Talking on the phone has changed over the years, but the need to do so with courtesy hasn’t. Nancy Friedman, “The Telephone Doctor,” has spent decades teaching others how to provide stellar customer service on the phone.
A featured speaker for the upcoming UMA Sales Summit, Friedman will share a preview of her golden nuggets for customer service. Don’t miss it.
“Every day, we’re all reminded of how phones are answered. Such a simple thing. And yet, it’s not often given its due respect. I know because of the mystery calls I make. It’s usually too painful for my clients to do their own,” she said.
While Friedman can’t say there’s a best way or the only way, she can teach clients a more effective way to answer a business phone.
And that’s what her company, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, has been sharing for more than 30 years. Here are Friedman’s tips for conveying customer service when answering the phone:
Use a buffer. A buffer can be “Hi,” “Good Morning” or “Thanks for calling.” (Even Merry Christmas or Happy New Year — something that warms the call.) But every call needs a buffer. Just spitting out “Acme Travel” is cold and rude. Use a buffer to warm the call. We like “thanks for calling.”
Company Name. Relatively easy. It’s your company name. Using the buffer helps make the company name stand out.
Your name. “This is Nancy.” “This is (your name).” Then stop. Anything after your name erases your name. And it’s not “Nancy speaking.” It’s “This is Nancy.” Nancy Speaking is married to Bob Speaking. They have two kids — Judy Speaking and Joe Speaking. Well, you get the picture. Callers will remember the last thing we say. We want it to be our name, not “speaking.”
Speed. We’ve all called companies where the greeting sounds like a sequel to “Gone with the Wind.” Way too long. And, as in “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” just blurting out “Acme” is way too short — as well as cold and rude. Watch the speed and tone of your voice. It’s critical.
How can I help you? To use or not to use? We suggest not using it in the initial greeting. You are there to help. That’s why you answered the phone.
Smile. It can be heard. It must be heard.