Do you know why first impressions matter for business success? It’s because of a phenomenon that famous business author Malcolm Gladwell refers to as thin slicing. Thin slicing means that we often make judgments within the first few seconds of meeting someone. These can range from whether a person is trustworthy to whether one should do business with them. So, if you want to win over new customers, it is critical that your small business handles inbound customer inquiries the right way. But what’s the right way? The answer is simple. Excellent customer service.
When it comes to customer service, consumers are becoming increasingly demanding. The 2014 Global Customer Service Barometer study found that 60% of respondents who intended to conduct a business transaction or make a purchase decided not to after a poor service experience. The study revealed that customer service was the second most important factor that people consider when choosing a company to do business with, and it’s defined by three things: 1) knowledgeable representatives who can satisfactorily answer customer queries; 2) personalized service; and 3) thanking customers for their business. Raise your hand if you think this can be accomplished through voicemail.
Having a telephone receptionist service answer your calls may just mean the difference between a thriving business and a failed one. And with today’s small business landscape being so competitive, you have to be on top of your game at every turn. A simple phone service just will not do!
Here are three non-negotiable elements that will ensure every call your business receives is a success:
- Answer calls promptly. No one likes to be waiting around, and customers appreciate the fact that you value their time.
- Have a professional script. A trained answering service will be able to provide you with a consistent sales pitch and the personal touch that only a live agent service can deliver. It all starts with the perfect answering service script.
- Monitor and improve your Call Statistics: It is important to monitor and continuously improve key metrics such as average number of rings before answer, hold time etc. Multiple rings and lengthy hold times can cause your prospects to abandon the call.
If your small business is running on an even smaller operating budget, then look for an answering service that gives you the biggest value for your money. And make sure ‘excellent customer service’ is permanently on your radar.