What’s the fastest way to flush sales opportunities down the drain? A bad first impression. If your phones aren’t answered in a friendly and professional manner, you may as well just hand those leads right to your competitors.
Having a strong first impression on the phone is a crucial first step to earning a new customer. When that potential client calls you up to inquire about your products or services they need to be met by a courteous and helpful person on the other end. If their first impression is not a good one, you can bet they will be doing some shopping around elsewhere as they look for a business that is pleasant to work with straight from the get-go.
So how exactly are companies giving business to their competitors? Neglecting to brand the phone experience might look like this…
- Letting the phone ring and ring and ring until the caller hangs up and moves on to the competition that actually cares enough to answer in a timely fashion.
- Putting the call on hold for a long time until the caller hangs up and dials the next business on their list in hopes they will be more attentive.
- Sending the caller to voicemail when they want to speak with a real person. The majority of people won’t even bother leaving a voicemail and will call your competitor that actually answers.
- Taking a business call on your cell while you’re busy, distracted, driving, or even in the bathroom! Now that’s a good way to create a rough first impression and really flush sales down the toilet.
- Answering the phone with a grumpy receptionist who isn’t really that interested in providing a quality impression or experience for you callers. Rarely will people call back for a second unpleasant experience and they will go straight to your competitor who uses professional, nice, helpful people to answer their phones.
That initial encounter on the phone is where customer service begins. It is your chance to really WOW a caller and stick out in their minds when they are considering their options later. Remember, it is super important to not leave customer service out of your marketing plan. Otherwise, sales leads will go running to the first competitor that remembered to make it a part of theirs.
Well-trained virtual receptionists and business answering service agents keep you from giving sales away to your competitors by delivering a superior first impression and overall phone experience. Their expertise will help you win business and retain customers. Your competition might not be very happy when you team up with a great call center though.