As a business person it is critical to make the correct communication choices. Part of that communication puzzle is how you connect with your callers and how you decide to have your callers communicate with you. Remember, the transferring of information is a two-way process … incoming and outgoing. Also, never forget that listening is an often-forgotten part of communicating but it can make or break any phone call!
Now is the perfect time to give your business communications a serious assessment. Here are a few things to think about:
Who/what is answering my phone?
…During business hours? If using voice mail, is your company identified in a professional manner? Does it give information and/or instruction? Does it give the caller an opportunity to leave a message? Does the caller know what to expect after they leave a message? TIP: Never leave the caller wondering if you will ever hear their message! If using a person in your company, do they enunciate the name of the company clearly and answer with a friendly and professional tone? Have they been trained on how you want them to process calls? Are they helpful? Do they know how to transfer a call or take a message? When they transfer a call, have they listened to the caller and know where to direct the call? If taking a message, is the information correct? This would include all correct spellings and also reason for the call. TIP: Make a few anonymous calls to assess a caller’s experience.
…After business hours? If using voice mail, is the greeting stated clearly and professionally? Does it tell the caller when the office will be open? Does the caller have an opportunity to leave a message? If you offer after-hours services, does the caller know how to get help? TIP: Ask a friend to make a test call and give an honest assessment of the system. If using an answering service, do they answer your phone pleasantly and clearly? Are they helpful or do they just try to get the caller off the phone? Do they ask the caller if they would like to leave a message? Do they ask if the caller needs help? Have you equipped them to provide or find help for the caller? TIP: Make a few test calls to insure the caller’s experience is what you would like.
- Communicating; it’s serious business
- It’s critical to make intelligent communication choices for your business
- Business is one giant communication puzzle
- Have you assessed your communication needs?