I was on hold for 40 Minutes, only to be told by a local business… ...no! We don’t do that! ((CLICK))
There always have been problems with phone etiquette and service in this country.
But from what I understand by talking to people all around the world – it is a massive problem everywhere!
Why do businesses ignore this problem, in fact, I would go so far as to call it an epidemic!
If I am an customer calling your business for the first (and quite possibly the last) time, you won’t get any more business from me, or anyone else.
How do you know if you have a problem?
Have a couple of friends call in to your business, each asking a different question, and calling at different times of the day, on different days.
Do your staff know the answer to these questions, do they answer the call and question promptly, are they creating a customer from the experience?
Do you have an on hold message? A menu system that is hard to negotiate? If they are on hold, do they get told what opening hours you have, your website details, and, most importantly, updated with this weeks/months specials. Not like the on hold message I received that triggered this post, it is August now, and they had Christmas specials from last year still on their on hold message service!
Do this regularly, ie: check your phone etiquette. And make sure that all your staff are operating from the same script. That is, they know exactly what to say when answering the phone, and who is responsible for answering what type of question.
Create a "Phone Script" for your staff to follow when answering calls, this will not only create a uniform message, but sound much more professional.
It is an interesting exercise that is highly valuable for you, and your customers.
This post was written by Earl Pilkington for the B4C.