There is a great deal of focus placed on the level of service provided to customers when they visit a store, showroom or office. However, it isn’t uncommon to call a business and receive an unprofessional greeting, the person obviously not trained in how to answer a phone call, let alone how to take a message or handle an enquiry.
Professionalism and quality customer service must be provided at each and every touchpoint with a customer, whether it’s in person or on the phone. Just as a business may have customer service standards or processes for the way in which customers are served in person, there can also be guidelines on how to maintain this quality of service on the phone.
Every phone call should be answered with a professional scripted greeting. For example, “Good morning/good afternoon, welcome to (business name), this is (your name), how may I help you?”
This greeting works three-fold. First, it makes the customer feel their call is welcome. Second, by mentioning the business name, you confirm they’ve called the right number. Third, by offering your name, it adds a personal touch showing friendliness.
By implementing and adhering to the use of a scripted greeting, it can ensure consistency and contribute to a professional image.
Taking a Message
When a caller asks to speak with a person who is unavailable, a message must be taken carefully and correctly. All relevant details including the caller’s name, phone number and reason for the call where appropriate.
It is also a good idea to note the time of call. This can aid in prompt follow up, which must always occur as a continuation of good service.
Before ending the call, confirm all details with the caller to ensure you have understood and documented them correctly.
Finishing a Call
Finish a call by asking the caller “Is there anything else I can help you with?” This not only is polite but shows concern that all of the callers’ requirements have been addressed. They also feel the business has time for them.
Another key point when answering the phone is, remember to smile! Smiling puts a friendly and positive inflection in your voice. There is nothing worse than someone sounding lacklustre or unenthusiastic on the phone. It certainly doesn’t paint a very good picture about the company or their customer service ethic.
In many cases, a customer’s call may be the very first or only contact they have with a business. A customer is going to be much less inclined to want to do business with a company if this first impression isn’t a positive one.