone answering approach is to quickly find out your caller’s name – and then to use it right away.

10. Consider Your Caller’s Mood
What kind of business are you in? As industry professionals, we know that the reasons why a customer might be calling your business vary drastically. If you’re a plumber, for example, you may have customers calling you in serious distress. It’s important to keep in mind your caller’s mood – and be as excited, reassuring, sympathetic or empathetic as necessary.