You’ve invested a considerable amount of time, money, and energy on your marketing efforts in order to grow your business. If these efforts are successful, you will have lots of people calling you to inquire about your services or products. In many instances, the way these phone calls are handled will have a direct impact on whether you close the deal with potential new customers. If you are not taking this aspect of your business seriously, you are not only wasting the time and money spent on your marketing campaign, but you may cost your company a significant amount of money over the long haul.
We live in a world where consumers have more options than ever before. Why should they choose you over your competitors? While it’s important to offer your customers the best possible product or service, this alone isn’t enough to attract and keep business. If you fail to make a good first impression on the phone, you may never have the opportunity to convince these people that you are more worthy of their business than your competitors.
How You Answer the Phone Is more Important than You Think
Every time someone answers the phone at your business, it’s an opportunity to make a great first impression. The tone and mood of the person answering your phones can significantly impact whether the customer ultimately has a positive or negative experience.
When these experiences are positive, you will likely have lots of satisfied customers and repeat business. When they are negative, you run the risk of losing a customer for life.
Anytime someone calls your business, whether it’s to make a purchase or simply to ask a question, they should be treated as if they are your most valued customer – because you never know when the prospect on the other line will actually become your best customer. Even if they don’t become your best customer, you still need their business for your company to thrive. It’s important to show your customers that you truly value and appreciate their business, and this starts with the way they are treated when you answer the phone.
Elements of Proper Telephone Etiquette
There are several important elements associated with proper telephone etiquette:
- Phone calls are answered with a positive, friendly tone
- Callers are treated politely and with respect
- Callers are made to feel that their call is very important
- All calls are handled in a manner that provides efficient, focused customer service that strives to address the caller’s needs
A lack of telephone etiquette negatively impacts your company’s brand and may potentially alienate customers. However, this issue often doesn’t show up in your marketing data. In many instances, you may never realize how much business is being lost by failing to treat customers properly when answering the phone.
Evaluating Your Staff’s Phone Etiquette
Due to the important role answering the phones plays in attracting and keeping customers, it is crucial that you evaluate the performance of your staff periodically.
There are two easy ways to do this:
- Hire a “secret shopper” service to call your business and provide an analysis of your staff’s phone etiquette
- Utilize call recording to provide employees with feedback regarding their performance during phone calls
Using secret shoppers is a great way to receive unbiased feedback from a third party regarding how well your employees meet the needs of customers when answering the phone. This feedback can be used to provide additional training to your staff in order to ensure potential leads are not lost due to the way customers are treated over the phone.
Call recording is a highly effective, yet underutilized tool that can significantly improve the performance of your employees when answering the phone. Most people are not aware of how they sound to others when they speak on the phone. By recording calls, employees have the opportunity to hear themselves so that they can better understand what they are doing well and where they need to improve.
You can play recordings of calls that go very well to your employees to use as examples of best practices. You can also highlight sections of poorly handled calls to illustrate how this behavior costs the company business.
Call Recording Services from CallRail
At CallRail, we offer call recording services to all of our clients. Simply check a box when you establish your new call tracking number and we’ll make sure all of your incoming calls get recorded. If necessary, you can also create a pre-call voice announcement such as, “This call may be monitored for quality and training” in order to comply with regulations governing your industry.
You can also choose to receive email notifications which provide you with a link to the recording of each call handled by your staff.
Our call recording services allow you to analyze the performance of employees to determine the best way to ensure this important task is being carried out properly. You may want to use this information to create a written guide illustrating how calls should be answered. In situations where it is clear your employees need significant improvement of their phone skills, you may also want to consider working with a company that can provide professional training on proper phone etiquette.
Make Sure You Don’t Lose Business Due to Poor Phone Etiquette
Never underestimate the importance of proper phone etiquette to the success of your business. Make sure all of your employees understand that they are a reflection of the company every time they answer the phone, and the way in which they perform this important task can either cultivate a loyal customer for years to come or cost you an important lead that may have generated significant business over time.
By using CallRail’s call recording services, you can continuously monitor your staff’s performance on the phones to make this aspect of your business a strength that pays substantial dividends in the long run.