How You Can Refine Your Telephone Response To Improve Brand Awareness

Whether you’re in charge of a large office, running your own small business or even just looking after your own one man operation, chances are you get some if not all of your contacts from clients, customers, partners and other important associates coming in by phone.

It is therefore really important to have a plan for how you will respond to phone enquiries, both in terms of how your people answer the phone, through to how calls and voicemails are dealt with. This can be a powerful yet subtle way to enforce brand awareness (for example, if a customer always hears the same cheerful greeting when they call) and also to ensure your callers feel like your company is approachable and considerate to them and their time. Here are some tips.

Answer All Phone Calls Fast, or Send Them to Voicemail

Ideally, you should ensure all calls are answered within the first two or three rings, however if you can’t do that because you don’t have enough people or time, then make sure there is a chance for them to leave a voicemail after just a few more rings. This should not be a recorded message saying nobody can come to the phone, which sounds unprofessional, but a simple, businesslike request for them to leave details of their enquiry or their name and number so someone can call back. This is a lot less frustrating if they can’t talk to you than being kept hanging on the line or worse, getting a recorded message where they can’t even leave a voicemail! Your voicemail message should be brief (some companies insist on leaving long messages about their mission statements and so on, which nobody likes!), helpful and to the point. Calls coming in outside of business hours should be set to go to voicemail instantly if nobody ever takes calls after a certain time.

Have a Standard Greeting, But Don’t Make it Too Cheesy!

From a branding perspective, it is considered to be best if a customer or prospect always hears the same greeting or a variation on it (for example the greeting modified to include your name and extension number or department) than just whatever the person they get through to happens to feel like saying. However, unless your slogan is very well known or very clever, it may not be appropriate to throw it into the greeting – this can sound insincere and cheesy, or, if the person answering the phone is distracted, can even sound sarcastic! A simple, ‘Good afternoon’, followed by your company name and who is speaking could be all you need, though it usually makes people feel more comfortable if the greeting ends with a question like ‘how can we help you?’ rather than leaving them to speak without anything to answer.

By answering the phones in a way that is consistent with your branding and designed to be polite and helpful, you make people feel like they are dealing with a competent and considerate firm who value their business, however if you are small or undermanned and can’t always take calls straight away, set up your voicemail to make things as easy as possible for callers.

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Today’s guest author, Jenny Wadlow, is a freelance writer. She is a tech enthusiast and enjoys writing about the latest tech innovations that hit the market. In her opinion, automatic business phone systems are essential for managing calls in an organization. You can follow her on Twitter @JennyWadlow.

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