The initial phone call with a customer is an important opportunity to set the tone for all future interactions. It is your chance to establish a reputation of professionalism and make the customer more confident in your ability to address their needs. With so much on riding on your company’s phone interactions, it is crucial that you have great employees answering your business phones.
It should be expected that employees will communicate coherently and professionally with customers every time they answer the phone. This involves being courteous, speaking with confidence, and engaging the customer in a manner that shows interest in their needs. Failure to do so can cost your company a significant amount of business.
This holds true when speaking to existing customers as well. If they are calling your business, they are in need of your assistance or expertise. By having skilled, experienced, and professional employees who understand your company’s services and can think well under pressure (sometimes they will be talking to angry customers), you are more likely to address the issue to the customer’s satisfaction on the first try. And this will help improve customer loyalty.
Tips for Training Employees on Good Business Phone Etiquette
Hiring great employees to answer your business phones is important, but you also need to give these employees the tools they need to be successful. You need to train them to ensure they understand the expectations for phone interactions and feel comfortable handling a wide range of situations.
The following tips will help you establish a strong training protocol for developing good business phone etiquette among your employees:
- Use insight – Think about the elements you find important in phone interactions with customers, as well as what you find problematic. Write them down on a list. This will help you focus your training in order to establish the proper expectations for how phone interactions should go.
- Address the beginning of the call – The way you greet a customer can significantly impact the rest of the interaction. Make sure there are clearly established expectations for how customers are to be greeted when they call.
- Consider tone of voice – The tone used on a phone call is very important. Employees must be able to sound sincere and assure the customer they are genuinely interested in helping them throughout the interaction.
- Evaluate appropriate call lengths – While the length of each call will vary based on the specifics of the situation, you should be able to determine the appropriate overall length that most calls should strive for. This will provide your employees with guidelines to follow, helping ensure more consistent standards.
- Make sure employees know what they are talking about – It is important to provide employees answering phones with all necessary product or technical knowledge. This will ensure they have the skills and ability to address the needs of customers calling for assistance.