Think of the dollars, effort and advertising, direct mail shots, telemarketing campaigns, box drops and all the other strategies employed just to do one thing - make the phone ring! Missing out on this revenue is the same as closing your business for two months! Can you afford to do that?
People who are shopping around don’t call back (even when they say so!) because the chances are that the next number they ring - they will get great service and their enquiry dealt with professionally and promptly. They won’t NEED to call you. So before you spend another dollar on marketing and promotions, before you spend another two hours writing copy for your newsletter, mailshot or phone script.
Before you spend any money on training your sales team to prospect and present and negotiate - better make sure that everyone (not just the sales team!) knows how to deal with an incoming call! The key thing here is that throughout the company each person has to know that the person who answers the phone has the RESPONSIBILITY for the quality of the service for that call. For example;
“Good morning, 123 Services, John Doe speaking - how can I help you?”
No phone should ring more that three times without somebody answering. No one should be on hold for more than twenty seconds. When the call is transferred the contact has to use the same format. Now if that person is not in, demand that your staff don’t lose the opportunity by asking them to call back later because they won’t! The person taking the call should be in a position to say when (approximately) John Doe will be available, they should get the contact’s name, number, when they can be contacted and also ascertain if they can do anything right then to help them. This is really simple stuff but it makes a big difference.
As you call different companies listen to the way they greet you and how that makes you feel. So here are four simple steps to increasing your business by 20%:
1. Create a phone answering policy
2. Make it bold and simple and easy to remember
3. Print them off & distribute them to every phone
4. Be vigilant in the adoption of the policy
About the author:
Ciaran McGuigan is Managing Director of Strike Force Sales Pty Ltd