Quite often, the first impression that a company gives of itself is done over the phone. Therefore, the very first words to come out of the mouth of a representative of that company are what will often make or break a new relationship. It can be argued then, that the ways in which your phone staff answers the phone at your business is integral to its success and ability to grow over time. In other words, something as small as how to answer the phone is actually a big deal!
So what are the most professional ways to answer the phone at your business? Here are three:
1. Offer a personal welcome. When you answer the phone, it’s not just the beginning of a call. It’s an invitation to a caller to be a long-standing supporter of your brand. It’s important to offer a welcoming greeting to give an immediate impression of friendliness and warmth. For example, “Good morning and thank you for calling MeloTel. You’re speaking with John, how can I help you today?”
You’ll notice that this greeting not only contains a warm welcome, but also an introduction. It’s important to offer your name right away so that the person on the other line can know who he/she is talking to. It immediately removes the feeling that you’re a “stranger”. It also encourages the caller to give his/her name. Naturally, you should ask for the caller’s name and be sure to use it throughout the call.
2. Speak in an upbeat tone. Remember the old cliché: you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression. Consider the fact that the first thing a caller hears when calling your company is your voice. The tone of your voice should convey positive energy, friendliness and professionalism. So, no matter what mood you may be in, be sure that your caller is given your best possible attitude.
The easiest way to ensure that you’re using an upbeat tone when you answer the phone is to smile. In previous blogs, we’ve commented upon the fact that smiling actually helps to improve your tone of voice. We’ve argued that people can “see” smiles through the phone. See for yourself. Experiment by recording yourself reading your script without smiling, and then recording it again while smiling. Do you notice a difference? Your customers will!
3. Be aware of your pace. Telemarketers often get caught up in saying the same things over and over again. It’s simply a part of their jobs – it comes with the territory. However, it’s incredibly important not to sound mundane, bored or robotic. This can happen when one is used to repeating him/herself. At times, a phone agent can become so familiar with protocol that he/she rushes through the things he/she is required to say.
This negatively impacts the conversation. It’s important to slow things down, pronounce words clearly and speak at a pace that you know any caller will easily comprehend. Speaking too quickly and/or using jargon that a caller may not understand will only serve to rub him/her the wrong way. Endear yourself to each caller by being very clear and audible. This includes speaking loud enough to ensure that you’re being heard – without shouting!
At MeloTel, we know a thing or two about conducting business over the phone since we offer a wonderful VoIP-based solution for your all of your calling needs. Give us a call at 1-888-MELOTEL or use the Live Chat feature on our website and ask us about our Commercial Phone Services today!