How to Answer the Phone

April 11th, 2008 • Posted by Andrea Feucht • Permalink

Let your clients do more than peer through the window when they call you…No, I'm not going to tell you how exactly you should handle your client calls, but perhaps start a conversation about your experiences and your philosophy regarding talking with your clients on the phone.

Your practices: Whatever you're doing, does it work for you? Do your clients compliment you on your phone handling?

OUR practices: What are we at SpaBoom doing right? What we can improve upon to make things absolutely fabulous for you?

One of the changes we made when switching to a newer phone system was to eliminate the mandatory auto-attendant step. Previously, when ya'll called us, you had to listen to our voice prompt and press 1 for support or 2 for sales, and then you'd get someone to answer the line. I really thought that was too much to wait for, so we went to the Land's End model — 1 or 2 rings at most, and then a PERSON answers, no auto-attendant hurdle to clear. If we're busy, then yes, you'll get a prompt to either hold or leave a voicemail, but overall the responsiveness is much, much faster and I'm happy about it. Let me know your thoughts on our current system – it helps me and it helps all of you!

Before I open up the floor, take a quick read of this wonderful article by Seth Godin, wherein he states,

the goal of every single interaction should be to upgrade the brand's value in the eye of the caller and to learn something about how to do better

Excellent insight, and something to think about as we start the next week afresh, ready to head into the heavy Mother's Day booking season.

5 Responses...

  1. I for one am thankful that you changed your policy. You have eliminated one of life's frustrations — trying to talk to a PERSON!

    Good article. I will give it more thought and try to implement the valid ideas.

  2. I enjoy reading business books when I have the time. Thanks for turning me on to Seth! I think I will buy one of his books. A great blogger too. Answering the phone on the first or 2nd ring is something we strive to do. My receptionist did not sound like she was smiling when she answered the phone one day so I told her. Fix that! If you are not happy — go work in a donut shop or fold clothes all day for the GAP. Every customer deserves a wonderful experience calling in to our spa. It gives them confidence that our services will match up to our hospitality. Thanks for the reminder! — Janet

  3. Thanks for the comments — I appreciate your feedback!

  4. conni says:

    When we train a new receptionist we say over and over "SMILE" they will here it your voice. It sounds funny but it works.

  5. Kim says:

    I had always known that a smile on the face of the voice was very important when answering calls, but I had forgotten about a great way to ensure that this happens. Put a mirror at the desk of your receptionist… when they answer the phone, the smile that they see is transmitted over the phone.

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