Many small business communications these days is often done though email and other computer-based communication methods. But they still have not yet replaced the telephone as the primary method of first contact that a potential client will use. Telephone communication will leave an impression about your business to your potential clients and even returning customers.
Greet your business callers with a professional tone while establishing that they are calling your company. Having business calls answered with something like: “Thank you for calling ABCD Limited. How can I help you?” Or “Thank you for calling ABCD Limited. How can I direct your call?” will immediately let your customers know, in a professional tone, that they have phoned the correct place.
If your call is being answered by a receptionist redirecting calls to the right person, this too can go a long way to showing that your company is professional – and assure callers that the receptionist can connect them to the right person in your organization. While auto attendants were very popular, more and more businesses are learning that most customers and potential clients are not satisfied with having to press options and extension numbers. For this reason, many might choose to deal with a competitor that has a live person answering phones.
How business calls are answered can also be a deciding factor in where you have your office space. Smart small business owners are more often choosing to locate their office in an office business centre that offers them a live receptionist who answers their calls in a professional manor and handles them according to their wishes. This means that if someone calls the company and asks for sales, the receptionist can transfer that call to the person who takes care of sales – even if they work outside the office.
Companies who do not have an office space or work from home or on the road, can also have their calls answered and handled by a live receptionist in a virtual office plan at an office business centre. This type of service not only provides a small business with someone who answers calls and greets customers in a professional manor, it also provides them with a prestigious business address that is different than their home address or a P.O. Box.
Having a live receptionist who has instructions on how to handle calls does not only get customers to the right person, but can also re-direct suspected unwanted telemarketing calls directly to voice mail. These are the calls that begin with something like “can you direct me to the person who takes care of your photocopier?” Normally, these are telemarketing calls are automatically red-flagged.
While incoming calls should be answered in a professional tone, so should outgoing business calls. It is important when make an outgoing call to a customer, client or even a vendor, to introduce yourself and your company (or brand message) when the person on the other end answers. This leads to a positive and professional impression, reminding them the call is about business only.