Does this sound familiar? You’re right in the thick of an important piece of work. You’re in the zone. You’re focused and you’ve got a sense that you’re on the verge of something pretty significant.
And then the phone rings…
It’s frustrating. To start with your concentration is broken. In addition, there’s the risk you’ll lose your train of thought and never recover. You quickly jot down some notes to jog your memory and just as you pick up the phone, the ring goes silent – you’re too late.
It’s a double whammy.
Not only have you been taken out of the zone, but also because the number was withheld, you have no idea who the caller was. And then your mind goes into overdrive about what you may have missed.
It’s not a good place to be.
You’ve got to be quick…
The fact is, if you want to speak with the caller you need to answer your phone within three rings. If you don’t, the chances are that 7 out of 10 callers will not only hang up, but also they won’t call back.
Most answerphones kick in after about 15 seconds – that’s about five rings. And because a lot of people don’t like to leave a message, they’ll hang up before then. Also tardy phone answering can leave a bad impression on your customers. If you take too long it can leave people feeling unimpressed and not loved. Not a good start to a potential working relationship!
It’s a dilemma
So how do you ensure your phone gets answered within three rings whilst maintaining a set-up that allows you to work effectively? And how do you manage those times when you want to take a break, are in a meeting or immersed in a high-value activity that requires protected time?
It’s not always easy, especially when you consider these two factors.
Firstly you won’t know the nature of the enquiry until you pick up the phone. For sure there will be some calls you absolutely don’t want to miss – especially if it’s an important lead or a query from one of your VIP customers. But alongside that you’ll inevitably receive a number of “nuisance” calls. And let’s be honest, who wants to take an unsolicited sales call for a product / service you really don’t need?
And secondly, if you’re the face of your business is highly likely you’ll want to be available to talk with customers. After all, it’s those 121 chats that help you convert prospects into customers (which is good for business).
But the hard truth is it’s impractical and inefficient for you to be available to answer your phone all the time, which means you need a different approach.
Smart tactics to manage your phone
A growing number of business owners are taking control of their incoming calls by outsourcing to a call answering service. Here are some reasons why this is a smart tactic:
- You can create protected time: Simply divert calls to your call answering service when you don’t want to be disturbed and relax knowing they’ll be professionally answered in your absence.
- Screen your calls: Ensure you only speak with the people you want to and use a call answering service to filter out the unwanted sales calls from the genuine enquiries.
- Take a break: Ensure you’re not tied to your phone. Instead allow your call answering service to answer your phone when you’re not available
- Never miss a call again: Lose the stress you feel when a caller hangs up before you reach your phone. This won’t happen if a call answering service is in charge.
How will you pass the three-ring benchmark?
If you want to avoid stress and ensure your business telephone is answered promptly and professionally, consider what a virtual receptionist service could do for your business