Information to help your business benefit from telecommunications

Talking Inbound

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Credibility is where trust lies, or, to put it another way, predictability is a great thing at the right time and in the right place. There are some things in life that we want to work exactly as they should, each time, every time, and having someone pick up the phone when we ring them is one of these. There’s nothing more annoying for most of us than to be kept hanging on the end of a line, whether it’s one that just rings continually without being answered, or one that gives a brief moment of hope when it’s answered instantly...hope that dies as you realise that you’ve just entered a slow death by awful muzak.
And that’s our point. What does not having your call answered as you’d like it to be do to your opinion of the company you’re calling? One thing it won’t be doing is reassuring you as to their efficiency and credibility, you won’t be mentally congratulating yourself for having invested your trust in them, whatever they do...and you’ll no doubt think twice before ringing them again… which poses our next question: how much is credibility worth?
This is probably not the place to unpack the relationship between credibility, reputation and the value of your brand, but you can see where we’re going with this.

So, accepting that it’s bad for business for your phone not to be answered quickly and efficiently, what can one do to make sure that anyone ringing your company has a predictable and confidence boosting experience? Here are our top suggestions:

  • First of all, make sure that all calls are answered within a few of rings. If you can’t meet this standard internally then use a Call Answering service. Missed calls aren’t just lost opportunities, they’re permission for the caller to complain about you to others.
  • If your business has a number of phone users, and it is likely that the caller will be transferred use a virtual switchboard to direct your caller to the correct person.
  • Comments such as “I’ll just go and see if I can find him” don’t give confidence, why not give all your staff portable phones so they can be contacted instantly wherever in your building they are.
  • Queue management, so that callers know how long they’ll have to wait, or their position in the queue, help to avoid those long periods on hold. You can use this time to deliver an entertaining / informative / helpful message, but if you do this check quality and change regularly.
  • Ensure your voicemail system is catching any unanswered calls. Updating the message daily so callers know that you’re on the ball even though you’re not answering helps…

And we have some top tips that will help to get your phones ringing in the first place!

  • Use a 0800 number. It’s been proven that a 0800 free-call number increases advertising response rates by up to 185%. This may be hard to believe, but it is true!
  • Use 0300 and 0333 numbers if you want to have a national presence and you’re expecting people to call from their mobiles. They’re included in the free minutes we’re given.
  • And remember that you can give your business a local presence by using a 01 or 02 prefix number and routeing the calls back to your office, wherever you are.

At Team Partners Telecommunications we believe that phone systems should help make money, not just be a cost, so if there’s anything in what you’ve just read that you’re not doing, give us a ring because we can help you.

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