Can answering your phone be a negative thing?

It is a cardinal creed for cleaning and restoration professionals- the phone is your lifeline and you NEVER let go of it! Translation: Your phone get’s answered 24-7!

True confession time: I literally slept with my phone! And yes, this 24-7 service is needed with emergency mitigation services. (Our restoration company had a guaranteed one hour response time- 24 hours a day.)

However, remember that many of your regular cleaning clients will call in as the urge strikes them and are literally shocked when a live person answers their call at 11:00 PM. In fact, you picking up the phone may actually be a negative Moment of Truth versus your client being able to leave a simple message. So set up a way to “sort” your after-hours callers with this message:

“For non-emergency services please leave a message and we will return your call first thing tomorrow morning. If you have water damage or need other immediate 24 hour help from (insert employee’s name), our on-call technician, just touch #1 on your keypad and you will be transferred automatically to his cell phone.”

When your after-hours customer hits #1 they are transferred immediately to your tech’s cell phone. (More on setting up “on-call employees” next week.)

Residential HINT: Obviously during working hours a live person using a residential Phone Format is essential. But if you absolutely must let voice mail answer at least say, “We are on helping other customers. But please leave a message and we will call you back within five minutes AND give you a 15.00 discount on your next carpet cleaning.”

Commercial HINT: Commercial property managers want to have a “go-to” company when things go wrong. So you need to be there for them by leaving your personal cell phone with key accounts. (This can be a very positive Moment of Truth.)

Restoration HINT: Explain to agents and adjusters who are addicted to their Preferred Service Provider network that you’ll be happy to take the “extra work” that their PSP company can’t get to. Then be sure to deliver great service to the Insured!

Steve Toburen

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1 thought on “Can answering your phone be a negative thing?”

  1. Always put a smile on your face when you answer a phone or record your message. The customer will somehow feel that throught the phone. Sounds crazy but it works. Some of the best customer service companies recommend this.

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