Can you remember your first job interview? Picking out your outfit, stalking the company’s website in an attempt to learn all that you can? Rehearsing and memorizing your answers, in an attempt to portray a knowledgeable and well rounded persona. By the day of the interview you have memorized a script – to portray the best you possible.
Knowing what to say and when to say it is the first step towards success. No matter the size of your company the use of a simple, well written script when answering the phone will expedite the company’s success. As a member of the telephone answering industry, we have proven the value of a well written script and would like to share the secret with you. Like a letter, a script has three important parts: the introduction, body and closing as shown in the picture below.
The introduction is the opening line. The person answering the call is the one who normally does the introduction. An effective opening line should have two key components, the name of the company and the name of the person who answered the telephone. Pairing both of these components creates a more welcoming and professional experience for the callers. Don’t agree? Compare the two opening lines below and determine which is more welcoming.
Introduction #1: Hello. How may I help you?
Introduction #2: Thank you for calling Answering Service Care. This is Joseph, how may I help you?
Now be honest? As a caller, wouldn’t introduction #2 make you feel more welcomed?
A more effective and shorter opening may be achieved by front-ending your telephone answering service with a “personalized greeting”. A personalized greeting will notify the caller of your company’s basic information such as: the company name, hours of operation etc, before the receptionist picks up the telephone, so when the call is answered – they will only need to state their name and get right to business. This method becomes valuable and effective if your business decides to outsource any aspect of their customer service to a telephone answering service. It is also guaranteed way to ensure the correct pronunciation of your company name, disseminate information professionally and successfully and have your calls answered promptly.
Smart Business Tip #1
Use your resources to your advantage. Always offer a personalized and warm experience to customers. Having them feel welcomed and respected is a guaranteed way to secure their business.
The body is the most important part of the call, because this is when the necessary information: the name of your caller, their contact information, the reason for their call, etc will be collected. It is also when the relationship between the caller and business begins to take form.
Having specific guidelines for a receptionist or answering service to follow allows him/her to better manage the telephone call. It also shows the caller that the business is organized, detailed oriented and professional. Before hiring a receptionist, virtual assistant or an answering service you should outline what their primary responsibility will be and create a script or list of questions to further define the position.
This script will prove more valuable as time progresses. Having a guideline of questions to follow will mean that anyone from virtually anywhere will be able to answer your calls and collect the caller’s information. Also to avoid sounding scripted or robotic, each person answering the telephone should familiarize themselves with the script.
Smart Business Tip #2
Don’t overdo it! Limit the amount of information you collect from your callers. Asking too many questions may leave them flustered, annoyed and uncertain of your business. Create a script that allows for maximum information while asking minimum questions.
Closing a call is just as important as saying ‘hello’. Because the closing is the last thing your callers before disconnecting, it is important that it is memorable and unique. Reassuring the caller that you have resolved or will be resolving their issue will end the call on a ‘high note’.
You should never allow a caller to disconnect feeling angry or frustrated as this can have serious consequences to your business. A single negative comment towards can be crucial and can force companies out of business. Here are two examples of closing statements, which would your prefer?
Closing #1: Good bye.
Closing #2: Thank you for contacting us Elizabeth. As a reminder my name is Joseph and I hope you enjoy the rest of your day.
Closing number two sent the caller off in style while closing number one was abrupt and cold. A proper closing should have the name of the person the caller spoke to – this helps your company to be more memorable, it should also thank the person who called for considering your business and wish them good fortune.
Smart Business Tip #3
Have a friendly, welcoming and relatable person answering your phones. If you outsource to an answering service ensure that the customer service representatives are friendly.
Now that you have the secrets to a successful script, its time to start working on yours! Let us know how it turned out, and best wishes.