Telephone Etiquette for your Service Business
Answering the phone professionally creates a great first impression for a customer who’s shopping around for a service—definitely beating out a rushed “hello.”
Top quality customer service begins with the first interaction you have with a customer. Whether this first interaction is in person, over email, or over the phone, this is going to be your customer’s first impression of your company and brand.
As so many business relationships start out over the phone, it’s important to have a telephone policy and procedure in place. As a business owner, it’s your job to ensure that when customers phone in, they’re talking with engaged and knowledgeable staff.
Do you have a standard procedure in place for how you and your staff answer the phone? When you can’t get to the phone, do you have a professional voicemail greeting? If not, it’s time to get started with professional telephone etiquette for your service business!
Answering the Phone
Your business phone should be answered within 3 rings. You don’t want to leave your customers (or potential customers) waiting for someone to greet them. When answering the phone, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Answer the phone with a positive greeting that includes the name of the person answering the phone and the name of your business.
- The disposition of the person answering the phone matters. Try smiling before answering the phone, as this can have a positive impact on inflection and tone.
- Be authentic! Just because you are being professional, doesn’t mean you need to be stale or stuffy. Make sure to answer the phone in a way that is a good representation of your company and brand.
Placing a Customer on Hold
There will be times that you need to place a customer on hold.
By starting the phone conversation off on the right foot, with a positive disposition and professional greeting, you’ve already built trust with the customer and they will be okay with you placing them on hold.
Remember, always ask permission to place a customer on hold and thank your callers for waiting.
Voicemail for your Service Business
You and your team won’t always be able to get to the phone within 3 rings… and that’s okay!
In the event that you or your team can’t answer the phone, make sure that you have a professional voicemail that encourages your customers to leave a message. A professional voicemail will build trust with your customers and keep the conversation going.
Your voicemail greeting should:
- State the name of your business and business hours
- Explain why the phone call may have gone to voicemail. Is the phone answered only during certain times? Does the line go to voicemail when you’re on the phone with another customer?
- Set expectations around when your customer can expect to receive a call back.
Outsourcing your Phone Service
If you’re running a field service company, you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the field. It can be a big challenge to work in the field and be available to provide your customers with top notch customer service.
As your service company grows, you may want to look at hiring admin staff or outsourcing your phone services to a virtual receptionist.
There are some great reasons to look into a virtual receptionist service.
Improved Customer Service
Virtual receptionists are customer service pros. You don’t need to worry about training staff or making sure that proper phone answering operations are in place.
Once you have your virtual receptionist service in place, you can rest easy knowing that your customers are going to get great customer service when they phone in.
Smooth Business Operations
A virtual reception service, in combination with business management software like Jobber, can make your admin work more manageable and cut down on admin costs.
A reception service like Pink Callers will work with you to make sure you get your phone calls and messages in the way that works best for you. Should phone calls be forwarded to your cell phone? Would you prefer to receive text message or email notifications? A service like Pink Callers will make sure that you are setup for success.