Answering the phone is easy enough, but many don’t realize that certain behaviors, phrases, and actions on the phone can annoy customers or even upset them. There are many commonly held misconceptions about answering the phone, and unless you’ve taken a special call-answering training course, you may be unaware of the misconceptions you currently hold.
For example, did you know that most customers prefer that you use a short, quick greeting instead of a detailed one? While it might seem natural to include as much information as possible in your phone greeting, it ends up taking up the customers’ time and can become frustrating.
Read about the 4 common misconceptions about answering the phone below. It will help you improve your phone interactions with customers!
4 Common Misconceptions About Answering the Phone
1. I have to answer on the first ring.
Yes, customers want you to pick up the phone quickly, but answering on the first ring can be a little startling for the person on the other end. They’ve just picked up the phone and dialed the number, so hearing a voice greeting them right away can be off-putting. Wait for the second or third ring before picking up to avoid this problem.
2. I need to be available by phone 24/7.
Whoa – who came up with this one? The phone is a great channel to reach a business through, but making yourself available by phone 24/7 is only going to cause you stress. Instead, have an answering service handle your calls during the business day and for a few hours afterward each day. You’ll catch the calls that come in an hour or so after you close without paying for an answering service to wait for calls all night long.
3. I should include as much info as possible in the greeting.
This is a particularly risky misconception. Customers don’t have much time to waste when they call your business, and if you waste a full minute saying your memorized phone greeting, you’ve started the interaction off on the wrong foot. There’s no need to say what time of day it is or add any additional information. Just the essentials – the company name, your name, an offer to assist – will do.
4. I’ll let voicemail get this one.
Voicemail is a problematic thing for small companies because it acts as a catch-all for missed calls which often fall through the cracks and don’t get returned. The bad news is, those missed calls could be from interested prospects or current clients that need assistance. Letting calls go to voicemail should be a last resort. Have an answering service answer your calls, take messages, and directly pass them on to you to ensure you don’t miss any important information.