Being a business owner means you need to be a dab-hand at hurdle jumping. As you overcome each obstacle, you’ll inevitably have to confront the question: how do people view my business?
Of course, first impressions are so, so important, but you’ll also need to live up to expectations every time someone interacts with your company.
This makes customer-facing staff some of the most valuable in your business.
The right person needs the personality, training, experience and time to answer every call and every client exactly how you need.
But how do you know that you have the right person to answer your calls?
The must-dos & do-nots
There are certain must-dos when you’re answering business calls. You always need to be available to pick up. And don’t leave your audience hanging. You should be answering within 3 rings.
Let’s not even think about the call ringing-out and the caller hanging up. Sure, they can leave a message but is that the level of care you want your business to offer? And what do you think your customers will feel about that? Would you hang around for a callback or call up another company? One that has the time for you?
Being there to pick up is only half the battle. You should always answer the phone with a warm, relaxed, and reflective of your brand’s tone-of-voice.
If you’re cold, distracted, low on confidence or unprofessional, the caller will pick it up. And that often leads to one thing: a negative impression.
Speak clearly, be friendly. There should be no background noise while on the phone.
If you work ‘on site’ or out of the office in anything other than a quiet environment, you should not be touching that phone.
You need someone who knows what to do with each call type every time. That means knowing the right process during and after each call. Of course, asking the caller to call back, or for you to return the call, should be avoided if possible.
What are your options?
It’s likely that your current call handler may not lack the skills, experience and time to do the job to the level it needs. If that’s the case, you need to look at the alternatives.
You could look to your current team. But do you really want to distract them from their core responsibilities?
Another option is to spread the responsibility between many, but training everyone to handle each caller can be time-consuming.
Some choose to hire an experienced receptionist, but many businesses, especially those still developing, don’t have the luxury of investing in a new team member.
For many, call answering services are the obvious solution.
The most popular choice
Phone answering services allow you to have a professional, experienced receptionist for as little as £25 per month. This way every call is answered and managed just how you want it.
You can choose a pay-as-you-go style virtual receptionist who will take your calls and share the caller’s details and message with you via email for you to get back to later.
There are even virtual personal assistants for those who need a little more help. They can forward live calls to any member of your team, take orders, book appointments, manage your inbox, and more.
Is the person taking your calls the right person? If you’re in any doubt, why not use our virtual receptionist 1 month trial? That way you can trial your virtual receptionists for a month before making your decision.