Your first impression makes a big impact on just about any relationship, from first dates to job interviews, and especially customer interactions. We all know we only have one chance to make that moment count. But what happens when your first impression happens during a phone call? You only have your voice to rely on—or do you?
3 Rules for Better Business Calls
Whether your small business only takes a few calls a day or you manage an entire team at a call center, how you talk on the phone can have a direct impact on your customer surveys and online company reviews. These tips are some great add-ons for your regular soft listening skills. When you can combine all of these tactics together, you’ll be in a much better position to start every call on a productive note and then end them in a positive way.
1. Start with internal satisfaction
If you’re on the phone with a dissatisfied caller, it’s always wise to practice patience and express empathy. Of course, that’s easier said than done! That’s why personal satisfaction is such a key player in how we answer the phone. If your team is dreading the work day, then it’s going to be trickier to smile when greeting each caller. (We can definitely hear whether someone is smiling or frowning on the other end of the line!)
A little morale boost internally can go a long way for how your customers feel and report their own satisfaction. Do you need to bring in a tray of muffins once a month for breakfast? What other ways can you make the workday easier and show your team you care? A happy team often leads to happy clients.
2. Reconsider the script.
Tone is such an important factor for professional calls. The goal here it to enunciate and speak in a clear, easy manner. Being able to rehearse certain phrases is one way to feel more comfortable while talking on the phone, but it may not always sound genuine or natural to others. If your “script” voice is a little too rushed or you’re starting to miss that personal touch, it might be time to revise your options.
A little back-and-forth dialogue exercise with another member on your team might help you determine where different lines fall flat. Maybe the way you greet callers is a little stiff, or maybe you’ve heard too many other companies use the exact same word choice. Finding new, appropriate ways to answer the phone and answer questions can help your customers feel more appreciated. They won’t feel like they’re just getting another “line” if you’ve taken the time to think about your brand's unique voice. You could get some great feedback from friends and family too. What do they like about your current script? Or what suggestions do they have for improvement?
3. Check your equipment.
Another way to enhance the customer experience is to make sure your telecommunications system is modern and reliable. Making sure your directory is up-to-date with different department titles and extensions, for example, will help streamline your calls. An organized process for answering and rerouting calls will help reduce your customer wait times. You’re much more likely to get a good review when you address everyone’s needs in a timely manner.
At the same time, it might be worth checking your on-hold promotions. After all, a productive call isn’t just about what’s being said “in real time.” Every little interaction during a call matters. If you need to pause a conversation to check on details or talk with another team member, quality on-hold promotions can keep your callers engaged. Sharing current, relevant information will help educate your customers on new specials, holiday hours, or even other services you provide.
If you’re not sure how to incorporate these customer service upgrades into your current business phone system, our team at Enhanced Telecommunications can help! We work with companies and call centers of all shapes and sizes to make sure they have the solutions they need for reliable telecommunications technology. Feel free to send us a message if you want to discuss your existing setup. Let’s make sure all of your calls are a success!