21 Dec

Make Your Messages Meaningful

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 21.12.11 by John Meloche

Over the past couple of days, we have been blogging about the benefits of doing business over the phone. Quick and convenient, the act of making purchases over the phone is the best way to ensure that you are getting exactly what you are expecting. All questions and concerns can be answered immediately as you have the peace of mind in knowing you have done business with a real live person.

But what about when there is no person to deal with on the phone? As a company owner, it’s important to consider that your customers may not be able to get in touch with you 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Especially with the holidays officially starting this weekend, many businesses will be celebrating them along with the rest of society.

Therefore, it’s important to consider the impression you are leaving on customers who contact your business and may be required to leave a voice message. On About.com, an article by Mary Sandro reveals that a company’s outgoing telephone greeting is “critical” in leaving a good impression about the business.

Sometimes, a customer’s experience with a voice greeting can determine whether or not he or she will do business with a company. Especially for those customers who may be irate about a particular issue, a company’s outgoing message should communicate its ability to help and solve issues quickly.

As Sandro points out, “many companies convolute the telephone greeting to the point that employees hate saying it and customers and prospects dread listening to it.” There is “power in simplicity”, she continues. Mastering the perfect outgoing phone greeting can be done by incorporating three easy elements in it: pleasantry, sincerity and brevity.

First and foremost, writes Sandro, phone greetings need to be pleasant. It sets the emotional stage for callers as they tend to “mirror” the emotional states of the voices they hear. If you want your customers to respond in kind, the voices they hear when they call your company and get an answering machine should also be kind.

The opposite approach, naturally will have the opposite effect. “I recall calling this small store once,” remembered one of our Synergy staff members today, “and on the answering machine, I could hear a dog barking! I actually thought I had the wrong number. Either way, I just thought it was really unprofessional. I didn’t do business with them again.”

Of course, you want to be as kind and friendly as possible when you are actually on the phone with a customer. So why wouldn’t you want your answering service to provide the same type of warmth? In tomorrow’s blog, we will go over the elements of sincerity and brevity in your company’s outgoing phone messages.

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