How formal or casual should your Answering Service/Virtual Receptionist be?
At Central Communications, some of our customers have been with us for years and years. We have a great relationship with them, and while we are still professional, we are also informal in our conversations with them. The same goes for some of our customers’ customers. Asking how the family is doing, or if your child is feeling better is not out of line.
At South Coast and Central Comm., we strive every single day to give our customers great service, in fact, after a while we get pretty invested in our customers, and take almost as much pride in their success as we do in ours. Without customers, there is no Central Communications and we never forget that.
At the same time, we also know that there are rules and guidelines for business etiquette. We feel that it is appropriate to be warm and friendly, but not too familiar with either our customers or yours. It’s a fine line to walk, but I would say that 99% of our customers think we do a great job.
Whether you are an answering service or not, there a guidelines you should always follow when you pick up a call.
First of all, don’t mumble. Speak clearly, and for gosh sakes, use good grammar. If you have taken a message for a customer and are then going to forward a message via text, do not use those abbreviations we all use when texting our friends. That is a no no for business texts!
Don’t make your bad day someone else’s bad day!! Take a deep breath and adjust your attitude before you pick up the phone. Put a smile on your face. If you have to prop yourself up in front of a mirror to do this, then so be it. If you are tired and grumpy, the person on the other end of the call doesn’t know if it is them you are displeased with, or someone else. And it doesn’t matter; they could be having a rough day themselves, and attitude from you could put them off.
Be helpful!! If someone is stuck in a bad situation, the words “I don’t know” just won’t do. If you don’t know the answer to something, then go find someone who does. Never try to bluff, and for gosh sakes, never lie. Tell the caller, you don’t have the answer but you will find out, AND follow up. Even if you don’t find the answer to their question, people are always impressed when you follow up instead of leaving things hanging.
Treat customers with the same respect you want them to treat you with and you will have a happy customer..