Have you ever really had to psych yourself to make a phone call?
Like when you need to phone the bank, and you know you’ll be on hold for (what feels like) half your life, before going through an automated service that never seems to go right, until you finally end up speaking to someone who doesn’t seem entirely qualified to help…
You don’t want your clients, or people who want to become your clients, to feel that sense of dread when they pick up the phone. You want them to feel confident that they are dealing with the BEST, confident that they are going to walk away from the conversation with every question answered, confident that they can trust you to take care of them
If there’s one thing you can do today, to make people feel that good about interacting with your business it’s this: audit your phone answering system.
Your instant response to this might be “we don’t have any problems with our phone system”, but even if that’s true, there are always ways that you can improve your customer service. And when that customer service can lead to increased client satisfaction and much more repeat business, why not give it a go?
The simplest way to audit the way your calls are being handled is to ask yourself the following questions:
How quickly are calls being picked up?
You don’t want potential clients to be listening to a dial tone for too long, nor do you want your staff interrupted by phones that never stop ringing… but that can often happen if you don’t have sufficient phone cover.
What greeting is your team using?
Ideally, you want to offer a consistently good first impression to all new callers, which means having a standardised greeting that everyone uses whenever they pick up the phone.
What tone are people using while on calls?
A positive and friendly tone is a must when dealing with incoming calls… no matter how irate the caller. You never want a member of staff to make a caller feel inconvenient by rushing them off the phone.
How knowledgeable are your team when it comes to:
- Internal systems and workflows (including client onboarding, taking bookings, taking orders, handling complaints…)
- Staff whereabouts
- Current projects
- The company hierarchy (including roles and responsibilities)
Your clients and prospects will have so much more faith in your company if the person on the other end of the phone always has the answers… or at least takes the time to get their answers. And nothing will shake their faith in you quite like an “I don’t know”.
What next steps are being offered to your callers?
In other words, are you proactively offering a solution or are you asking them to call back later or leave a voicemail?
Realistically, you will not always be able to transfer every caller to the person they want to speak to, BUT you can still leave them feeling satisfied. You can offer them a call back. You can be honest, and explain that the person they’re trying to reach is out of the office. You can assure them that you will look into their query yourself. People want to feel acknowledged, so make sure that’s happening on every single call.
Once you’ve looked at each element of your company call handling, it’s time to decide what you want to do next. Do you want to set aside some time to retrain your technical staff? Do you want to remove phone cover from their responsibility altogether?
If it’s the latter, a phone answering service might be just the thing you’re looking for. Companies such as Verbatim, who answer calls professionally, can tick each and every one of those boxes for you.
Our response times are minimal, consistently.
We greet your callers in an open and friendly manner – and we stay open and friendly throughout the call.
We study the ins and outs of your business, and train each of your virtual receptionists proficiently.
We aim to delight our clients and yours, every step of the way.
To find out more about partnering with Verbatim (and kickstarting your customer service), click here.