Why Answering The Phone Negatively Impacts Your Business
Put your hands-free up in the air ...
Over the past few months, there has been a debate about whether or not hands-free kits in cars should be made illegal. While there are strong arguments on both sides of the dispute, there's no denying that talking on the phone is distracting ...
Messing about with buttons certainly does cause you some major distraction, meaning your full attention is not focused on the road and what's going on around you.
You'll have heard me rant about multitasking before because we know that no one is ever at his or her most productive when trying to do two things at once. When you are on the road, that's a pretty big risk to take and if you're on a business call, that's a pretty significant risk for your business too!
There's nothing more frustrating than ringing someone, getting through, but then being unable to hear them clearly. It often makes you want to cut the call short, or even just hang up - and that's a position you never want your customers to be in as it definitely doesn't give off the right impression for your business. Remember ...
"You never get a second chance to make a first impression!"
There are very few situations where I would say that it's better not to answer the phone, but answering the phone while driving is definitely one of them. If you want your business to appear professional then talking to a prospect at 70mph on the motorway isn't the best idea.
I understand that many business owners work on the road and, therefore, feel that answering calls while driving is the only way to keep their business afloat, particularly sole traders.
Copyright: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
But it isn't - there's now a whole host of options you can choose from to ensure that your business runs smoothly without you being available to take calls every minute of the day and some are certainly better than others.
Nowadays, there are many call handling companies that are trained to professionally answer the phone in a friendly and approachable manner. Call handling companies can vary from offering very basic message taking to dealing with the entire enquiry for you so that you don't even have to call them back - much more effective than a voicemail I'm sure you'll agree!
Here at The Office Genie, we like to deal with the enquiry wherever we can. We get to know our clients' businesses and act as an extension of their team so the caller has no idea they are not speaking directly to them.
We answer FAQ's, book appointments and even do outbound appointment confirmations to save you the time of calling them back!
Using a call handling service like ours reduces the chance of you losing business. It really is as simple as that. The first conversation a prospect has with a business is where the relationship starts and if the first thing they hear is "Thank you for calling, I'm afraid we are unable to take your call at the moment, so please leave a message after the tone" then it'll probably be where the relationship ends too.
Not answering a call from a prospective customer just makes you seem too busy or too lazy to answer their call and nobody wants that to be the case. So use a call handling service that is truly 'hands-free' (and it's legal too). My Genies would love to help you.
Until next time ...
If you'd like more information about our call handling service, give Genie Danielle a call on 01604 529170 and I promise we'll answer!
Hands-free kits are already banned in many countries including Ireland and France, so if you do rely on answering your phone whilst driving, now might be a good time to look at your contingency plan.
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!