Growing your business and team can be hard, not just the numbers but also to improve the team. Creating a policy around the best what to talk and answer the phone, sounds simple, but it can make a massive difference to the customers experience and how they both start and end the first or last contact with your business.
While the below is not going to change thing over night, implementing and training up your staff can only improve things little by little.
Use the below steps to ensure every caller receives the same awesome experience:
1. Smile before you pick up the phone.
This helps to impart a positive, friendly tone and build rapport with the caller.
2. Answer the phone fast.
Ideally, after the first ring.
3. Greet the caller consistently, and on brand.
For example, “Kia Ora, you’re speaking with…” or “Welcome to the coolest online beauty store, my name is…”.
4. Listen attentively, provide acknowledgement and don’t interrogate.
Provide verbal cues to show you’re listening. Don’t interrupt while the caller is speaking, and reflect their words back to them to ensure you’ve understood.
5. Use question softeners.
For example, “Could I please ask?”, “Tell me…”, or “By the way…”.
6. Provide small pieces of information at a time.
If your answer requires a lot of information, ask if they would like you to follow up with an email.
7. Talk in language the caller will understand.
Don’t use technical or industry-specific terms that the customer won’t understand.
8. Check the caller’s temperature. Use ‘temperature checking questions’, such as:
- How does that fit in with your schedule?
- Does that fit with what you had in mind?
- How does that sound?
- How comfortable are you with that way of doing things?
- How do you feel about that?
9. Confirm the details of the next steps.
For example, the time and date of an appointment or return phone call.
10. Confirm the caller’s best contact details.
Check your CRM and confirm the details you have, or ask for the caller’s phone number if you don’t already have it.
11. Re-assure the caller.
Ensure they’re happy that you’ve understood them and provided all the assistance you can, and leave them on a high.
12. Be the last to hang up.
This ensures you don’t hang up on them if they suddenly remember something else and start speaking again.
13. Return all telephone messages within four hours.
If this is not possible, return the call by the end of the day at the latest.
14. Ensure your hold music is on brand!
Try not to leave the caller on hold for long. If you need time to find the answer to their question, ask if you can call them back and give them a timeframe for doing so.
15. Record a brand worthy voicemail message.
Be that funny or informative, ensure it reflects your brand.
16. A team member is away or not available.
If a team member is away, ill, on holidays or out to lunch, don’t go into this detail as most customers don’t need to know your team’s personal goings-on, request a message or ask if someone else can assist.
It’s super important to communicate your expectations to your team. This should be part of your induction process. Remember, marketing is always on.
Take this content and use it as the basis for creating your new Phone Communications Procedure