4 reasons your phone is suffocating your small business ...
POSTED BY JACQUI FROST ON 16/07/2015 @ 9:00AM
Tell me, who's responsible for answering the phone in your small business? If it's always you, then I guarantee your phone is suffocating your potential. And the worst part is you're probably not even aware of the far-reaching consequences this deadly habit is having on your professionalism, your profits, and your potential ...
Let me explain:
You'll miss opportunities
You're kidding yourself if you believe you can always answer your phone. You can't be responsible for your own Call Handling - because it's impossible to be in two places at once. Despite your best efforts, there will be times when you won't be able to pick up. For example:
You'll nip to the loo at just the wrong time.
You'll forget your phone was switched to silent.
You'll leave your phone charging in the other room.
You'll finally find your phone just as the caller hangs up.
And remember, a missed call could lead to a lost sale or any number of other missed opportunities.
You'll get distracted and waste time unnecessarily
Picture this scenario. You're finally on a roll and you're racing through a particularly difficult task. Your mind is focused, the work is flowing, and you're on track to meet your pressing deadline. Then the phone rings and interrupts your train of thought. Aggghhh!
But the worst part is the caller had the wrong number, and now that you've hung up and want to get back on task, you've forgotten where you are. As a result, you feel frustrated, can't get back on track and your progress is stifled as valuable time slips away.
Annoying isn't it? But this is the risk you take every day, if you insist on making Call Handling your responsibility.
You can't switch off
You may be taking a day off, but your callers don't know that. And because you don't know what potential a call holds, you're tempted to answer - even if you're not in the best environment to speak. This decision to take responsibility for Call Handling can have a number of knock-on effects:
You won't be at your best - for example, you may not have the appropriate notes, information, or paperwork to hand to handle the call professionally.
You can't escape work - and you never give yourself the downtime required to keep your mind fresh and rejuvenated.
You lose control of your schedule
It may not be appropriate for you to take a challenging call at 9am on a Monday morning. For example, you may have a pressing deadline to meet. What's more, that early time slot may be your peak working time. Do you really want to lose that time through Call Handling - especially if that call could be taken later in the day?
It doesn't pay to be a slave to your phone. As a business owner, you should dictate the times you use your phone - not be knowingly at the whim of someone else's agenda.
How to escape the "phone attachment" trap
As a business owner, you don't need to be responsible for your own Call Handling. In short, whilst you can't escape the telephone altogether, you should not be responsible for answering every call, every time the phone rings. As you have seen, the consequences of this decision are too costly.
Instead, take the decision to trust someone else to answer your phone on your behalf:
Make someone else responsible for your Call Handling.
Let someone else field the wrong numbers and the cold calls.
Don't get distracted by answering enquiries when your head is focused on something else.
Reclaim your time and only speak on the phone when it's convenient for you.
Talk to the Genies
If you want to stop answering your phone, you have two main options:
Firstly, you could recruit an in-house secretary or receptionist. This option can work well if you have premises or if you take lots of inbound calls. Even better if you have other admin tasks, which this employee could handle.
Alternatively, if you don't have a huge call volume or you don't like the idea of recruiting staff, simply outsource to a professional Call Handling Service such as The Office Genie. To discover how this option could work for you, simply give the Genies a call on 01604 529170.
Until next time ...
More about Jacqui Frost ...
THE OFFICE GENIE
I had a successful 20-year career as an office manager and personal assistant; however, my job was no longer focused on the customers and became all about the numbers. My customer-focused background began when I was 12 in my father's independent carpet showroom. I had a spell with Marks & Spencer before I moved into office-based jobs. I have worked as a training administrator, a PA and PA/office manager in a variety of industries from manufacturing to the IT education sector.
Meanwhile, my husband Ian, a successful Northampton based Master Decorator and owner of Rainbow Frost, was losing out on work due to missed phone calls. When he was busy, callers were getting his voicemail but weren't leaving messages. I knew how to fix that problem!
I quit my job and took on Ian as the first client of The Office Genie in November 2005. Word quickly spread with the second client coming on board just one week later. The majority of our clients since have come to us through word of mouth recommendations and networking referrals. Over the years, I have become well connected in Northampton and Milton Keynes.
Outside of work I enjoy swimming, roller skating, the theatre and my cats and dogs!
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