“Hi Terry. I’m glad you’re getting my messages. Sorry I keep missing your phone calls. I guess, Tag, You’re It!”
Sounds familiar, right? Product and service consumption becomes increasingly competitive every week. Don’t kid yourself into thinking your rock-solid relationship with your clients can't be undone. Competitors are aggressively campaigning your best clients, and they’re using expert techniques and technology. Clients expect you to be reachable anywhere and at any time.
For customer service and business professionalism (CSBP), the above interaction with Terry scores a vanilla 5 out of 10, at best. You don’t stink, but you certainly are not memorable. Even if Terry is your number one fan, it may not be enough to survive phone tag. Let’s boost that CSBP score and add efficiency to boot!
Are missed calls hurting your business?
Don't Let It Get This Far
When Terry called the first time and left a message, you needed to call Terry back and (if still unavailable) set a time and BRIDGE number to call into. Using a BRIDGE eliminates the “Where will I be? What phone number should they call me on? What if something changes?” questions or issues. Many phone systems already have built in phone bridges.
Follow Every Call With An Email To Perform
You and your client both have the meeting scheduled on your calendars, but does it match; bridge number, time, time zone, date? Send a calendar invite with all this data (including time zone). Terry will really think you’re on top of your game and appreciate not having to do it herself.
Call Forward Your Phone
Most phone systems allow you to forward the calls to your mobile phone. Before you leave your desk, set your phone so calls will be sent over to your mobile phone. As always, make sure your mobile phone voice mail greeting is professional! When you're back in the office or at your desk, remember to disable the forward feature when you don't need it.
Quit Playing Games
C’mon, seriously! Who has time to call, recall, listen to messages, juggle calendar dates, Forward ON-Forward OFF? If your company’s image (and revenues) rely even partially on communicating on the phone, get current and become more competitive (available).
Modern Phone technology allow you to give clients only a Single Number to reach you; either direct at your desk or through an attendant (live or automated). When that single number is dialed by Terry, she can ring your desk AND mobile phone. This can be done either at the same time or to the desk phone first and then to the mobile phone second. When you run to the printer, take your mobile phone with you.You get to choose which calls are a priority and which ones you want to go straight to voice mail.
Typically, an audible copy of your voice mail is sent as an attachment to your email (desk PC email and Smart Phone email). In 60 seconds, you can open the email, listen to the audible attachment on your mobile phone (or PC speakers) and email a response to the caller or forward it to someone to handle in your absence.
“Terry, I received your voice mail (attached) and can confirm those dates will work for us as well. We are delighted to have you as a new client.”
The days of phone tag are over! Build your CSBP be more accountable and accommodating to your existing and potential clients.
Have you found these tips to be useful for your business? We'd love to hear your thoughts below.