Making a great first impression over the phone is a challenge, no matter what the context is. Without knowing anything about the person you’re speaking to and vice versa, you must somehow come across as a charming and capable person. It’s hard enough to do that with people who know you well! How are you supposed to make an outstanding first impression over the phone?
We’ve found some helpful tips through the years as virtual receptionist and virtual assistant providers. We’ll show you how to make a great first impression over the phone with 4 tips below.
How to Make an Outstanding First Impression Over the Phone
Making a great first impression over the phone is easy when you follow these 4 tips.
Pick it up
No, this isn’t a joke. Picking up the phone when it rings is the first step in making a great first impression.
Many small business owners find themselves unable to get to every call. By not answering a call that comes through, you send the message that you’re either too busy to take on more clients or simply uninterested. Both amount to a bad first impression.
Even if you answer the phone before they hang up, you’re not necessarily making a good first impression. People want you to pick up the phone quickly, and whether or not you do is the first part of managing the impression you make.
Put a smile in your voice
Being busy non-stop as a business owner can sour the mood of even the happiest person. If you’re manning the phones at your business, chances are, you could be a little friendlier to make a better first impression.
One way we teach our virtual receptionists to do this is by smiling while on the phone. It’s not an exercise in lunacy, believe it or not. Smiling actually changes your vocal inflection and tone, making you sound friendlier and happier to callers. Friendly, happy person answering the phone? Great first impression? Check.
Be willing to dig for solutions
Now that you’ve greeted the caller in a fast and friendly manner, the way you handle the call is all that stands between you and a great first impression. One thing that turns callers off? An unwillingness to find and source creative solutions to problems.
Combat that by being willing to ‘dig’ for solutions. Show your caller how resourceful and creative you can be! By going above and beyond to find a fix, you say to them “You’re a special customer, so I’ll do extra to make sure you’re satisfied.”
Don’t let your voicemail make the impression
It’s not just how you answer the phone that matters – who answers it is important, too. Letting calls go to voicemail is a first impression killer. Sam Glover of Lawyerist.com said, “Most of my potential business clients are “shopping” for a lawyer, and the first impression matters a lot. If they get a voicemail message or me when I am not at my best, I could lose a client instead of gaining one.”
This is the reason virtual receptionist services like ours are increasing in popularity. Many industries in the small business sector would rather have a professional provider answer calls and transfer them to the right person than answer phones in a way that loses customers or misses out on opportunities.
If you’re in the market for a virtual receptionist to take your calls and help you make an outstanding first impression, click here to view our pricing plans.