Do you want a few quick and easy ways to upgrade your customer satisfaction now? The answer lies in your phone -- and the following four tips. They're simple tips. But will you actually embrace them?
Few small businesses, including VARs and MSPs, grasp the significance of phone etiquette and call handing. Customers often cite call handling as their number one complaint when it comes to the customer service they receive from small businesses. Yet, these complaints often fall on deaf ears. The great news is that this failure can be your opportunity. Here are a few tips:
1. Answer the PhoneThis might sound obvious, but most small businesses fail to dedicate resources to answering the phone. Often when calling our small VAR/MSP partners at Virtual Administrator, I get a direct line to a personal cell phone which, in turn, leads to a voicemail. What happens when a prospective client calls inquiring about your services or a current customer calls with an emergency and they get the same? Most likely, a lost sale or potentially, a lost customer.
Here is my solution: Get a dedicated business line with someone answering every single incoming call. If you can’t afford to hire someone, use a call answering service. The expense will be well worth the improvement to your business.
2. Avoid Auto-Attendant HellIf you use an auto-attendant, make sure the dial tree is logical and there is an option to speak to a live person. Clients often punch the zero right away to speak to an operator. Nothing peeves them more when they get the message “sorry, that option is not available.” Having an operator option with a live voice on the other end is a must.
3. Phone Answering EtiquetteNothing gets under my skin more than when people answer the phone with just the company name. Don’t be that person. Here are some simple rules when answering calls.
- Announce the name of the company.
- Announce yourself.
- Ask the customer how you can help them.
4. Return Your CallsTom Hopkins, real estate sales guru, credits a large portion of his success to returning customer calls. He has a simple rule, “return all calls the same day you receive them.” Doing this will have a huge impact on the satisfaction of your customers. Give it a try.
Make these simple changes and you will have a huge impact on how your customers and perspective clients will perceive you. I guarantee you that you will see a long term increase in your business because of it. Will you make this change in the New Year?
Paul Barnett is marketing director for VirtualAdministrator, which offers hosted solutions for managed service providers. Read all of Paul’s guest blogs here. Guest blog entries such as this one are contributed on a monthly basis as part of MSPmentor.net’s 2010 Platinum sponsorship.