As a consumer, do you get frustrated by the systems your suppliers use for their call answering? Do you find it ironic having to wait on the telephone, jumping through menu hoops before reaching a human to talk about issues with your phone bill?
If your call answering service puts your callers on hold listening to Musak then it'll set low expectations about your products and services!
I think the worst thing about some call answering services is that the person on the end of the phone clearly doesn’t give a damn. They just dump you on the nearest voicemail, or walk their way through a script without a single thought for using their initiative.
"Have you ever flummoxed the person on the end of the phone because your enquiry doesn’t match their script and they have no idea how to handle your enquiry?"
So many businesses don’t think about their call answering, it’s just something that has to be done. Yet, 70% of customers will switch their supplier following a bad call experience. If you talk to people about how they feel about the way their call was answered they will often say that it was less about what was said, more about the way it was said and the tone that was used.
Even if you (the person answering the call) are not able to provide instant answers to the caller, you can still make them feel that "everything I do, I do it for you". Even if you are pretty sure you know what your boss’s reaction is going to be, you can still ease the blow in the first instance by saying that you understand their needs and you will enquire on their behalf and get someone to call them back.
It is so important - if you are manning the customer service line or are a service provider that you start the relationship right. If you get the call answering right for new customers, you can set their expectations of both future interactions with your company and of the product/service you are providing.
This can be crucial if you are delivering a high cost product/service to a high end market. They will be expecting it to be about their needs rather than yours. We've all heard the stereotypical "I don’t care! I want it on Tuesday and in the purple chrome finish!" from a caller (best imagined in a thick American accent). They don't want to fit in with the way you usually do things, they certainly don't want to spend hours jumping through your hoops.
So if you can get your call answering right, taking down some of the information to start with so that you can shorten the process for them, then make it seem like they are your number one priority, it will start the relationship right. The key then is making sure you keep that standard up for them through the process.
A lot of it is about the language that you use. Even if you don’t know the answer you can simply say "the best person to answer that question is Tom. I'm sorry, I can't see him at his desk at the moment. Could I take your number, I'll track him down and get him to find out for you then call you back?"
If everyone who answers the phone sounds as if they are willing to help you - to go out of their way to get you the answers you need - then as a customer you will feel much better than someone who says "um, I don't know, hold on," leaves you listening to Musak for five minutes before saying "gonna have to get someone call you back, what's your number?"
So if you are worried about how your call answering reflects your company then you may want to call us on 01604 529170
and we can create a call answering service that sets your customers expectations right from the off.
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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