Telephone answering is a key part to any business, I mean, where would you be without a telephone, or more importantly, how would you have personal conversations with clients or customers? Many people choose the telephone as the first port of call when trying to contact a business because it warrants an immediate and personal response. As a result, knowing how to deal with business enquiries is incredibly important.
alldayPA have put together a telephone answering service guide, allowing your business to accommodate customer needs effectively and efficiently:
THE SCENARIO: a customer is ringing to ask more about your company
You should answer the phone call professionally and reply to the callers questions in as much detail as possible, while avoiding bombarding them with the nitty-gritty details of your company. A great business technique is to enquire where the caller has found your details, as not only does this make you sound interested in the caller, the information can be proven crucial for future marketing efforts.
DON’T sound disinterested; if you sound like you don’t care, neither will they. Never fob potential customers off by stating to “look on the website” – they have probably already done this – instead suggest to send some marketing literature through email or post. Also, never allow for your customers calls to be unanswered or unreturned.
THE SCENARIO: a customer is calling to book an appointment or buy a product
Your company should answer the phone call in a professional and personal manner. Make sure you give the caller all the information they require and fulfil their customer needs. If the caller is a first-time business enquiry, ask the caller where they found your details.
DON’T try to take the payment off the customer straight away, as they may feel reluctant to make future purchases. If you’re disorganised and would like to put the caller on hold, ask them “would it be okay if I put you on hold” beforehand. Avoid saying comments like “I think I’m free tomorrow but I’m not entirely sure” as you will sound unprofessional and ignorant.
THE SCENARIO: a customer calls to file a complaint about your company service
You must answer this type of phone call in a professional and polite manner. Welcome the caller with your name and whom you work for. Then examine what the problem seems to be and when the customer made the purchase. APOLOGISE for any wrong doings; you may not agree with the problem at hand (i.e. your product is not worth the money) but it doesn’t mean you have to disagree and be confrontational. Simply reply by saying“I’m sorry you feel like that” and offer a discount or refund.
DON’T show any frustration to your customer as they have taken the time to call you about this issue and therefore must feel strongly about it. Never put the phone down or ignore their complaint.