Call Handling Techniques: Helping You Get More Out Of Your Business Phone
The way your business uses its phone says more than you may realise. It’s quite often your first impression. It can set the tone and be a big part of securing the sale or missing the opportunity. With that in mind, we thought we’d share some of our expert call handling techniques with you.
Answer The Darn Thing First Time!
If this seems obvious, then you wouldn’t believe how many businesses don’t pick up. That’s either tarnishing an existing customer’s opinion of your business or flat out missing a new customer. Customers like to feel special, making sure your business is available to them is the first step.
What’s worse is that most businesses don’t even know they’re missing calls. They’re relying on their voicemail or the call log on their mobile. Neither are very reliable. Consider a service like Invoco to capture and analyse every call into your business.
Don’t Use Your Mobile (at least don’t make it obvious)
It can seem like a good idea, but there are two reasons this is a hard no for call handling techniques. First, a mobile number as the main contact doesn’t present a professional image. It says you’ve got a simple operation and many customers might find that off-putting.
The second part is that you’re adding a single point of failure into your business processes. Your mobile (and thus you) become a choke point. You could have no signal or battery or you could be otherwise unavailable (as the business owner you should be unavailable most of the time). Any incoming call to your business should go to at least three people.
Seek to Understand Before Being Understood
This is actually one of The Office Genie’s core business values. When talking about call handling techniques specifically, it means listen to and guide your caller. First, understand who is calling and how to reach them; do this first in case you are cut off and because it’s easy to forget at the end.
Next, this person has called you because they have something they need to get done. Find out what that is by listening and asking the right questions. This is a balancing act. They’ve called you, but you probably know how to get things done.
Think of it like a road trip; they’re driving but you’ve got the map.
Think About Who is Answering Your Phone
Inbound calls are crucial to your business. A new customer calls you. You call back in a few minutes, but they’re engaged. They’re already talking to the next name on Google. You make a note to call them again in an hour. “I’m sorry,” they say, “I signed up with Competitor Ltd”. If they were worth £2,000 a year to your business, that’s £2,000 of lost business.
It’s not much better to have the wrong people answering your phone. People who don’t understand call handling techniques. People who don’t want to answer the phone. People who have better things to do.
The business owner is usually the main culprit here. A business owner should be worth hundreds of pounds an hour to the business. A good call handling service will probably cost you less than a pound an hour. Making the maths easy: if a staff member can make the business £50 an hour and a call handling service would have cost £1 an hour, every hour they spend answering the phone costs your business £49.
Give us a call on 01604 529 171 and ask for Lesley or fill out the form below and we can talk about your call handling techniques.