The 2017 May issue of CarCare Business is now available online. You can flip through it here, but first, a few words from the Associate Publisher of CarCare Business, Shirley Brown.
Answering the Phone
Maybe it would be a good idea to ask a colleague to critique your phone answering skills!!! Or does it matter to you?
In the past few weeks, I have phoned a few shops and stores to ask questions, ask for some background, delve into some statistics or ask for some data I needed to use for an article I was writing.
One business I called answered with “Hello” and I quickly checked to see that I had the correct phone number. I did, so then asked if this was XYZ Auto. “Oh, yeah…” I got in reply. I would like to think that this person had just had “brain fade” when answering the phone that day and it didn’t happen all the time! Another call netted me “Can you hold?” Not “Can you hold, please?”
Another phone was answered with the name (I think) of the business but said it so fast I couldn’t make it out.
What’s my point? My point is that this is your business. You help your customers and you’re always looking for new ones. So is answering your phone in any of the above modes doing you any favours?
The right way
Another call I made, the person answering said, “Good morning, ZYX Auto. How may I help you?” A great way to start the conversation and the person phoning in feels that you want to help. I think this falls under customer relationships. You want to build a relationship with your customer. You want to feel they know you want to help them. You want to get them the correct parts or repair their vehicle so it is safe to drive. You need to start off on a good foot with them.
Having your staff answer the phone well is a good way to start. Your customer will feel more welcome. I know it’s a small thing, but small things count… like a lasting relationship with that customer.
I realize the staff who answer the phones are busy. They’re looking up parts, dealing with an irritable person, trying to help a customer with important information, but they can speak courteously and knowledgeably. It’s a first step in the right direction. And it might be worthwhile reminding your staff of this in your daily morning meetings. It sounds more professional and welcoming.
P.S.: The person answering the phone with “Good morning” is on staff at a repair shop in Waterloo!