Whoever answers the phone first in your company wins or loses the business for you.
As we try to come out of one of the worst recessions our economy has ever experienced, it is more important than ever to provide exceptional customer service on every call. Many businesses say “cash is king.” I strongly disagree. I believe “customer is king” and cash comes second.
It has been proven time and time again that if you do a good job someone will tell another person. If you do a bad job someone will tell 10 people. Think of the last time you had a great meal in a restaurant and an awful meal. Which one did you tell people most about?
Social media has played a big part. Some 86 per cent of customers quit doing business with a company because of a bad customer experience, up from 59 per cent four years ago (Harris Interactive, Customer Experience Impact Report).
How familiar are these statements to you: “Name, postcode, who wants him? What’s it about?” These were all designed by a sales prevention officer. We answer the phone in a professional corporate manner and show that we care for each individual customer.
A client of mine was having a problem with retaining customers. When we looked into the situation properly we found out that because he was very busy, the incoming calls were too high for his receptionist to handle and therefore rather than tell him, she just rushed people off the phone. Fifty per cent of new callers don’t ring back if they don’t get an answer when they call, and 15 per cent of existing customers don’t call again if they get the same experience (Moneypenny).
This was handled easily by doing two things: retraining the receptionist. and using the phone system to better effect so that calls were diverted to the right people. This is not always that easy to handle.
If we want to be the best of the best we must start looking at all areas of our business. We cannot say: “Oh she’s just the receptionist or my people are very busy.” Spend time and money on training and extolling your ethos and reap the rewards. The alternative is too horrific to think about.
Tony Morris is director of the Sales Doctor