Your phone calls might only last a few minutes, but your etiquette may mean the difference between winning a new client or them thinking you’re a scruffy-sounding nerf herder.
Have you mastered every caller touchpoint? Give yourself a mini-audit by considering the following ten opportunities to impress callers:
1. Pick a (helpful) number.
Anticipate your customers’ needs before they even think about picking up the phone. Is your telephone number easy to find or even easy to remember (like a vanity number)? If your customers are web-savvy, add it to each page of your website and your email signature for one-touch dialing.
Will your customers reach an impersonal voicemail box, a confusing phone tree, or a live person? A cheerful receptionist, ready to help, will leave a fantastic impression on your callers.
3. Make your greeting out of this world.
These are the first words some of your customers will ever hear from your business — make them count! Adding these three elements will make your greeting pop.
4. Choose your words wisely.
A powerful impact on your caller, your words can have. Try sprinkling your conversation with enthusiastic phrases like “Absolutely!” and “I’ll be happy to!” Sure beats “Sure” any day of the week!
The wrong intonation can sound uncertain, sarcastic, or even like your caller is a bother. A sincere smile can work wonders in warming up your tone of voice, and speaking slowly with a deeper pitch is likely to boost caller confidence (as well as your own!).
6. “Your call is important to us.”
We’ve all heard that as part of a company’s on-hold messaging. In fact, you probably heard it more than once on the same call, each time doubting the words a bit more. If you’re not sure what your hold music sounds like, call in and take a listen. Does it match your brand identity? Ruby clients can choose between six different music options or provide their own so that they can give callers the most personalized experience.
7. Verify spelling with style.
Many letters sound alike over the phone, so a phonetic alphabet is a must-have. But which one should you use? The “A as in Alpha, B as in Bravo” NATO phonetic alphabet was designed for the military, and though effective, it might not give your callers the best experience. Ruby custom-designed our own cheerful spelling alphabet; feel free to give it a whirl or create your own!
8. Up the friendliness factor of your voicemail.
A top-notch voicemail greeting includes an enthusiastic salutation, your name and company name, and any specific information you’d like your caller to leave. Wrap it up with a time frame to get back to callers: “Hi! You have reached Yoda at Degobah Systems. Please leave your name, number, and your support issue at the tone. I look forward to returning your call within 24 hours!”
9. Give them what they don’t even know they want.
No Jedi mind tricks necessary! This invisible touchpoint is all about surprising, delighting, and WOWing your callers. Hear a hesitation in their voice? That could mean that they’re reluctant, confused, or scared. A simple act of reassurance might be all they need to trust you and your company.
10. Perfect your follow up.
Once you’ve wrapped up your conversation, send an email following your call or simply set yourself a reminder to call again and check in. Your customers will appreciate your thoroughness as well as your thoughtfulness!