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How to Professionally Answer a Business Call

Working in a small business answering service, there is one thing that you learn pretty quickly – how to answer a business call. When you are on the phone all day, you learn pretty quickly to pick up on the cues as to how your delivery was received and when the way you answered the phone just was not received well (it happens, even to the best of us!). But what are you to do as a small business owner. You don’t have the benefit of thousands of calls under your belt. You haven’t made all of the mistakes and learned from them. Hopefully, this will save you from making some of the mistakes so that you are able to represent your business well and make the kind of first impression that you want to make.

Here are 5 Tips That Will Help You Answer a Business Call Professionally

Don’t Let it Ring
Nobody wants to wait, listening to the phone ring. If you want your caller to feel cared for and to have a better interaction with you, answer the phone on the second ring whenever possible. The third ring is totally fine, but by the fourth or fifth ring your call either goes to voicemail or you risk your caller hanging up in frustration. However, if you answer the phone too quickly, it can actually catch a caller off guard which is why we recommend the second ring.

Have a Smile in Your Voice
We have always used this in our training for new operators, and it works very well. We want to answer every call with a smile in our voice. When someone answers the phone, you can often tell what kind of day they are having simply by the tone of their voice. Our operators are known as “friendly and professional” for a reason. We make it a priority to answer every call in a friendly and happy voice – no matter what has gone on earlier in the day, no matter how rude the last caller was, etc.

Everyone Loves to Hear Their Name
Always ask for (and remember) a caller’s name. Write it down if you have to. You want to be able to address a caller by their name because they will really appreciate it. It shows that you are listening and subconsciously, it puts you on their side. In our initial greetings, we always identify ourselves by name and get the callers name. That way we can use it in the course of the conversation making the call much more personal.

Pros Use a Script
The best advice that I can give you on how to answer a business call is to use a script. You should answer every call the same way. Make sure that you use and feel comfortable with your script. Something like, “Thank you for calling Dr. Smith’s Office. This is Jane, how may I help you?” You want to use your business name so that callers know that they have called the right place. You want to identify yourself so that callers know who they are talking to. And you want to ask them why they are calling so that you can help them quickly and efficiently.

End on a Positive Note
Always try to end your call on a positive note. There are several things that you can do to accomplish this. One simple way is to ask if there is anything else you can do to help. Another way is to thank them for calling and to wish them a good day. You need to find a way that feels comfortable to you and to stick with it on every call.

How To Answer a Business Call Professionally

  • Do your best to answer every call by the second or third ring.
  • Answer each call with a pleasant tone of voice.
  • Ask each caller their name and use it throughout the conversation.
  • Have a script that you use to start every call and then follow it.
  • Finish every call on a positive note.

Try Us Risk Free
If you would like all of your calls answered by our world-class friendly and professional operators, you can give our service a try risk-free. Give us a call at 888-528-5678 or click here to fill out a form and we will get back to you right away!


smal business answering service lets you compete with the big boys

5 Small Business Tips To Help You Compete With The Big Boys

The economy is getting slowly better, and with it, the fortunes of small businesses are improving as well. Many think that it will keep improving and that new jobs will be created and that small businesses will expand. Since we help many small businesses with their communications needs, we sincerely hope that this is the case. However, whether the economy keeps improving or not, as a small business owner you want to be able to compete with the big companies – of course at a fraction of the cost. Here are 3 ways that you can do just that.

Invest In Your Team

I know, I know, you are a small business. You may even run a one man show. But whatever size you are, you will never get anywhere if you do not have a team to help you out. If you hire employees, take the time to train them to do their jobs right. The worst thing that can happen is for your employees to damage relationships with your customers because they were not trained properly. If you do not have employees, you need to do two things. First, find people that you can outsource some of your more menial tasks to. And second, get a network of professionals that can help you out with advice, send referrals your way, and be a resources to your clients.

Don’t Let Your Prospects Know You’re Small

Just because you are a small business doesn’t mean you have to let your prospects (or even your customers!) know that you are small. Run your business professionally. Offer great service, make sure everything looks professional, and mind the details. Often, by having a professional logo, website, packaging and marketing materials, you can appear much bigger than your are and give a great first impression to any prospects.

Make Sure That You’re Reachable, Even When You’re Not

Do you like leaving voicemail? Of course not, no one does – and that includes all of your customers. But, sometimes you are on the phone or in a meeting when the phone rings. What can you do to make sure that your prospects and customers always talk to a live voice? It is usually cost prohibitive to hire a receptionist to handle those calls for you (and even with a receptionist, sometimes they are on a break, call in sick or are on the other line). Often, the simplest solution is to hire a small business answering service to handle the calls that you can’t (perhaps someone like PCNAnswers!), They will have a friendly and professional operator answer your calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year so you’ll never miss an important call again and your customers will never have to talk to a voicemail box!

Of course you know your business best. You know what your customers need and how you can best meet their needs. And if being more reachable and making a great first impression is something that would help your small business, we would love the opportunity to talk to you about your customer service needs!


customer service tips

5 Effective Customer Service Tips Battle Tested in a Call Center

customer service tipsWhen what you do all day is talk on the phone, you get to learn a little something about customer service. I’ve been with PCN for quite some time now and they are amazing at making sure that we are well trained in customer service. They asked me to write up a blog post about the 5 things that I find most helpful in dealing with customers on the phone, so I’ve come up with 5 tips that I think will help anyone that deals with customers on the phone on a daily basis.

1. Don’t Try To Go Too Fast With A Customer
Yes, you have a lot of calls coming through. You probably have a stack of work on your desk too. But if you want to deliver excellent customer service it takes time. You need to make sure that the customer feels heard and you can’t do that if you are already thinking about the next call that you are going to take. Stop, breathe, and focus on the caller. Hear their problem, understand their problem, and then deal with their problem however possible. We find that hearing a customer is better than solving a problem as far as customer satisfaction goes.

2. Close The Conversation Well
This goes hand and hand with number one, but you have to make sure that you have actually dealt with the issue. You want to take the time to ask, “Is there anything else that I can help you with today?” Don’t assume that if you solve one issue that the customer is now happy. There are often multiple things that a customer would like help with, and if you do not give them the chance to voice them, they will often not call back and will leave the interaction quite unsatisfied.

3. Be Unified
This one is huge. It is great as an answering service that we get to talk through common complaints and how to handle them with our clients. That allows us to have all of the information in our script so that no matter what operator a caller talks to, they will get the same answer with a complaint. All companies should have something similar, and it has to be a working document. When a new issue arises, take the time to document how you want it to be handled and make sure that every employee that may deal with customers on the phone has easy access to it. The last thing that you want is for two customers to compare notes and find that they were both told different things. Or for two employees to tell the same customer two different things. Either of these can turn into a customer service nightmare.

4. Answer The Phone Quickly
We find that when we answer the phone quickly customers appreciate it and feel better cared for. At the times when the phone rings a few more times, a customer has already started to become annoyed and it can often last through the whole conversation. So do yourself a favor. Answer the phone quickly with a friendly and professional voice (our trainers tell us to have a smile in our voice and that really seems to work) and you can already start to put out any fires.

5. Have The Right People Answer The Phone
I bet having read that, you pictured an employee (or past employee) that shouldn’t be taking customer service calls taking one. There are some people that should not be tasked with customer service. If you have a very task oriented employee, they are going to struggle to take the time necessary to make a customer feel heard. That is not to say that there is no place for task oriented employees – companies would be lost without them. But you need to make sure that you have the right people plugged into the right places.

Need Help With Your Customer Service?

If you need help delivering excellent customer service or you are looking to lighten the workload on your employees (or yourself) we would love to help. We offer a 7 day risk free trial. Give us a call at 888.528.5678 and we will get you set up!


customer service training

5 Customer Service Training Tips

The success of your small business is often measured by the satisfaction of your customers. That is why so many capable entrepreneurs put a premium on customer service. From big companies like Starbucks and Zappos to neighborhood cafes passionate about satisfying both local patrons and newcomers, excellent customer service is key to staying ahead.

Here are five easily doable ideas on customer service training:

1. Switch their roles from staff to customer.

Ask your staff to identify themselves as a customer. More importantly, ask them to specifically think about a typical customer. By imagining a real-life person and stepping into his/her shoes, your staff will most likely empathize with customers and satisfy each of their individual needs. Don’t forget to ask your staff to identify ways of “going to extra mile” for customers. While this may seem like a simple exercise, it can really go a long way into helping your staff to answer common questions more clearly, and with more compassion.

2. Give them a motivational boost.

It’s no secret that motivated employees serve people best. But how will you get them energized to do something mundane as answering calls? Pep talks are thing of the past. Researchers found that the single most crucial factor that keeps people motivated is having a sense of purpose. Make sure your staff knows that their jobs benefit not only a business but an entire community. Let them know about success stories that you hear about. Give them praise when you get a favorable review about how a customer service situations was handled.

3. Check competitor customer service.

Have them phone a competitor to purchase an item or inquire about a service. This alone will help your staff critique customer service from a constructive, non-biased perspective. They can learn from other people’s mistakes and embrace best practices to improve their own service. This can often take the blinders off of a representative. They can pick up on some of the bad habits that they don’t realize that they have if they experience it from the other side.

4. Provide regular communication skills training.

How trained is your staff when it comes to explaining a service or handling upset customers? Get them involved in basic customer communication trainings. Give them practical scenarios so that they can practice their skills and build their confidence. Don’t forget to give them constructive feedback and encourage them to support one another. Role playing can be a good idea here, but don’t let it get out of hand.

5. Make them explain your product or service.

This can be done in less than half an hour. You can do simple quizzes, product demos and team briefings to help your staff develop product or service knowledge. As customer service representatives, they’re likely to receive a lot of questions pertaining to products and services. As expected of a stellar staff, they should be able to confidently explain them to customers.

Are your employees trained and qualified to give customers the service they deserve? Use these 5 tips and your employees will be better able to serve your customers with excellence.


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