Businesses can now tap on a range of communication channels to provide customer service and interact with their customers, but the telephone remains relevant. Many customers still prefer contacting companies by making phone calls.
You may have PBX telephone systems for small companies or businesses, and how you handle calls that go through them can speak a lot about the professionalism and standards of your company. Here are some tips on how to effectively manage business phone calls to win customers:
Answer the Phone Quickly
For businesses that get new customers through inquiries over the phone, there is nothing worse than not answering the phone quickly. Service agents should ideally answer calls on the third ring. If you don’t, there is a high chance your potential customers would consider other options.
Seven out of 10 callers hang up after the third ring, and they are less likely to call back. Besides causing financial loss, tardy phone answering also leaves a bad impression on how you handle customers.
Treat the Caller Professionally
How you interact with customers over the phone is a reflection of how your company generally treats people, so professionalism should be observed at all times. When you answer the phone, greet the caller courteously. Identify yourself and your company immediately.
If you need to leave the phone, ask the caller that you will put him or her on hold. Treat the caller with respect. Do not answer the phone while eating or drinking.
Use the Right Words
Be watchful of the words that you use. It isn’t a good idea to use slang words. You may also want to replace certain words in your conversation. You may want to replace the words “okay” and “no problem” with “all right” and “certainly”.
Do not say the words “I don’t know” when you talk to someone on the phone. You can instead say “I will check on that matter for you” if you do not have a definite answer for a particular question.
Be Genuinely Helpful
It is easier to win loyal customers when you genuinely care about providing the best customer care possible. You create a good impression when a customer senses that you are sincere in helping. See to it that you can address inquiries or complaints, but you also need to be realistic.
Do not give promises or commitments that cannot be handled by your company so that you can please the customer. You can lose customers when they get disappointed by your unfulfilled promises.
Take Messages Properly and Accurately
Should you need to take messages that need to be relayed to another personnel who is currently unavailable, it is crucial to check and ensure the accuracy of the details. Ask for the name of the caller, the name of their business if applicable, a phone number for the return call, and the purpose of the call.
Once all information is given, ask for the specific message. Repeat the information back to the caller to make sure everything is correct. Be sure to deliver the message to the intended recipient the soonest time possible.