The Key to Telephone Professionalism12th October 2016
For many potential customers, the moment they pick up the phone and call your business could be the first time they’ve ever made contact with you. Despite first impressions counting, many small businesses overlook how their automated greeting sounds, instead focusing more on the available options and of course, cost.
Big enough to matter, small enough to care
Whether you’re a one man band or a successful team of 250, the chances are, you’ll want to appear bigger than you really are – Auto Attendant is a brilliantly effective way of ensuring your business has the consistency and professionalism of a larger organisation for very little outlay – but the key here is in the detail.
If you’d like to create the impression that you’re successful enough to be a FTSE 100 organisation, merely clicking a few buttons and asking the office girl to record your options, unfortunately, just won’t cut it. To help you on your way to telephone professionalism, we’ve compiled a list of our top 7 tips to creating the right impression, first time.
Get to the point
Callers love it when you save them time, money and hassle. Start each call with your website address, a convenient email address or the option to request a call back. Once you’ve listed the important information, get straight into the options so they can direct their call as they wish.
It sounds obvious, but it’s often far too easy to include a range of information that the caller isn’t calling for. Sales messages, company information and upcoming news is great, but if it takes too long to listen to before the caller can begin choosing options, they will soon become frustrated and less likely to call you in the future.
Keep it simple
The chances are, each caller will be dialling your number because they have a particular topic or query in mind. Bombarding your customers with jargon, endless options or needlessly long sentences will only make each call seem like a long, drawn-out nuisance. Keeping each call simple cuts down on time and can increase caller satisfaction.
List options in order of frequency
There’s little point in having your most frequently requested option right at the end of the options list. By ordering your options by how frequently they are requested, you’ll instantly make the user experience much quicker, easier and more professional.
Use separate extensions for information messages
Sub menus are perfect for information messages – they’re easy to find but unobtrusive. Creating a separate extension for specific messages allows your callers to quickly and easily find the details or guidance they require, without bombarding every caller with unnecessary information.
Sub menus are your friend
Nobody wants to listen to 27 different options, only to forget which one was number 14. Having a few easy to follow options, followed by a few easy to follow sub-options can make the user experience much more intuitive and enjoyable.
Out of hours
We can’t all be in the office 24/7, but that won’t always stop your customers calling at unusual times. Switching your intro message, dependant on the time of day, day of the week or for specific holidays such as Christmas and New Years Day, adds a certain personal touch to an otherwise automated call.
Don’t forget that whilst Auto Attendant systems can be hugely versatile and effective for both businesses and end users, some callers would rather talk directly to a real person. Offering the option to skip the automated options and speak to a telephone operator shows that you understand your customers and wish to offer the best possible service at all times.
If you’d like to find out more about the great services Planet Numbers offers, including Auto Attendant, simply click here or give us a call free on 08000 886 886 and speak to a member of our friendly team.