Although forms of communication that allow delayed responses such as text messages and emails are popular, you still rely on phone calls at your office. Make sure you’re managing your phones at a professional level by asking yourself these three questions.
1. Do You Need to Upgrade Your Infrastructure?
If your office’s private branch exchange is still based on a landline rather than in the cloud, it’s time to upgrade to hosted PBX solutions. This form of unified communications as a service allows you to manage your company’s phone calls without the clunkiness of standard desktop phones. As you gain new workers, simply add more lines to your plan, and don’t forget to take advantage of these features:
- International communication capabilities
- Mobile apps
- Texting services
- Email servers
- Upgrades included in the price
Not only does upgrading to hosted PBX solutions simplify your communication systems, but it also simplifies your employees’ communication with each other. All your contacts are in the same system, and you can reach each other through multiple platforms if necessary.
2. Do You Waste Time on Calls?
Everyone knows the experience of being on hold for a long time only to be immediately transferred when a representative finally picks up. This is one of the easiest ways to lose customers and drive down your approval ratings. Give every employee a clear title and establish the chain of command for the most common customer service problems. That way, when a customer calls you, your employees know exactly how to respond and don’t waste time figuring out who the client should talk to.
Another huge waste of time is looking up data while on a call. For example, if you run a consulting firm and your employees have to search for your pricing information, your customers become impatient and hang up. Streamline your phone calls by compiling the most relevant information and storing it within your UCaaS platform. For example, send emails to all your employees with access to cloud-based spreadsheets that answer their questions about scheduling and pricing.
3. Do You Know How to Be Professional?
No matter how advanced your hosted PBX solutions are, if you’re not professional on calls, customers don’t want to work with you. Being professional starts the moment you answer the phone, when you state your name and title and ask the caller if you can help him or her. During the call, avoid the following behaviors:
- Making assumptions about the caller
- Using slang or profanity
- Speaking poorly about your competition
- Asking irrelevant personal questions
Take notes and avoid checking your email or text messages, even if your caller can’t see you.
Your standards of professional behavior must be uniform across your company for the best results. Hold regular training reminding your employees about your expectations and coaching them through difficult phone scenarios. Don’t forget to include sensitivity training so that your employees don’t discriminate against or harass their clients. For example, even if you think you know someone’s race, socioeconomic status, or sexuality because of the way he or she speaks on the phone, do not voice that assumption.
Similarly, remind your employees to be sensitive to transgender and nonbinary individuals by accepting their preferred pronouns and names. While this may upset some of your workers, if you do not make these advancements, you risk upsetting customers and even facing legal battles.
Phone calls have been around for a long time, but this area of technology is constantly developing. Make sure you’re at the front end of progress by evaluating your phone policies with these three questions. Then, make the changes necessary to improve your communication skills.