|The Telephone Curse (531 words)|
Or. How to keep customers coming back.
By John Locke
How often have you heard “Business would be fine if not for the customer.”? Sometimes we tend to forget that they are the reason we exist in business. My contention would be. “Business would be fine if it were not for the telephone.”
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One of the biggest drawbacks to business today is the telephone. There was a time when to answer the telephone for a company was regarded as a badge of honor, with the onset of the cell phone that has all changed.
When I first saw people walking around with their cell phones attached to their ear I thought they looked like badly designed hearing aids. It will not be long before someone has to go into hospital to have one surgically removed.
We have become obsessed with the telephone and this has lead to a very bad habit that has crossed over to business. We answer the telephone so often in a private capacity that we forget when we are answering in a business capacity. The result is we sound like we have just got out of bed then rather then speaking to a client, or customer.
By far the worst protagonist is the small business, or the self employed who work from home, they must instruct the family on how they would like them to answer an incoming call.
Do you assume that employees answering your telephone know how to do it, or have you trained them? Call in to listen to your own voice mail, ask yourself if you would do business with the person giving the reply.
The telephone is often the first and the most important contact with a potential customer and yet the least considered. If you do not believe me go to your business directory and open a page at random and dial a number or two. Listen to the response you get. You will hear people answering who have no right being allowed within a mile of a telephone.
The larger companies in the main have it covered, but not all of them, even they are not up to the mark on occasions. Try testing your own business. Call in from a number that will not be recognized by your staff, when you get a reply listen to the attitude you get when the telephone is picked up. Then ask yourself. Would I want to do business with this company? You are not listening for a polite answer to your call, you are looking for an exceptional answer. Anyone not answering in a positive, bright, up beat manner should be educated as to Telephone Addiction
what is expected of them.
There should be a golden rule for any employee: When you answer the telephone you are representing the company, your attitude and the way you present yourself is the way the caller will see the company. Be bright, helpful and enthusiastic at all times and take ownership of the reason why the call has come in.
The caller is not aware that your dog has died, or your car has broken down. They want to be spoken to by someone who will make it a pleasure to call back in future.
|Copyright© by John Locke, An Englishman Abroad.|
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