List Categories | List All Articles | List Articles By Title
Secrets Revealed To Having The Most Professional Staff On The Telephone!
Do you have all the customers your business can use?
The seemingly simple task of taking phone calls is a hidden liability for not just some, but most businesses. You've invested precious dollars in advertising and marketing. You've invested time in developing customer relationships. What happens when customers call your business? Many of us would be shocked to find out the truth.
When customers call your business, how are they treated on the phone?
If your business is like most in this country you may have seen to it that your receptionist received some basic training on how your phones should be answered and how calls should be processed. But what about the rest of your staff?
Today in business you know it costs far more to get a new customer than it does to keep an existing customer.
Have you ever called a business only to be treated improperly by whoever answered the company's telephone? Most of us have had that experience when calling a business and the person answering the telephone just had bad manners.
"Hi XYZ Company" (No Name - Who answered?)
Recently my son went into the service and after not hearing from him for several weeks I placed a call to the recruit training command where he was stationed to ease my concern about his well being. Here's a recap of my call:
"Hello Perrttieoficorshweble." "Pardon me. Who am I speaking with?" I asked
Since I was concerned about my son's well being I wanted to be sure I got the name of who ever I was talking with so I asked again.
"I'm sorry I still didn't catch your name who am I speaking with?"
"This is Perrttieoficorshweble"
Three times I tried to get Petty Officer Schweeble to slow down and enunciate his name. I finally did get it.
Have you ever called a company only to have someone who had NO business answering the phone, doing so? Is that person at your business?
Another time, a client had asked me to call a subcontractor to coordinate a job our company was doing for them. When I called the phone was answered clearly.
"Hello A&A Powerline Contractors."
"Hello. This is James Bower with ABC Telecom; Mrs. Headrick from the school district asked me call and coordinate your trenching job with your new equipment installation."
"Oh! Just a minute let me see if the guy you need to speak with is here."
Immediately I was cast into silence. Was I put on hold or did I get cut off? I couldn't tell, so in the hopes that I was on hold, I HELD. And I waited. A moment later the gentleman came back on the line. Thank goodness.
"I'm sorry the guy you need to speak with isn't here. You can call him at 555-1234."
"Thank you. And who should I speak with when I call that number?" (You see he hadn't told me who I was calling for.)
"Oh! His name is Tim."
After trying to reach Tim at the number I was given and getting no answer I called back to the first guy. When he answered the phone he explained he couldn't help me, as he was only the janitor. I asked if he could take a message for Tim. He assured me he could. What I should have asked was could he take a message for Tim and see that he would get it. Because two days later I received a panicked call from Tim and Mrs. Headrick, as Tim had no idea what he was supposed to do at the job site. He had never gotten the detailed message I left for him with the janitor.
Although the first gentleman on the phone was pleasant and friendly, he actually wasn't much help and shouldn't have been answering the phones without being trained properly. If I had been calling to see if A&A Powerline could do a job for me, do you think they would be getting my business?
"So how can a business protect their most valuable asset; their customers?"
When it comes to why businesses lose customers, the perception of a staff that doesn't care ranks as the leading factor is reflected in a study by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Nearly 70 percent of those polled in the SBA study said that the perception of a non-caring staff led them to leave and buy from other businesses. This was by far the strongest response of six factors.
14 percent said product dissatisfaction ranked second. Price ranked third, with 9 percent of customers stating that as the reason they changed businesses. A friend or family member's recommendation ranked fourth, ahead of moving away, and death. The SBA's study reinforces that the way we treat our customers is a major contributor to keeping customers from leaving and taking their business to your competitors.
68% leave because of an attitude of indifference toward the customer by the business
14% are dissatisfied with the product
9% leave for competitive reasons
5% develop other friendships
3% move away
Consider the fact that the typical business only hears from about 4% of its dissatisfied customers. The other 96 percent quietly go away, and 91 percent of those will never come back.... Ever!
Did you know the average dissatisfied customer tells 8-10 others about lousy service. Twenty percent of these dissatisfied customers will tell twenty others. For the average business, it takes six times more $$$$$$ to attract new customers than it does to keep old ones. So doesn't it make sense to do everything you can to keep the customers you have?
On an average day do you know what percentage of your customers receive service over the telephone? It's not unusual to have more than 80% of customer contact over the telephone.
Take this simple test:
Do you conduct regular on going telephone training for all your staff?
Have others besides the receptionist been trained on the proper use of the phone?
Do you know where the weak links on the telephone are within your company?
Do your customers who have been handled improperly on the phones call to let you know about it?
Do you regularly call into your office to see how the phones are handled?
If you answered NO to two or more of these questions you might have a telephone etiquette problem.
How do you get these problem areas fixed?
A few simple steps will assist in fixing your staff.
Answering the Telephone has three basic parts.
1. Identify the company that has been reached. "ABC Welding..."
2. Identify the person answering the call. "This is James..."
3. Let the caller know you are there for them "How may I help you?"
I don't think you should ask "How may I Direct your call." If the person calling is looking for information; your mailing address, your fax number they now have to stop and correct you. "You can't direct my call I need your fax number."
Another key point is to have all the things you might need when answering a call. Have you ever called somewhere and the party you called for wasn't available so you were asked "Can I take a message for them?" Then as you start to leave your message the other person says " Oh, just a minute let me get a pen." or Hey! My pen just ran out of ink." Why isn't the person prepared?
Always have 2 pens and a note pad ready incase you need to take a message or notes about a call you're on. The second pen is for "Hey my pen ran out of ink." You shouldn't tell the caller that, just change pens and keep going.
Once you've taken the message repeat what you've written down to be sure you have it correct. Then assure the caller you'll get the message to the party they called for.
These are some simple tips on how to make your firm appear more professional on the telephone. The only impression a caller gets of your firm is what they hear come through the receiver.
A poorly answered telephone isn't much better than a phone that isn't answered at all.
© Bower Income and Profit Systems MMV All Rights Reserved.
James A. Bower is the Co-Founder and President of Bower Income and Profit Systems a company dedicated to enhancing business performance in many areas through tapes books and seminars. His presentations include sales, marketing, telephone skills, motivation, goal setting and achievement, telephone equipment and voice mail design and business organization for efficiency. He is an internationally recognized instructor and is the recipient of many awards in recognition of his successful efforts in assisting businesses create a more efficient environment resulting in maximum profits. He has had the opportunity to speak for groups as a large as 5000 and can get his points across to any size audience.
James has been actively addressing business issues and solving business problems for over 30 years. He is available to make presentations to company staff or for individual consultation.
Contact James at 316-773-1994 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Contract Cleaners - A Guide for Business Part 2
In the first part of this article I put forward 7 questions that I believed were important to ask of your potential cleaning company. In this article I will explain the relevance of the first two questions and the answers you get to you as a business.
3.5 Million People And A Possible UK Home Business Opportunity
Has this ever happened to you..
Local Government Relations for Small Business
Most small businesses simply go about their daily business and serving customers without ever worrying about local government relations. For some it turns out okay but for others it can become a disaster.
Boston Market; Mobile Auto Detailing
Boston itself covers 50 square miles of concrete and traffic, well city limits actually exactly 46 square miles, the entire metro area can be and is often over stated at 1100 square miles, but more realistically about 380 in our humble opinion. And you know some of that is water.
Aircraft Washing Business Tip - Interior Private Jet Cleaning
Aircraft Interiors of personal and corporate jets have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested. We have had an opportunity to speak at length in Tucson, AZ recently about the special custom interiors the weight they cost in performance and the needs in cleaning.
Are You Running Your Business or Is Your Business Running You?
Being a small or home-based business owner can be loads of fun and very rewarding.You may have decided to go into business because of your need for personal freedom or to fully unleash your creative genius.
The Role of the Business Model and Strategy for Business
People will always stress that having a well researched business plan is key before you start your business. Although creating a business plan is often an important step in the evolution of a business, particularly if you need financing or you are not experienced at running a business, it is not necessarily the essential first step.
Mobile Detailing Expansion Considerations
Expanding your business requires you to take a good hard look at your business (checking under the hood). You need to ask yourself.
6 Ways Small Businesses Can Survive In A Crazy Economy
Contrary to popular belief, small businesses can survive a crazy economy by taking some proactive steps. Provide spectacular customer service -- every time.
Franchises: How to Find the Best Franchise Opportunity for You
If you are looking for a franchise opportunity, the choice is mind boggling. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of different types of franchise available for you to invest in, with the same variety in cost.
Promote Yourself More Successfully
One of the great challenges for independent professionals and small businesses, especially when starting out, is generating visibility to ultimately lead to generating sales.One of the specific challenges, I have found, is knowing what to say about yourself and your operations and services when asked "so what do you do?"? Have you ever stumbled over your words when asked what you do?? Have you ever received the response, "Oh, I see", followed by silence?? Do you ever feel as though you do not know what to say about yourself?I am reminded of the 'elevator speech theory' (I do not know to whom to attribute its invention), which simply poses "if you were in a lift that opens on the tenth floor and in walks Bill Gates who asks what you do - what would you say, and you have only until the elevator gets to the bottom?"I have personally struggled with this at times, and equally have found that when I get it right, results flow - which initially could be as simple yet important of getting more time to converse with the person asking the question of you.
How to Profit Handsomely From a Secret Business Model Virtually No Small Business is Using!
Have you been searching for the perfect home-based business? I have spent nearly twenty-five years searching for the holy-grail of home-based businesses. Now this article is not about a business, but rather a system that Fortune 500 companies always use but it's rarely used by home-based businesses, affiliate or network marketing companies.
Who Makes the BEST Business Partner
How do you find the best business partners?Finding a good business partner (outside partner, such as an alliance) requires an amount of due diligence. This simply means you will need to look at all aspects of the other person's business and sometimes a bit of their personal life.
Mobile Carwash; Senior Citizens and Mobile Homes
Senior citizens are generally not a large marketing segment for mobile detailers or car washers, however, they should not be ignored. You will find in a near by area a seniors-only mobile home park.
Mission Statements: More Important Than You Thought
If an organization lacks a mission statement, it is worthwhile to at least try to draft one. Even if it does not yield an acceptable final draft, the exercise will be rewarding for the hard work which must go into figuring out the company's direction and putative purpose.
The Misconceptions of the Value Of Disclosures in Franchising
Disclosure laws in franchising are suppose to help the consumer. They don't.
Small Home Business: Ad Copy Secrets
So it's time to invest some finances into advertising your business and you are considering producing a flyer to advertise your business. Rather than sweat all night on writing the perfect flyer, first take some time to consider what the experts have found to be effective.
How to Protect Yourself & Your Business
As a business owner, you already know how important it is for your customers to feel safe about doing business with you. After all, if a customer even suspects he may not receive everything he was promised, then chances are he's taking his business elsewhere.
Self-Employment: Managing Your Money: Tips for Living with a Fluctuating Cash Flow (Part One)
The way you manage your money is one of the first things you'll change when you move from employment to self-employment.You are moving from an environment where you received income in equal amounts at set intervals to one where your income fluctuates.
Outsourcing and Virtual Assistants: Small Business Saviors
Work smarter, not harderWhat is one of the best ways to work smarter without working harder? The answer is outsourcing. Whether you need occasional or ongoing assistance, outsourcing can save you money and time.
home | site map
All articles are copyright to their owners.
Note: this website lists articles, We do not Write Articles !