Call processing the right way can get complicated, especially when it’s coming through a 24/7 answering service that handles tons of calls every day.

Since you can provide a lot of specificity to your answering service about how your calls are handled, it’s a good idea to be able to recognize when your telephone operators are doing it right and when it’s going wrong.

Whether your calls are first directed through an automated attendant or a human operator, having some best practices in place can make the process more consistent and less confusing for your customers. Good automation and smart call scripting are customer service wins every time.

Best Practices for Answering Service Call Processing

It might surprise you how many businesses don’t have any established rules for answering their phones, instead relying solely on their employees being able to wing it. That’s less of a problem with a professional answering service, but the way your calls are processed is still a huge reflection on your company as a whole, so it’s vital to get your ducks in a row.

Here are just a few best practices to consider requesting from your professional operators:

  • Identify yourself immediately. There’s nothing more confusing to a caller than to have someone pick up the phone and not say who they are. Whether your initial touch point is an automated phone tree or a live answering service operator, they need to identify your company and themselves clearly enough that there’s no confusion.
  • Harness your inner happy place. It can be hard to keep a pleasant attitude after a long day of answering telephone calls from potentially angry or frustrated people. This is why each and every one of your live operators needs to have a positive thought they can cling to in order to remain upbeat for the next caller. Patience, friendliness and calm under fire are all super-important on these phone calls.
  • Call the person by name. Personalization is such a big thing for many callers. In fields like medicine and funeral homes, the more personal, the easier it is to make a real connection. Callers want to be appreciated and you can show them a little bit of courtesy by simply acknowledging them as people.
  • Stay in control of the conversation. When someone contacts your live operators, it’s imperative that your people are in control of the conversation. Not only does this keep the caller on task, it helps them work through a process they may be unfamiliar with. A little guidance and the right questions can quickly resolve a wide range of problems.

There are as many ways to handle call processing as there are people who will call you, but if your process incorporates some of these best practice elements, your success with your answering service will be huge. It can be a change relying on someone else to keep your customers happy over the phone, but in time you’ll find that you have more energy to attract more of those customers when your hired hands have the phone under control.