News & Events
How Do You Say "Hello"?
ENLIGN DEAL TEAM | 06/27/2012
Answering services, message machines, voice mail, "on hold" music, speaker phones . . . where would a business be without them? Perhaps--in some situations--a lot better off! In the small to midsized business, where every call should count, owners and managers need to ensure that the telephone is an efficient, effective sales tool instead of a handicap. It's important to remember that the caller's first impression of your company is from the voice answering the phone. That first minute or less will help form the caller's lasting opinion of your business, so why not take the opportunity to make that opinion the best possible? Here are a few ideas for improving the way your business says hello. Call Your Office Give your office a call--just don't let them know it's you. Have someone whose voice your employees won't recognize place the call, with you standing by waiting to listen. This may sound like cloak-and-dagger tactics, but it's one that successful managers use to monitor the quality of their telephone service. What to listen for:
- A pleasant salutation ("Good morning, Jones and Jones"), followed by a name, if appropriate, and offer of assistance.
- An unhurried, interested response to queries, or the offer to connect the caller to someone else who can provide information.
- A reasonable on-hold time. And, if the time seems longer than normal, is there an apology for the delay?
- Answering service operator answers with the name of your company, not just a generic "May I help you."
- Operator should know pertinent facts about your business: times of operation, key names of personnel, etc.
- Check message you give operator against the message that he or she transmits to your company.
- Are you satisfied with the voice that represents your company? It should be upbeat, but also well-modulated and pleasingly-pitched. Do a test of several voices and choose the one that sounds best "on tape."
- If your voice mail system has background music, or if your company has a call sequencer with on-hold music, be sure the sound is welcoming and soothing.