By: John Galligan
Sometimes you only get one shot in the business world. An entire business relationship can come down to just one phone call.
When someone calls a place of business it is usually because they need help with a request or need information. They have an issue and need it fixed. We have to realize that the phone call they are making might be the only one they make. If they need assistance and they get bad service they might explore new options.
Each phone call is a fresh start. Help the person on the other end. Word of mouth is important and you don’t know who is on the other end. It could be a quick fix or their request might take a little time but if you brush them off as it’s not your problem you’re wrong on two levels. One, it is your role to handle the situation, you work for the company and a client or customer needs assistance so try to solve it.
Two, you don’t know who the caller is. You may find out that the person who called was calling for a president or CEO of a member or sponsor or actually the CEO. In either case, you know how this story ends.
While some people call in angry about something; most people just want a solution so remember that. This article lists some great options on how to move forward in customer service: http://www.helpscout.net/blog/customer-service-skills/
Your goal should only be to solve the issue not to get off the phone. Don’t answer a question you don’t know. People don’t call in to have you guess, they can do that on their own. Don’t know? Find out.
In relation to this if you are hiring someone to field phone calls have some rules or guidelines. There are a few more tips here: http://www.callrail.com/blog/why-its-important-to-have-great-employees-answering-your-business-phones/
As a business or association you are generally trying to be the best option for people to choose. Phone calls can make or break you. Recently, Comcast was on the bad end when their customer service person gave a tech savvy customer poor service and the customer shared his experience online and it went viral. Just like that, one phone call and it’s national news. You don’t know the consequences of such a simple situation until it happens. Treat everyone with respect and assist them to the best of your ability and you’ll do well.
Just something to think about next time your phone rings.