Even with the abundance of modern communication tech today, a telephone line is still essential for almost all types of businesses. If your business still uses landlines, here are the common mistakes you must avoid with your telephones.
Despite the modernization of mobile phones and Internet communications, telephones are still not obsolete. However, many business owners are still making mistakes when it comes to using telephones. These mistakes can become costly in the long run and even affect the growth of your business.
Here are some of the most common examples of business telephone mistakes and how you can avoid them:
1. Sticking to obsolete hardware
Just because the telephone itself is still not obsolete doesn’t mean you should keep using outdated hardware. Sure, your old telephone units might be calling 03 phone numbers without a problem, but do they maximize efficiency? Probably not.
Modern telephone systems now have features that aim to improve work efficiency, such as conference calling, voicemail-to-email function, seamless call transfers, Internet capability, and more. So if the last time you updated your phone hardware was more than ten years ago, it’s probably time for an upgrade.
2. Failing to automate
When a customer calls your business, they always want a prompt answer. But what if your receptionist is busy with something else? And what if your customer wants to ask a question outside of business hours? A lack of prompt response can quickly turn away potential customers. To avoid this, automate your phone calls by using a call attendant program.
A call attendant program or an auto-attendant phone system is a voice menu system that transfers callers to their desired extension without talking to a receptionist. It can also be used to answer customer’s queries without talking to a real person (e.g., business hours, location, e-mail address, etc.), saving time for both parties. If no one is available to take the call, the auto-attendant phone system prompts the caller to leave a message.
Failing to automate forces your staff to take in calls, which takes them away from doing more productive tasks. Thus, having no auto-attendant phone system for your business means you are wasting time, money, and labor unnecessarily.
3. Tolerating rude phone call behavior from staff
Everyone hates being interrupted by a phone call, but it’s not an excuse to be unfriendly. If staff answer the phone with a cold (or annoyed) tone, it is enough to make a bad first impression on your customers.
Although you can’t monitor every single phone call that your business receives, you can re-train staff for proper telephone etiquette and warn members who don’t follow the rules. In addition to that, you can call the business from another phone and see how they take the call.
4. Using boring prompts
Ditch the boring prompts that you copied from every other business out there. If you want to make a lasting impression on your customers, come up with fresh and interesting prompts that are easy to remember. However, ensure that your prompts are clear, easy to understand, and done in a voice that sounds trustworthy.
5. Neglecting callbacks and responses
If there is one thing that people hate when it comes to calling businesses, it’s getting a response too late or worse, not getting an answer at all. To avoid this problem from causing you to lose customers, instruct a staff member to take care of all pending inquiries before the end of the day. Better yet, use a digital notepad to record all customer concerns that could not be taken care of on the spot.
On the other hand, you can also reduce the number of calls you receive by setting up an online fact sheet on your website. In this way, customers can seek the answers to their questions without having to call your business. This saves time and money and keeps customers happy.
6. Letting most calls go to voicemail
What do customers do when they are redirected to your voicemail? Drop the call without leaving a message and then look for another business that can speak to them. That said, avoid letting calls go to voicemail as much as possible. And to do that, use a call queuing system that puts customers on hold until your staff is ready to talk with them. But even with this system in place, customers shouldn’t be kept on hold for too long. Usually, five minutes is already a long wait.
If you’re still making these mistakes at your business, you might be losing customers without even knowing it. If you want to keep your business bustling and your customers happy, avoid these telephone mistakes at all costs.