Small businesses already have an uphill battle when trying to compare with the competition of larger corporations. There are many cards stacked against a small business that make the chance of failure even higher. Phone etiquette is vital for all businesses, but especially a smaller one.
You cannot afford to lose any customers, and every caller is a potential lifelong customer. Proper business phone etiquette will ensure you keep as many customers as possible and turn every new caller into a lifelong customer. Here are some of things to consider for better business phone etiquette:
The First Impression
Your first impression will last for quite some time. Creating the right impression over the phone doesn’t have to be difficult. Since the person answering the phone is the first contact with any new or repeat caller, it’s important to use a highly trained person. You don’t want just anybody answering your business phone.
The person answering your phone should be prepared for the caller and should never make him or her wait longer than 2 rings. Most will tell you to answer the phone within 3 rings, but in the instant world we live in, your chances of impressing a caller more than double when you answer the phone within 2 rings.
A standard greeting should be provided while the person answering the phone is smiling. If they are physically happy, they will portray this in their voice, which will help put the caller at ease.
Providing Great Customer Service
You might nail the first impression, but blow it later in the call if you don’t understand how to provide great customer service. Basic customer service isn’t enough, as this can be provided by a machine. Instead, you must go above and beyond if you are to have excellent business phone etiquette.
When a caller has an issue, show empathy and help them find a solution. This can turn a client’s bad day into a great day because you have helped solve one of their issues. Anytime you can come up with a solution the caller agrees with, you are providing great customer service.
Throughout the process, you must remain calm and assure the caller you are with them until it’s handled. If they get the sense that you want to end the call quickly, they won’t feel important.
Tone and Listening
Your tone will set the tone for the call. If you start to get frustrated and it shows through your tone, the caller will start to get frustrated.
Along with keeping a positive, happy tone, you must make sure you are listening to the caller. This will ensure you gather accurate information and it will make the caller feel important.
Business phone etiquette can make or break a small business. It starts with the first impression and lasts through the entire call. If you want to ensure a professional customer service representative is always answering your phone and ready to make every caller feel important, hire a virtual receptionist service. This is the best way to guarantee great customer service over the phone without ever missing a single call.