We’ve all heard that first impressions are everything. What first impression does your business make? Chances are, most occur at your front desk. The great motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, referred to the receptionist as one of the most critical persons in the sales process. This person literally has the power to break a sale, and that is why it should be a priority of yours to make sure everyone in your operation is fully trained on proper phone etiquette. Here are some tips for answering the phone that can make your business stand well above the competition:
- Smile when the phone rings. Get in the right frame of mind.
- Answer every call by the third ring. No one likes to wait.
- Answer with enthusiasm and energy, but don’t speak too fast. Be easy to understand.
- Clearly identify who you are and your organization.
- Have a pen and paper handy so you can quickly write down the name and organization of the person and the details related to the call. This displays a high level of professionalism and makes the caller feel important and appreciated.
- Listen carefully taking notes. Don’t take on other tasks while on the phone.
- Confirm that you have everything right before ending the call.
- Ask permission before putting the caller on hold. Don’t keep anyone on hold more than 17 seconds.
- Always remain professional no matter how the person on the other end is acting. If you have someone who is upset, you have a much better chance at turning the situation around if you remain calm.
- If you take a message for someone, make sure they received it.
- Don’t use a speaker phone unless you need more than one person to be on your end of the call. Speaker phones give the impression that the call is not private and you may not be fully concentrating on the call.
- Create an on-hold message. It’s much better than silence and you can highlight products, services, and achievements your company has made. It’s free advertising.
Hopefully you are already doing all or most of these, and if not, we hope you try them. Don’t have an on-hold message? SDB Creative Group can produce a highly professional one for you! If you have any other tips on answering the phone, we’d love for you to share!