What kind of image do your company telephone procedures portray? It is important to avoid the classic screaming out, “OK, who is going to pick up the phone?” and then the mad dash to desperately answer the phone all out of breath. It does paint a picture, doesn’t it?
In a multi-person office the phone should always be answered within four rings. Program your phone system to ring at the reception desk for the first two rings. Then it rings at three other support desks on the third and fourth ring. After that it automatically transfers to the answering service on the fifth ring.
This is just an automated version of the system we always followed. We assigned “back-up” phone personnel in shifts in our office. One advantage of a multi-person office is there is depth to handle the phones. But it does need to be organized. We found it good to put this arrangement in shifts. Then the “designated phone staff” could schedule their tougher paper work needing deeper concentration for the times when they weren’t assigned as a back-up person on the phone. The essential thing is to recognize that there is nothing more urgent or important than answering the phone and converting that price-shopping carpet cleaning prospect into a life long Cheerleader for your company!
P.S. How do you make sure your customers always can contact you? Please share your ideas below in the comments.