Old School Service – How are your phone skills?

Old School Service – How are your phone skills?

In a business where communication is so important, we’re often judged on first impressions. That becomes especially relevant to using the phone. I’m amazed at how many of you have HORRIBLE phone skills.

Yes, we live in a world driven by texting, emails, and social media, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to answer your phone when being contacted by a client or potential customer.

A few years back, I was working and had two phone lines on speakerphone. One was waiting for the rocket scientists at Quick Books. The message said a four-minute wait, but I was going on ten. The other was with my bank; I had a simple customer service question, and that line was at twenty-five minutes. I knew I was lost in the black hole of telecommunications. Since I had other things to do, the phones were sitting on my desk while I was working. I wanted to see how long it would take. The experience got me thinking about how we communicate.

Here’s the point to what is sort of a rant for today’s post:

  • Don’t make your clients wait for you on hold. If you can’t talk to them when they call, at least let them know you’ll do your best to get right back to them.
  • Return your calls promptly. It’s okay if you’re unavailable but get back to people as quickly as you can when time allows.
  • Stop thinking that giving a client music to listen to while waiting is enhancing their experience! Even more infuriating is a message that tells you over and over again, how important your business is!
  • In terms of email questions – answer them quickly. And, if you’ve requested a phone number from the potential client, use it! Nothing impresses a customer more than a quick response. It makes them feel that you care!

Need a little more help? Sarah Petty’s got a FREE phone guide called “Defeat Phone Fright: 7 steps to answering your phone so you get booked.” Check it out – it’s just a click away.

Your customers don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care!

Damon Richards

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This article was written by
Skip Cohen

Skip Cohen is an industry executive recognized for his diversity. He has served as past president of Hasselblad USA, Rangefinder/WPPI and in 2009 founded his own educational consulting company. In 2013 he launched Skip Cohen University dedicated to helping artists build a stronger business. He's a regular speaker at a variety of conventions and writes for several different magazines, as well as having two business classes at Lynda.com. Click above to visit the SCU blog.

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