1) You have 7 seconds to make a great first impression. Own them.
67% of people who reach a business and don’t get a live person have reported hanging up.
People clearly crave the human connection that comes from a live person answering their call.
60% of TrustedChoice.com referrals choose to call agents, instead of email them.
This is consumers handing us direct opportunities to make an incredible first impression.
Own it and trust begins to form.
Drop the ball – and don’t ask why they took their business elsewhere.
2) Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t do.
Every phone call is an issue waiting to be solved.
Focusing on your limitations, what you can’t do, doesn’t help move towards a solution; it distracts and makes your caller feel less confident in your ability to give them what they want.
Even if what you can do doesn’t solve the problem immediately, your caller will be one step closer towards the solution than they were before they picked up the phone.
3) Pick up the phone in 4 rings.
People count rings.
Think about it.
You do, don’t you?
Heck, I know I do.
The more rings someone hears, the more they think no one is home.
Even when a lot of time hasn’t passed, callers can still feel like their waiting too long because of the number of rings.
Ashley shares that the Ruby Receptionist Best Practice is to pick up the phone in 4 rings.
By 5 or 6, callers start to get irritated.
4) Maybe it’s time to say goodbye to automated phone trees.
Over 70% of people have reported hanging up when they hit a phone tree.
Businesses see phone trees as a tool to help them disseminate calls.
Consumers see phone trees as a nuisance keeping them from talking to a live human.
A phone tree places the burden on the caller to figure out how to reach the person they need. Whereas if a live person answers, it’s the live person’s job to get the customer to the right individual or solve the problem.
A phone tree is work for the customer.
And as you’ll hear Ashley so aptly point out: has anyone honestly ever said a phone tree is great???
(Sidenote: if you do need a phone tree, Ashley also shares some Best Practices at the end of the recording.)
5) Expectations are important. Set them.
Consumers love transparency (ask anyone who likes to track shipments).
Aaaaand they loathe being kept in the dark.
For example, if someone leaves you a voicemail, don’t leave them wondering when you’ll call them back.
It makes them nervous and tense.
Make sure your voicemail sets their expectation about receiving a call-back.
6) Consider a live receptionist for late night calls.
The mobile world is 24/7.
Having a phone with me at all times in all places makes businesses more susceptible to my after-hours needs.
Ashley shares that Ruby Receptionist has seen an increase in mobile calls in recent years (their business is 13 years old).
That’s why they answer phone calls from 8am to 12pm Eastern time for many of their clients.
When a tired and frustrated client thinks they’ll hit a voicemail at 9pm, but instead hears a friendly and helpful person on the other end, it makes a huge impact.
7) Don’t be nice. Be empathetic.
Ashley explains that Ruby Receptionist hires people who really want to help others; people who genuinely want to positively impact other people’s lives.
Outstanding phone service is more than being nice and friendly.
It’s understanding what your caller is going through when you pick up the phone and relating to it.
8) Track & measure.
Ashley and I talked quite a bit about the cool, incredibly user-friendly features available in the Ruby Receptionist mobile app.
But what really stood out were the analytics features.
It made me wonder how many agents track and measure their phone service.
Amazingly cool mobile apps aside, do you know how much your callers enjoy the phone service you provide?
Do you know how many phone prospects turn into new clients? And what impact your phone service had in that conversion?
Might be time to find out.
Check out these awesome resources!
The Power of 30 seconds is a free inbound phone sales training course created just for Independent Agents. Get started here: www.independentagent.com/30seconds.
You can find out more about Ruby Receptionist here: http://www.callruby.com/.