Archive for December, 2010

Hello Operator?

to call home press 0Always. Always. Always give the option for your caller to reach a live person. Make it easy. Don’t hide behind your phone system, forcing callers to do things the way YOU want them done.

I can guarantee you that at some point, a customer will call with some issue that doesn’t fit neatly into your pre-programmed options, and connecting them to a live person will resolve the issue with less frustration on their part.
You can do it as the standard “0” option, or by some other unique way. (“If you want to reach someone, ANYONE, just press 0, and we’ll be happy to talk to you!”)

Think about who should take those calls. It depends on your business structure, but consider NOT sending those calls to a receptionist or secretary. Think about it…what this caller needs hasn’t been addressed by any of the options in your Auto-Attendant. Do you think the secretary is qualified to handle their request? Likely not. That doesn’t mean route it to the business owner or president, but at least send those calls to a person (or group of people) or have the power to make things happen, answer in depth questions, or otherwise generally make customers happy (which IS the point of your business…isn’t it?)
Having said that, when calls come in that are simple, but will take more than a minute to answer, have someone designated to hand that call to. There may be calls that come in that CAN be handled by the secretary. Have a plan to simply say “Mrs Jones will be glad to help you with that…may I transfer you directly to her?”
Always give the option to reach a live person in some way. Your customers will thank you for it!

Auto-Attendant or Real Person…Who is answering YOUR phone?

answering the house phone

Take control of your phone experience to elevate your company by knowing when to use an automated attendant.

Have you made the decision to use an auto attendant? What went into that decision? Your company needs an edge, and how your phone is answered is a critical area to start.

Consider this example: A company with a “live answer only” policy thinks they are pleasing their callers. But in reality, without a dedicated receptionist, a caller’s experience will be different every time. And with 4 dedicated sales people answering the call, callers only have a 25% chance of their salesperson answering the call. If they don’t, it means hold time, transferring, and maybe voicemail hell! That’s a difficult environment to make your company stand out!

Here’s where you gain an edge. This is a perfect environment to implement an auto-attendant solution. But give your callers the control over where they go. Offer your sales people’s extensions right up front, so callers can reach them by name, extension, or option. This gives them a precision experience, reaching exactly the right person 100% of the time.

A second benefit to your company is eliminating interruptions and distractions for your employees. Pugh Research says that every time a call takes your employee off task, it takes up to 10 minutes for them to recover. Once they no longer have to

handle calls for fellow employees, they will stay much more focused on the task at hand.

Your competition has made a knee-jerk reaction to how their phone is answered. Now you can get a step ahead by extending your superior showroom experience over the phone to your valuable callers.

Rock your customer’s world, while controlling the interruptions for your staff!

Live or auto-attendant? Evaluate your inside environment to make that decision with confidence.

So how does it feel to have an edge on your competition? Winning the phone war wasn’t hard, was it?

Enjoy your happy customers! (and that’s a win for everyone!)