One of the main reasons for signing up with a live answering service is to make sure all your business calls are answered in a timely and professional manner. It is better when live people answer calls compared to callers being sent to automated voicemail systems.
Ideally, you want customers to have a pleasant experience when they call your business. But why not do better? Why not make sure they have a memorable experience as well? Of course, customers should remember the experience in a good way.
We have experienced bad business calls. We’ve all dealt with discourteous representatives, call center personnel without sufficient knowledge, and even being left on hold long enough to be disconnected. That is no way to make business calls memorable in a good way. Here’s how you can do better by your customers:
1. Answer Calls Quickly
It is common sense that customers don’t like to be put on hold. Likewise, they do not like to sit on the line while it rings incessantly. A memorable call experience starts with a quick answer. How quick? The general rule of thumb for live answering services dictates answering in three rings or fewer. Letting a call go four or five rings greatly increases the chances that the customer will hang up.
2. Keep the Noise Down
Background noise is a big problem for call centers. It can prevent operators from clearly hearing the customers on the other end. It can interfere with the customer’s ability to understand what the operator is saying. A noisy call center is bad news all the way around.
Not only that, but excessive background noise can also give customers the wrong idea about your business. It can give them the impression that chaos and disorganization reign among your staff. That is not an impression likely to boost your company’s reputation.
3. Smile When You Speak
Sales reps are trained to smile when speaking face-to-face with customers. Smiling evokes a positive response. It also encourages the speaker to be more articulate. Smiling even affects vocal tone and enunciation.
It turns out that smiling while you are on the phone accomplishes many of the same things. If you make a point of smiling while you’re talking to customers, you will also be more well-spoken. Your tone will be more pleasant, and you will be easier to understand.
4. Always Give Your Name
Names are a big deal when communicating with strangers. Providing your name to a customer creates a more personal connection. The customer on the other end of the line can now think of you as a person rather than just a paid employee. So, always give your name. If possible, ask the customer’s name as well. Just don’t push it if the customer ignores or refuses your request.
5. Always End with an Appropriate Closing
Finally, make sure to end every business call with an appropriate closing. A simple ‘goodbye’ will suffice in most cases. But you might also try something like ‘enjoy the rest of your day’ or ‘thank you for calling’. A proper closing acknowledges that the call has concluded and that you and the customer are still on good terms.
A lot of business calls are memorable in a bad way. We trust that you want yours to be memorable in a good way. Hopefully, the five suggestions offered in this post will help you and your team improve the quality of your phone communications with customers. If you contract with a live answering service, these five things should already be incorporated into the way they do business.