Even in these days of social media and live chats, phone calls are still most business’s primary point of contact with customers. The way a phone is answered will form the customer’s first impression of your business and can affect your company’s overall success. It’s therefore important to get it right the first time. Here are 10 tips for making your phone answering better.
- Answer calls before the third ring
The average call ring is 6 seconds. If the phone rings 4 times, that’s a total of 24 seconds. Picking up quickly can also catch the caller off guard. In general, it’s good to answer the call on the third ring.
- Be warm and welcoming
When responding to a phone call, be warm, passionate, and professional. Your voice can transmit emotions and is sometimes the only impression of your company that a caller will get. Create a positive impression with a warm and helping attitude.
- Introduce yourself and your business
Welcome the caller politely and be sure to introduce yourself and your company immediately. Don’t give the caller a plain “Hello,” and push them to ask if they’re calling the “X” business. Identifying yourself and the company lets your callers know they’ve reached the correct place.
- Speak Clearly
To communicate clearly with the callers, there are a few elements you must follow: enunciate clearly, use good posture, keep your voice moderate, slow down and speak up so the person on the other end of the line can understand you easily.
- Control Your Language
Avoid using slang or buzzwords. And if you regularly use fillers words when speaking like “um”, “uh-huh”, or “you know”, train yourself to not use them over a business call. It’s also important to avoid using industry jargon to make sure you and the caller are on the same page.
- Be ready for calls
While it’s normal for individuals attending to the phone to find themselves occupied with other things, it is good practice to set everything aside and focus on the person at the other end of the line.
- Ask before placing callers on hold
If you have to put a caller on hold, always ask them if it’s alright. While on hold, provide them with progress reports every 30 to 40 seconds. Don’t leave them on hold for too long and offer to call back if the line you’re trying to transfer the call to is busy or you can’t find the document you’re looking for.
- Don’t just put calls through
Before transferring a call, prepare the caller of what they should expect next. Check to see if the person you’re sending them to is available. Avoid sending them straight without checking as this could confuse both the caller and the person receiving the patched call.
- Take messages appropriately
If you have to take a message, ensure that you capture the caller’s pertinent information such as their name, the best return phone number, and reason for the call.
- Summarize the call before it ends
Listening is a focal component of excellent communication. When you can accurately recap what a call was all about, it demonstrates to your callers that you were listening as they spoke. It’s also an opportunity to get things right if you missed something.
If you don’t have the time to handle calls professionally or maybe you just need more support, a virtual receptionist can help. The Best Call Center provides 24/7 answering services to businesses of all sizes. We can handle the calls on your behalf and ensure that your callers always talk to a friendly and professional speaker. Call us at 800-385-4656 to learn more about our services.