In today’s fast paced business environment we all have more to do and less time to do it. Too often something needs to give. We skip some aspects of our work to attend to other, more pressing priorities. Too often the items staff sacrifice are communications with customers, prospects, and even coworkers. They don’t intend to slight the very reason for their jobs, but that’s what ends up occurring. Here’s what happens:
Most organizations have a receptionist to answer their main phone line, to make that first great impression on callers. (I certainly hope you aren’t hiding from your customers by using impersonal automation tools that no one likes.) In most instances managers assign additional tasks to their receptionists. Too often these secondary tasks take precedence over the ringing phone. “Let it go to voicemail” they wrongly say or “let someone else get it.” Even if they merely delay a couple of rings before answering, the chance to make a good impression is gone.
Key staff often have direct lines that ring on their desk or a portable devise they carry on their person. In theory they are always available. But when they get busy, they left their phone ring or have voicemail answer every call. Now they are not available at all. Messages pile up, and callers grow frustrated. They may even forget to check their messages.
Most organizations have generic email addresses (such as info@…) or department email addresses (such as sales@…). Someone needs to check those email addresses. What if they get busy, forget, or go on vacation? One organization completely forgot about their info@… email address. When someone stumbled upon it, there were nine months of messages.
When you are on vacation, who checks your work email? I hope it’s not you; you are supposed to be taking a break. And I hope you don’t let them pile up; that’s overwhelming when you return. You could ask a coworker to check, but will they remember? Or you could activate an out-of-the-office autoresponder, but will you remember to turn it off when you return? Many people forget. In each of these instances your answering service can help; they can serve as your backup. They can help callers, provide information, connect them to the right person, or take a message. The same applies to email: screen, respond, forward, or hold for later. Your answering service can backup you and your staff. Does your answering service have your back? It should. Janet Livingston is the president of Call Center Sales Pro, a premier sales and marketing service provider for the call center and telephone answering service industry. Contact Janet at email@example.com or 800-901-7706. Peter Lyle DeHaanis a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.