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A phone not answered is money lost!

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!

Steve

P.S. How do you make sure your customers always can contact you? Please share your ideas below in the comments.

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3 Responses to A phone not answered is money lost!

  1. Knockout February 17, 2010 at 11:09 AM #

    I agree. I was the typical O/O and “tried” to answer all the phone calls, but couldn’t, and in some situations didn’t want to. I began this year by hiring an answering service. What a relief, and it’s a great feeling to come home and see work scheduled for me.

    Carpet Cleaning San Diego

  2. Erika Herman February 8, 2011 at 8:37 PM #

    We ran into this quite a bit so we started a company to help small service businesses answer their phones live AND schedule their jobs! The owners can now concentrate on working on their business and not IN their business. They don’t have to be distracted by a phone ringing while on a job or giving an estimate. Our staff answers the calls and schedules the jobs based on your schedule and your information! We only charge per booking – so it is a pay for performance model! If you would like more information please call Erika, Randy or Ashley at 214.367.4000 or email erika@vosservice.com
    Have an awesome day!
    Erika

  3. Ed September 9, 2012 at 12:55 PM #

    When phone rings..”Its money calling” Never tell someone you can’t do something, even if its true. Have you ever heard of net working. Refering the caller to someone you know who can help them.

    Ask the caller to call you back.. if the referral can’t help.. or doesn’t help. That you may be able to referr them to somebodyelse who can. Show confidence by answering your telephone positive.

    Net working.. is a source of customers too.

    Its always “how” can I help..never “I can’t”. Maintaining a
    positive conversation..may pay off later.

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