Hiring an answering service is all about maximizing your result for a minimal cost.
Part of that ability comes from the extensive training a good answering service company provides their operators, but another piece is a really good answering service script. Although an answering service can help you design this, it’s important that you understand the basics to make the process go even smoother.
Back to Basics for Your Script
A good answering service script is one that sounds natural, can roll off the tongue like silk and that gets the information across in an efficient manner. It might feel like this is a lot to do with such a short amount of time, but you’d be amazed at just how much a virtual receptionist can add with the proper tone of voice.
A good answering services script should always contain these basics:
- Short greetings. Short greetings are vital so that customers don’t feel like they have to wait too long for their turn to speak. An overly long greeting is not only boring, but annoying for the caller, who may decide to hang up in the middle of it. Keep it short and sweet, but long enough that the customer doesn’t miss it if there’s a connection delay.
- The company’s name and operator information. Having your operators answer with a short phrase like “doctor’s office” can be confusing for callers, especially if it’s the first time they’ve used your service. During your greeting, the name of your business should be stated clearly, as well as the name of the operator. Generic operators are hard to trust, but putting a name to the voice can improve customer touch exponentially.
- Caller acknowledgement. No matter what anyone else tells you, politeness still matters in business. Your operators should be thanking your customers for their call or otherwise acknowledging that their time is valuable and they could have spent it doing anything. Having a live operator helps a lot in this department, since waiting in long queues or navigating menu trees can frustrate callers.
- Information collection. Don’t leave information collection to your operators to wing, especially if you want to collect specific details about a call. The trick here is to collect just enough information, but not so much that the caller is annoyed. For many, the most important aspects would be caller name, return phone and the message, but for a doctor or a plumber, for example, the operator may also be instructed to describe the problem in detail to better determine if there’s an emergency in progress.
- You can’t just hang up on a caller, as much as some may deserve it. They need to be eased out of the call while being assured that their problem is going to be fixed or their message delivered. Asking if there’s anything else they need is also crucial to ensuring that important details aren’t missed.
Answering service scripts don’t have to be Shakespearean in nature to succeed. In fact, sounding a bit like the rest of the business world is actually beneficial because your callers will be immediately familiar with the information you need to collect. Rather than making you stand out, your script should make your customers comfortable enough to let you provide them with the service or products that will earn you a great reputation.