Funny thing, that telephone. Of course so many of us would love to pretend that it didn’t exist – or at least pretend that it is a text only device. However, as a business, how you answer the phone is still the first impression that you will have with the majority of your customers (and that makes it pretty important!).
Since we are an answering service, we know a thing or two about answering the phone professionally. Our clients trust us to represent them well every time that we answer the call. We know that every call could be that next big deal – or for our medical clients, the emergency that needs quick attention to save a life – so we can never take a call off. Here are 4 tips that will help you to answer the phone like a pro even when you don’t want to.
1. Answer the Phone
This one seems pretty obvious, but it definitely needs mentioning. Many business owners simply can’t be bothered to answer the phone. We hear this one a lot, “If it’s important, they’ll leave a voicemail.” Guess what? Most of the time they won’t. If your caller does not get a live answer they will generally move on to another company that answers the phone. Shameless Plug – if you are having trouble answering the phone and think that you may be losing business because of it, we’d love to talk to you. Our friendly and professional operators will answer your calls 24/7/365 and you can concentrate on running your business. Give us a call at 888.528.5678 if you’d like to try us out risk free.
2. Identify Yourself When You Answer
You want to let people know 2 things – that they called the right place and who they are talking to. Something like, “Southern California Plumbing, John speaking” is great. You let the customer know that they called the right business and who they are talking to. If your phone is a cell phone that gets both business and personal calls, this is a little bit harder. We generally recommend that you answer with your name in that situation – “Hello, Andrew Jones speaking” so that people know who they are speaking with. And this way, whether it is a business or personal call there will be no confusion.
3. Do Not Answer When You Are In A Meeting
This is a tough one, and of course there are exceptions to it, but it is incredibly rude to answer a call while you are in a meeting. You are telling the person that you are meeting with that they are less important than a phone call. Of course if you are expecting an important call, it is acceptable to warn the person that you are meeting with in advance that an important call may come in and that if it does you will have to take it. Then after the call, apologize and continue on with the meeting. However, if it is not an urgent/important call do not answer it!
4. Don’t Be Funny
Don’t try to be funny with your greeting. Unless you have caller id and you are sure that you know that the caller is a good friend or family, always answer the phone professionally. We have heard too many horror stories of people expecting a call from a spouse or friend, answering the phone in an inappropriate way, only to find that it is their boss or an important client on the other end. Don’t put yourself in that uncomfortable situation. Be professional with every call!