What percentage of your customers call before coming in to your store?
Having excellent telephone skills can set you apart from the competition. There are six keys to a successful telephone conversation:
1. The greeting
2. Determine the caller's needs
3. Respond to the caller's needs
4. Offer something extra – current promotional information
5. Invite the caller into your store
6. Thank the caller
Let's explore the first step:
You should answer the phone by the third ring – with a smile on your face. The smile will come across in your voice. An inviting tone says, "I'm happy you called."
Keep your greeting short. Have you ever called a company and had to listen to a long spiel before you get to ask your question?
Avoid this example of a promotional greeting:
"Thank you for choosing XYZ company during our 50% off sale on ABC merchandise, where you can buy one and get one for an exciting reduced price until this Friday, this is Deborah, did you want to place an order?"
Frankly, I stopped listening after you thanked me for choosing you. I don't know if I am going to choose you – I'm calling for information.
Most callers have something they need to ask – they are focused on that question and won't be listening to the great speech you've memorized. Answer the phone with the company name, your name and an open-ended question:
"XYZ company, this is Deborah, how may I help you?"
Keep it friendly, short and inviting!