Check your telephone skills; they are more important than ever
I RECENTLY CALLED the auto dealership at which I always have my car serviced wanting to inquire about four new tires for my car. The dealership had sent me a flier advertising a special deal on tires and I wanted to know more.
The service technician with whom I usually deal failed to answer his telephone. I left a voice mail message asking him to call me back.
When he had not called two days later, I left another voice mail message.
He never called.
I telephoned a tire company. They answered the telephone immediately, gave me a quote that sounded reasonable and a week later the new tires were on my car.
When I next took my car to the dealership, I mentioned to the service technician that I had called and left him a voice mail. He seemed unconcerned and I gathered that he had no real interest in responding to voice mail messages.
Too many companies fail to realize that the telephone remains a most important contact with existing and potential customers. Email remains a poor alternative.
More than half of business is conducted over the telephone. And today telephones are seldom answered by a receptionist whose job it is to be polite to customers. The calls usually go straight to the person involved in dealing with a product or service.
So telephone manners have become the responsibility of almost every staff
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member. And how you present yourself on the telephone is a reflection of your company, organization or association.
Indeed, in many cases, a potential customer's first direct contact with a company is over the telephone. The way they are treated provides the first impression of the nature of the company. A rude or indifferent response will, to the caller, reflect a rude or indifferent company with which they would likely not want to do business.
On the telephone, you convey your personality and attitude to callers who cannot see you in person. The caller does not know whether you are busy or in a bad mood — and, of course, does not care. All the caller hears is an unpleasant person with whom they would rather not do business.
As a result, the approach by the person answering the telephone can make all the difference between a sale and no sale.
The telephone is an indispensable business tool. Like many business tools, it can be used to great benefit or can cause the loss of vital sales.
Test your telephone skills in the "Rate Yourself" box on this page.
— Graham Fysh