How well does your office handle phone calls? A client’s first contact with you is almost always via the telephone. If you do not make a good first impression, you could lose them before you even get the chance to let them know you are the right contractor for their job.
Many small business owners have never studied how to answer an office telephone. Let me share a few pet peeves that I hear from your clients and frankly, share with many of them.
First, if you have a system that requires the client to push one or more buttons before they reach a real person, please get rid of it. It does not make you look like a larger business. It makes you look like an uncaring business. It looks like you are trying to hide. Have you ever called a governmental agency? Nuff said.
Sometimes you have to put someone on hold. Be sure to ask permission first! If you can’t connect the caller with the right person in less than 15-20 seconds, offer to take a name and number and have the call returned. Don’t try their patience with a long hold time. And make sure that call is returned as soon as possible. (The first of my Ten Cardinal Rules.)
Now, when you answer the phone, it should be done in four parts:
Good morning or afternoon (Your welcome message)
ABC Construction Co. (They have reached the right #)
This is Michael (Tells them who they are speaking with)
How may I help you? (Sweetest music to the clients ears)
Answer the phone correctly. You won’t make money by getting off on the wrong foot with a potential client.