If a potential client calls your business and has a bad experience over the phone, what’s the chance that they’ll wind up becoming a customer who actually pays for your services? You guessed it—almost zero! The importance of creating a positive experience over the phone cannot be overstated. Here are a few ways to make absolutely sure that your front desk staff is cultivating a great experience every time they pick up the phone:
Those first few words a caller hears are some of the most important of the entire conversation. Have your front desk staff get out of the habit of answering the phone with a phrase like “Hi, how can I help you?” This is over-used and generic, and it’s not much of a greeting at all! Instead, try something like:
"Hello, you’ve reached Smith and Sons. This is David speaking, what can I help you with this morning?”
With a greeting like this, the caller immediately knows they’ve reached the establishment that they’ve intended to, and they’re developing a connection right away with a real person thanks to the use of the staff member’s name.
Be an active listener when answering client calls. If your caller doesn’t feel like they’re being heard and understood, there’s absolutely no chance of converting the caller into a paying customer! Don’t interrupt your caller—let them tell you what they’re looking for or what they need, and then respond. Ask the caller questions if necessary; remember, you’re having a conversation in order to solve the caller’s problem. There’s no harm in taking notes with a pen and paper while you’re on the phone, either.
Know Your Stuff
There’s nothing more frustrating to a caller than talking with a staff member who doesn’t have the answers they’re looking for, or can’t get them. Your front desk staff must eliminate the phrase “I don’t know” from their vocabulary! The instant that phrase is uttered, the potential customer has lost confidence in your business.
Instead of “I don’t know,” try having your front desk staff tell the caller “Let me find out for you,” or “Give me one moment to get you that information.” Phrases like these don’t cast a cloud of incompetence on the staff member; in fact, they make them seem all the more helpful!
Smiles are contagious, even over the phone. Believe it or not, there is quite a difference between someone on the phone who is smiling and someone who isn’t! If your front desk staff is smiling while answering customer calls, and throughout the body of the call as well, there’s a drastically greater chance that the call will result in a positive customer experience.
Having your front desk staff create a great customer experience over the phone isn’t just good business etiquette. It’s an essential part of your revenue-building strategy—don’t waste any time implementing these practices!