Are Your Company’s First Impressions First Rate?

 

It has been said you only get one chance to make a good first impression, yet your managers and employees are giving first impressions every time they answer the telephone.

First, create a checklist of what needs to happen when that lifeline to your future and present clients is answered. Some of the items you can include on that list for answering the telephone properly are:

  • Maximum number of rings before call is answered.
  • Which employees should answer it.
  • Proper attitude.
  • Tone of voice.
  • Pace and tempo.
  • The kind of words and phrases used.
  • Questions that should be asked.
  • Next steps to be taken.

When it comes the number of times a phone should be allowed to ring, most experts would agree, between the second and third ring is about right. If you answer to quickly it could surprise the customers calling in. If it is more than three rings they may not wait for you to answer, assuming no one is there or you are too busy for them.

Regarding a proper attitude, tone of voice and pace, the person answering the phone should be pleasant and have the mindset of wanting to help the caller. A moderate pace and tempo is best, not rushed nor too slowly.

When it comes to the words used when answering your business line, there are a couple of ways to do it. One approach would be to use the following:

“Good afternoon, ABC Company. This is Jeff speaking. How may I help you?”

For some companies this will work fine. For others it might be a mouthful, especially if they have a long company name. If that is the case, use the following approach:

“ABC Company, this is Jeff.”

What this option offers is the ability to shorten the number of words used when answering the telephone.

What the person answering the phone does here is eliminate the words “good afternoon” and the words “how may I help you”.

To compensate for this approach and give a professional impression, the person answering the telephone must make sure that they use a cheerful and upbeat inflection in their tone of voice when saying the words “ABC Company.”  This implies good morning.

When they complete the greeting with the words, “This is Jeff,” an upward inflection in the voice of the person answering the telephone should imply that he or she can help the person calling.

Your employees who answer the telephone should know which questions to ask and be well informed and competent, so they can assist the caller in getting what they need and want.

So, in summary, to make sure you and your team give a great first impression each and every time, take the time to train them on the proper way to answer the telephone. The results will speak for themselves with a happier client base and increased profits to your bottom line.

 

By Tom Borg ©All rights reserved

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Tom Borg


My name is Tom Borg. I am a business expert who works with small and mid-size companies to effectively and profitably improve customer acquisition and retention. I help these businesses through his use of my consulting, speaking, training and coaching. To ask me a question or to hire me, please contact me at: (734) 404-5909 or email me at: tom@tomborg.com or visit my website at: www.tomborgconsulting.com

Tom Borg