Common phone answering mistakes and how to avoid them

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Answering the phone properly could be an underestimated booster for your business. Leaving a strong impression on your caller is likely to retain them as a customer. It is necessary, then, to pay attention to this facet and consider polishing your phone answering skills, or outsourcing your departments to a call answering company.

Perhaps the most damaging mistake many businesses are prone to, is not having a human answer their calls. People are often unhappy when they land straight to a voicemail and they seldom leave a message, which equals a missed opportunity.

Many companies are now using Virtual PA services

Technology has progressed immensely in recent years and SMEs should really start making most of it. It is now feasible to employ a virtual personal assistant to manage your calls while working off-site, or even while working on-site. This is a cost-effective solution which guarantees that your clients will always be greeted by a real human who will be able to offer sophisticated support.

Of course, it is not enough to just have someone taking the phone calls for you. The human factor needs greater development. You are expected to either train yourself or the one who is going to handle your telephone, to answer it professionally. It is easy to put off the customer when the provider sounds uninterested and does not leave the impression that they are enthusiastic enough to offer valuable customer experience.

missed-call
Avoid common phone answering mistakes, or outsource to a call answering company

How to avoid making common mistakes

Greeting your caller properly complements the previous point. The customer has to be put at ease immediately after the phone is picked up. The handler should introduce themselves clearly, starting with the name of the company or the department they are working for. The intention is to let the caller know whether they have reached their desired destination. After that comes the agent’s full name. When giving their name, they personify the business they represent which establishes initial trust between the two parties.

Another costly mistake is not paying enough attention to the conversation. Our creed is that every phone call matters and could hold significant value to the eventual growth of your business. And we maintain that every call has to be respected and approached with full concentration. It is unacceptable to have too much background noise or get easily distracted by the surroundings.

Moreover, all the information your caller shares with you should be taken correctly. Make sure you double-check any names, dates or numbers that are mentioned in the conversation. A nice little trick is to remember your caller’s name and mention it once or twice during the talk. You will gain a positive image as someone who is quick to establish strong interpersonal connection with their customers.

The last mistake we would like to mention has to do with the time of hanging up the phone. We recommend that you leave it to the client to hang up first. You should let them have the final word in the conversation so that they feel satisfied they have discussed with you everything that has been on their agenda. It will not help your cause if you hang up first, since this could make the caller think that you are looking to get rid of them by hasting to end the talk. It is a matter of a couple of seconds and gaining them is not justified on this occasion.


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Vladi Nikolov is our resident copywriter and SEO expert. With a BA in Media, he is a skilled writer with a passion for research. Vladi is also an active member of a supporters’ trust taking part in various community-oriented events.