Just for fun, (but it might not turn out to be such fun) the next time you are away on business or out of the office, call in and notice how you are greeted. Note: If your operation is too small and you will be instantly recognized have a friend call in. You might want to ask the friend to ask for help with a particular product or service that you offer.
What is the impression that your company is giving? Is it:
“We are interested in serving you,”
“We would like to do business with you,” or,
“We appreciate your call?
Or, is it:
“We are pressed right now,”
“We are glad you called, but we have many callers,”
“We have a lot of calls, you are no more important than the next caller,”
or worst of all, “Why exactly are you calling?”
How you sound to your various target groups is an important element in winning them over. Traditionally, government agencies tend to be the poorest at answering the phone. A particularly aggravating response when answering the phone is to name only the division and not the company itself. Your phones must be answered in a manner that is convenient callers, not for your staff.
For example, the customer calls in and for whatever reason is connected to shipping. How does shipping answer the phone? “Shipping”? If so, the customer must than endure the ritual of determining that it is the shipping department of the company he originally intended to call.
If your telephone system is designed to route callers to the various departments, each department still must answer with the name of your organization and their particular division. For example when calling your local Ford Dealer to try to reach the parts and supplies department the proper response of that department would be, “ABC Ford, Parts and Repairs.”
The refrain “service just ain’t what it use to be” refrain has been shouted by customers at most service retailers so often that the industry runs the risk of falling into indifference on the issue. A great deal has been written on the new service economy, but if your sales staff is not fully adept at providing service to the customer in the way that the customer wants to be served, i.e., serving as a consultant and helping in the decision making process, then customer service isn’t truly being rendered.
How many times have you have walked into any of a number of stores, offices, or sales branches and needed help, didn’t know where to get started, and wanted to speak to someone who knew what they were talking about? How many times did you leave, not because of the product or service could not be provided by that enterprise, but because you could not be accommodated a way in which you felt comfortable?
The customers and clients you will be attempting to attract have been through that experience. If your sales staff or sales representatives cannot or worse, do not, serve in the critical role as consultant, you could be losing a fortune in revenue everyday.
Your goal is to have no one feel ignored – Zero Tolerance! If all of your sales help are currently tied up with customers have you instructed them on to greet an incoming customer while continuing to serve the present one?
The proper technique is to tell the present customer, “Excuse me for a second, would mind if I take a moment to let tell this person I will be with them shortly?” You will get almost 100 percent agreement from the present customer and alleviate the anxiety and concerns of the customer who might otherwise feel he is being ignored.