As a business owner, it is likely that you meet new people almost on a daily basis. Therefore, becoming a master in the art of making good first impressions is incredibly important to your company. With new people entering the doors of your place of business each day, you always have to be on your game. A friendly smile, a handshake and a welcoming gesture are all elements of a good first impression.
However, you’re not always going to be able to make your first impressions in person. At MeloTel, we spend a lot of time on the phone since our client base reaches clear across Canada. As a result, it’s imperative that we conduct business over the phone in ways that separate us from all other businesses. But how exactly can you make good first impressions over the phone? With the absence of body language and facial expressions, it must be a lot harder. Or is it?
Here are five ways to make good first impressions over the phone:
1. Be mindful of your tone. Your tone of voice is everything when you’re speaking to someone for the first time over the phone. It replaces your body language and facial expressions. The person on the other line should immediately get the feeling that you are pleasant, approachable and friendly. And this is all conveyed through your tone. Of course, it’s important to not sound too overanxious or even juvenile. A good first impression requires a good degree of professionalism.
2. Take calls when you’re free to give your undivided attention. Many business owners interrupt their own meetings in order to take important phone calls. And while it’s important to not keep important clients waiting, taking a call while you’re busy can sound that way. If you don’t give your caller your undivided attention, in conveys that he or she isn’t a priority. People can pick up on when your attention is elsewhere. It makes for a bad first impression.
3. Be informative about the nature of the call. If you’re busy and don’t have a lot of time to speak, let your caller know at the beginning of the call. He or she will appreciate your honesty. It’s a lot better than blindsiding the caller with a “I’m sorry, I’ll have to call you back” in the middle of an important conversation. Also, be sure to let your caller know if he or she is on speaker phone. Your client should always be aware of who is involved in the conversation.
4. Keep hold times to a minimum. There will be times when you’ll need to place your caller on hold. For the most part, people are very well aware that this is a possibility. But keeping a caller on hold for too long is bound to make a bad impression. People hate waiting. It’s that simple. Be sure to let your caller know how long the wait time should be and do your best to keep it under a minute or two. The last thing you want is for a first-time caller to hang up on you!
5. Keep your voicemails brief. Perhaps, your first impression will be left as a voicemail. If so, be sure to be mindful of the tone and professionalism of your message, as we discussed earlier. However, you don’t want to make your message too long. Keep it brief and to the point so that you can work on your real first impression during a live call. Be sure to include your name and number and a time that you’ll be available. You don’t want to miss the return call!
At MeloTel, we know a thing or two about doing business over the phone since Commercial Phone Services are among our most popular services. Our VoIP-based services also come with free phones when you sign up! It’s important to not just have the skills to make good first impressions over the phone, but to have the right phones to work with as well. For more information, give us a call at 1-888-MELOTEL!