When customers call, what impression does that phone experience make on them? Do they hang up feeling as if they’ve spoken with a professional who knows their stuff, or an amateur wanna-be? Here are the worst business phone practices and how to avoid them.
Using Your Cell Number as Your Business Number
One-person businesses often make this mistake, but even seasoned professionals sometimes get into the habit of doling out their cell number as the office number. This reeks of unprofessionalism. A virtual receptionist is far more professional than answering the phone when you’re on the go or using the standard cell phone voice mail greeting.
Answering with “Hello”
A business phone line needs a professional-sounding call greeting. Develop a catchy phrase, answer with your company slogan, or at least greet callers with, “Hello, this is X, how can I help you today?” If all the phone answerer says is, “Hello,” some callers might just hang up, thinking they got the wrong number.
Sending Callers to General Voice Mail
Leaving messages on a general voice mail feels like tossing it in a black hole. Who will call? When? What should the customer do in the meantime? Instead of sending important callers into a black hole of voice mail, employ an answering service who can answer calls professionally and get messages to you in a timely manner.
Sending Callers to No Voicemail
The worst way to answer a business phone is not to answer it. Make sure that all calls get some sort of answer or greeting, and make sure the greeting explains when the caller can expect a return call or can call back. Never leave your important callers in the dark about why their call went unanswered.
Investing in the right services can eliminate each of these problems.