Let’s start with this: in business, phone calls aren’t merely phone calls. They are also pivotal touchpoints that influence your customers: for better, or sometimes, for worse.
To help you optimize this opportunity to impress rather than irritate — or in some cases infuriate! — your current and future customers, here is a list of 3 essential rules of proper phone etiquette, and how a VoIP phone system helps you consistently deliver positive customer experience:
Rule #1: Answer the Call Before the Phone Rings 3 Times (and Ideally on the 1st)
Nothing says “we do not care about your call” than when customers dial up a business and hear ring….ring….ring... Some customers will simply hang up, while others will stay on the line — but remember the experience consciously or subconsciously.
A VoIP phone system has an amazing feature called Auto Attendant, which allows your business to automatically answer EVERY call — including those made after business hours and on holidays — on the very first ring.
You can easily customize your automated greeting to provide customers with relevant messaging, such as a change in your business address or hours, special promotions, holiday closures, etc. The bottom line is a positive caller experience that is remembered for all of the right reasons!
Rule #2: Minimize Putting Customers on Hold
According to research, the #1 way to upset customers is by putting them on hold.
A VoIP phone system helps you minimize — and in some cases eliminate — this massive and costly customer service experience pitfall in several ways:
- You can provide every staff member — including temp hires and seasonal workers — with their very own phone number. They don’t even need a digital desk phone, since they can make/receive calls and access other VoIP phone system features using an app on their cell phones.
- You can easily create (and change) time-of-day or day-of-week call routing to forward calls to a call center, landline, mobile device, or any other number.
- You can have your staff use a game-changing feature called Presence which enables them to see in real-time if a team member is available BEFORE transferring a call to them. And what if a team member is working remotely from a home office? No problem! As long as they are logged into the system, their status (available/busy/away) will be displayed for everyone to see.
And before moving on: ideally, you would NEVER have to put customers on hold. But as we all know, this is unavoidable. In those cases, you can customize your music-on-hold selection to:
- Provide callers with something engaging and entertaining to listen to, which enhances a positive experience. It also puts them in a calm and relaxing mood, which helps them with active listening when they do end up speaking with a team member.
- Promote your business’s products and services, or provide other useful information (e.g., answers to FAQs, shipping details, etc.).
Rule #3: Make Sure All Your Employees Are Prepared
Granted, customers cannot see body language or facial expressions. But they can easily grasp the hidden meaning and messages behind things like tone of voice. What they want to hear and feel is clarity, confidence, competence, and care. What they DON’T want to encounter is confusion and indifference.
A VoIP phone system helps you achieve the former — and avoid the latter — by seamlessly integrating with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform. This enables your staff to instantly see a profile for each customer based on their phone number.
For example, even BEFORE your call center agents (or any other staff member) say “Hello, how can I help you?”, they can see what a customer has purchased in the past, as well as other relevant details of their history. Equipped with this background information, they can make the call as efficient and focused — which is what customers want and expect!
The Bottom Line
Proper phone etiquette is not an optional “nice-to-have.” It is an essential factor that will help you stand out and apart from your competition, and drive customer engagement and loyalty. And best of all, an all-in-one VoIP phone system from Carolina Digital Phone ensures that you do not just have to remember these critical phone etiquette tips, but that you DEMONSTRATE THEM consistently day after day.
Remember: talking with customers (and potential customers) is not just an ordinary phone conversation. It is an opportunity to make a lasting positive impression, which drives loyalty, sales, lifetime customer value, and referrals!
Contact Carolina Digital Phone and schedule your free, no-obligation demo of our advanced and affordable all-in-one VoIP phone system. Call us at (336) 544–4000.