Today, when calling a business, it is far more common to reach a recorded message than an actual person. We have all been frustrated by those recorded messages asking us to push ‘1’ for this and ‘2’ for that, only to reach another recording asking that we leave a message. Then we sit around hoping that someone will actually call back.
It is such a treat to reach an actual person when you need a question answered. Add to that a pleasant voice and you are almost home. If that person can actually answer your question you have found paradise!
While this portrayal may be a bit over the top it certainly exemplifies the satisfaction that we can provide our clients-or prospective clients-by simply answering the phone. This is the first impression that people will get of your business-ensure that it is a positive one by following these basic steps:
- Ensure that your voice is warm and friendly- remember that you are welcoming someone into your world.
- Be clear- identify your company and yourself so that the caller is not wondering if they have reached the correct number.
- Be helpful- if you cannot answer a question yourself, direct the caller to the most qualified person on your team to help them.
- Take a complete and accurate message- do not be afraid to ask for clarification, spellings of names and of course the best phone number to call back.
There are, of course times when you will not be able to answer the phone- after hours, weekends, holidays. It is important to have an answering service for these occasions- with a recorded message that is professional and follows the steps above. Finish the message with an assurance that their call will be returned.
Answering the telephone may seem like a simple thing- but it can also play a significant part in building a business relationship.