Every time the phone rings your business has the opportunity to make a positive impression on a caller. Knowing how your business should answer the phone will set your company up for success.
When the phone rings, you should just answer it by saying “hello” right? That’s certainly a good start, but your business should answer the phone differently than you’d answer personal calls. Properly handling business calls requires a little planning up front and a little practice, but if you get these aspects of it right then your business will be able to facilitate a great phone experience.
Here are several components to keep in mind when setting the script for how your business should answer the phone…
Speed of Answer
How should your business answer the phone? Quickly! As soon as the phone starts ringing and before you say a single word, you’ve got an opportunity to get things started on a positive note. Always answer your business phones on one of the first three rings. Read more about Why Speed of Answer Matters here.
So you’ve picked up the phone quickly and it’s show time, but what should you say? Start with something like “Hello” or “Good morning/good afternoon” or “Thank you for calling…” Mention your company name and introduce yourself. Consider throwing in your slogan and follow up your opening with asking how you can help. So a couple different greetings for your business phones could sound like…
“Good morning. You’ve reached Deluxe Concepts. This is Liz speaking. How can I help you?“
“Thank you for calling AnswerMTI. My name is Andrew. What can I do for you today?“
“Hello! This is Elsa with Pup n Suds. It’s a great day for a clean dog. How may I be of assistance?“
Feel free to pick a combination like those examples that feels natural for your business, choose a collection of words and a tone that represent your brand well, but remember the key here is consistency.
Always make sure your company’s phones are answered with a positive attitude. Too often those charged with answering the phone are thinking about something else or are in a negative mood and it shows when they answer the phone. Callers are looking to do business with a happy, successful company and if the people picking up the phone sound downtrodden or miserable it’s really easy for the caller to pick up on that. So always answer the phone with a cheerful tone and chipper attitude.
Do give the caller your undivided attention. Don’t be eating or have anything in your mouth while talking to them. Do keep yourself from bringing up inappropriate topics, discussing issues from outside of work, or oversharing. Don’t use bad language or be too casual. Always speak clearly and keep things focused on business.
Why did your caller dial your business in the first place? It was to get some information, take care of something, speak to someone, place an order, or just get some kind of help. So always remember to be helpful! Facilitating a great customer experience hinges on helping your caller with whatever they called you about. Whether they called for directions or need help trouble shooting with one of your products, take care of anything you can personally or get them in touch with the right person they need to speak with asap.
Final quick tips…
Avoid putting callers on hold if at all possible.
Try to match the tone of the caller. Whether they are quite and timid or upbeat and confident, try to mirror that demeanor.
At the end of the conversation, ask if there is anything else you can help with. If not, thank them for calling before disconnecting.
All these tips for how your business should answer the phone assumes one critical constant: always answer with a live person. This is the most important piece of advice for how to answer business phones. If answering every call around the clock in a professional manner with a real person is a challenge for your company then you should definitely consider a 24 hour answering service or virtual receptionist.
Good luck on those phones!