Phone Etiquette Can Make Or Break Your Business
You may answer your phone so often over the course of a typical workday that you don’t even give much thought to how you’re conducting yourself anymore. While that’s understandable, especially if you’ve been in business for years or decades, it’s important for you to review proper phone etiquette once in a while and incorporate those recommendations into your phone calls.
In many instances, a phone call is the first contact a client or prospect has with a small business. Based on how your employees handle their calls, consumers will develop their first impressions of your business. For many consumers, their first impression will be a lasting one, which means a shopper’s first contact with your business can lead to one of two things. It can be the starting point for a long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationship between you and a prospect-turned-client, or it can be the end of a relationship that never got off the ground.
When clients are greeted professionally and warmly without having to wait in a queue, it increases the likelihood they’ll have a positive impression of your organization. If they’re greeted as if taking their call is an inconvenience, or it takes too long for their call to be acknowledged by an attendant, it decreases the chances they’ll hang up with a good impression of your business.
Following proper phone etiquette isn’t only important when it comes to making a good impression on new callers — it’s also important to keep repeat callers as your clients. It’s critical to growing your clientele as well, because only people who have a good impression of your business will send referrals your way.
SMALL-BUSINESS PHONE ETIQUETTE TIPS
Because etiquette is so important when it comes to making a good impression over the phone, you should familiarize or reacquaint yourself with some of the best practices for small-business phone etiquette. Here are some suggestions that can help you and your staff make the right impression on everyone who calls your organization:
- Answer Quickly: In general, it’s advisable to answer the phone by the time it rings three times. Ideally, your team can answer their phones between the second and third ring. While answering the phone quickly is important, you shouldn’t answer the phone immediately after the first ring. Many callers won’t expect someone to answer that fast and they’ll be taken off guard.
- Greet Callers Courteously: You need to answer the phone courteously and warmly so callers know you’re happy to hear from them, and they’re dealing with a professional who’s ready to address their needs. Your greeting should include a salutation, your name, and the name of your business.
- Smile as You Speak: Put a smile on your face before you take an incoming call. When you smile, it influences how you sound and gives your voice a friendlier tone.
- Speak Clearly: It’s critical for you to speak clearly over the phone. Avoid mumbling, speaking too quickly, and using a tone that’s too loud or too soft. To ensure callers can hear you clearly, hold the telephone approximately two finger widths from your mouth. Be sure you enunciate your words and pronounce them properly.
- Ask Permission and Say Thanks: If you have to put a caller on hold, always ask permission before you do so. When you’re back on the line, be sure you thank the person for their patience. Doing these things will show callers you respect their time.
MAKE THE RIGHT IMPRESSION WITH AN AUTO-ATTENDANT FROM ACCESSDIRECT
While it’s necessary to follow the rules of phone etiquette to make and maintain a positive impression of your business in the minds of callers, it’s also critical that you have a system in place that can provide a positive calling experience when you’re not available to pick up the phone. AccessDirect’s auto-attendant was designed for that very purpose.
We’ll record a professional greeting that will make the right impression on everyone who calls your establishment. Your auto-attendant can relay critical information that your clients simply can’t wait to get as well, such as your hours of operation or your current specials. To learn more about how an auto-attendant from AccessDirect can help your business make a lasting, professional impression on your callers, contact us today.