The Power of First Impressions & How Your Answering Service Boosts Your Image
When speaking about first impressions, business professionals often concentrate on things like wardrobe, eye contact, and a firm handshake. It appears that everyone understands the importance of a first impression, but what sometimes gets overlooked is the number of different ways a first impression can be formed. At Acena we know that if your first contact with a company is over the telephone, your first impression will be drawn based on that conversation (or lack of one), not on a face-to-face meeting. This results in many of the typical factors discussed in relation to first impressions being thrown right out the window! Learning how to make a great first impression over the telephone is an important skill for team members at every level of an organization to have.
Polite But Direct Guidelines
The “polite but direct” guideline is a great way to make customers enjoy the time they spend on the phone with you or your employees. Professionals with the best telephone skills always answer in a courteous manner, and take special care to be polite. However, they also recognize that a caller’s time is valuable. Get to the heart of the matter and find out how you can help a caller as promptly as possible in order to form the impression of an effective organization.
Listen to Everything Your Customer Says
Listening is a skill that takes time to develop, but the dividends it pays back are more than worth it. When speaking to a customer on the phone, you need to listen to everything they say, being careful not to miss important details. In addition, you need to listen to not just what a customer says, but also how they say it. Tone of voice can tell you whether a customer is upset, curious, in a hurry, or eager to do business with your company. Learning to read the tone of a phone conversation and how to respond to the customer’s mood is a great way to ensure that phone calls end with a positive customer outcome.
Ask Intelligent Questions
A mindless drone answering telephones doesn’t do anyone much good. If that’s all you want, you might as well use voicemail, because your customers will be just as happy speaking to either one (that is to say, they won’t be very happy at all!). Learning how to ask key questions, such as when a customer needs a product delivered, or if they need additional products or services is a way to save your customer time, maximize your own profits, and increase customer satisfaction.
The Dreaded Voicemail
Few things destroy a business image quicker than calling a business and and being greeted with voicemail during a time that someone needs your service. So if you own a law office or medical practice you simply must answer your calls 8a – 6p, but if you own a plumbing business or an electrical company then many of your clients will require your services after hours and on weekends. Studies have proven time and time again that missed calls are missed sales opportunities. Do your own study – try us free for one week and see for yourself what you’ve been missing.