The way your staff answers
your phone may actually hurt your business. Your advertising,
sales representatives, referrals, etc. all help to form an image of
your company in the mind of the client. That image can be destroyed
in five seconds just by the way your telephone is answered. There is
a right and a wrong way to answer the phone. However, most staff has
never been trained, many employers assume they know. There are a number
of components that constitute a polished sound. One is to pause whatever
you are doing and take a breath before answering. You should never sound
like you’ve been interrupted.
Lack of enthusiasm
conveyed by your staff, is always disenchanting for someone who is inquiring
about a product or service to purchase now or in the future. Buyers
are inevitably turned off by sales or customer service representatives
that effect an air of ‘couldn’t care less’. The average business
only hears the complaints of 4% of their unhappy customers, the rest
just do not return. Whenever a prospective buyer asks a question, this
is an open door to engage them and a golden opportunity to enable them
to solve ‘their problem’. If you ask the right questions, you position
yourself and your company as the experts in the field.
They may be perceived
as cold. Customer Care research has shown 68% of the clients
you may have lost left because of an attitude of indifference conveyed
by the staff. They want to feel that they are your number one priority.
There are many ways to make your customer feel special, one is to refer
to them by name whenever appropriate, especially those who do business
with you often. Everyone likes to hear their name, so try to find opportunities
to address them by theirs, which subsequently has been proven to help
build customer loyalty.
Poor business etiquette
is sometimes the most inadvertent way to turn off a customer or client.
It is often just small details in this area that tend to alienate potential
buyers. Have you ever walked into an office and you had to wait for
30 seconds (Incidentally the length of a television commercial!) while
the receptionist finishes telling her co-worker a story? It is never
wise to assume your staff knows the rules of business etiquette. Invest
in valuable training.
Emotions can get in the
way of professionalism. Everyone has the occasional bad day,
but no company can afford to have the negative moods of their staff
seep into the client’s experience. Unfortunately, without all the
background information, the client may just assume that your staff is
aloof, abrupt or unprofessional. There are ways to keep negative emotions
from leaking into your voice. Actors practice these techniques all the
Lack of empathy
from a company with whom one has spent
money doesn’t feel good when you have a problem. However, the benefits
of a well trained customer service representative can have immeasurable
rewards for a company. The proper use of tone, inflection and volume
can be learned to convey the empathy needed to subdue the disgruntled.
The customer may not always be right, but it doesn’t benefit your
company when your representative goes out of their way to prove them
wrong. Copyright 2010
Kim Welcome is CEO of
Influential Voice, a Communication Trainer and Coach; she assists
businesses and individuals to achieve their goals through
helping them to develop deliberate, skillful, polished communication
skills. For more info www.influentialvoice.com