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How to Properly Answer Phone Calls to Increase Sales?


Being friendly goes a long way. In fact, this may also be the key to sustaining a successful, long-lasting business relationship. Basically, it's a mutual feeling that binds the consumers and the service providers that makes a healthy business cycle. Consumers are the bloodline of every business, and to effectively connect a customer to your business, it will require you to have an effective and reliable communication platform.

Since its invention from the early years, until the current information age, the telephone has been the leading communication tool for every business in the world. Impressive advances in phone technology are being witnessed and experienced by individuals from different generations. Despite the birth of modern technology like smartphones, emails, and chat applications, telephones are still considered the most reliable form of communication, and arguably the number one option for customers due to its reliability. As technology evolves, the phone industry also adjusts to the unique answering service requirements by each business, whether it's in the line of accounting, merchandising, education, or marketing.

Some companies hire an in-house receptionist or opt for outsourcing their live answering service, also known as virtual receptionist – for a broader scope of outsourced work, it is called virtual assistant. Whichever you choose, the strategies on how to properly handle calls to increase sales is surprisingly the same. Humans react to stimuli or actions almost similarly from one another. This is one historical and psychological pattern in achieving the goal of every business industry - customer satisfaction. A satisfied customer will most likely result in increased sales. Frankly speaking, the end goal of every business is a healthy income and a happy customer.



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Here are few of the best practices when answering phone calls to achieve customer satisfaction and an increase in sales:


Be Mindful of Your Attitude and Words


Answer phone calls with a smile. This expression is the hardest thing to fake. They may not see you, but they can definitely feel you. A smiling voice reflects a happy perspective. Cheerful and accommodating attitude attracts positive customers and in return, they will mirror your actions. Every customer wants to have a healthy and positive communication. The secret in having one is to simply start by being friendly. This includes the tone of your voice, a cheerful greeting, an introduction of yourself and the company you're working for, the choice of words, and overall assistance you offer. Avoid using jargon that may confuse the customers on the other end of the line. Use at all time general terminologies understandable to all.


Listen Attentively


After the introduction, it's the customer's turn to explain the reason for their call. Whether it's a product or service inquiry, a purchase order or even a complaint, you should always be ready and patient to listen. The information provided by a customer should not come on one side and go out the other side of your ear. It should be written down and analyzed carefully. Some phone answering services use special tools in taking down and transmitting customer concerns. This is an effective tool to resolve the issue swiftly.

Talking to a human is a big factor for every caller – a real human who has feelings. People are more secure and comfortable talking to real humans who can answer queries and concerns easily rather than talk to a machine or just leave their message and wait for a reply after hours or even days.

Being responsive and re-stating customer's concern is also an effective practice. This will assure them that you are listening and you understand why he or she is calling.




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Empathize with the Customers


After listening to the customer's concern, it's necessary to make them feel that you understand their point. Put yourself in their position; this is the golden rule that every customer-oriented business keeps in mind. There is no room for prejudice. It may sound cliché, but customers are almost always right, or at least try to show them that you truly understand them. Most of the time, it's how you make your customers feel. If you can neutralize the situation, then you’re already halfway in solving the customer’s problem.


Entertain in a Professional Manner


It's important to ask the caller about basic details such as their name and contact information. If you feel that they're open to disclose some more details about their concern, be open to asking and sincerely show your interest. Having an interactive conversation is healthy. If customers feel entertained with the personalized service you've shown to them, expect repeating customers to look specifically just for you. It's a reward no one can ever take away from you or dictate to a customer. Just know your limits and when to stop.


Avoid Promises


Avoid making promises, but assure them that their concern will be handled in a time-bound and realistic approach. If you're quite unsure about the timeline, you can get the customer's contact details and make sure to return a call for follow-throughs. A broken promise is difficult to forget. It may happen once but the effect of this will surely take a long time. One percent wrong move will be remembered rather than the 99% right actions. Trust is surely the most difficult factor to win back once broken.



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Use Open-Ended Responses


A short Yes or No answer can mislead callers to think that you're not interested. It's necessary to ask for follow-up questions. A well-trained virtual receptionist, for instance, would know what to ask or say to be able to have a fruitful conversation.


Do Follow-Up Calls When Necessary


The end goal of a customer care unit is to resolve the issues and answer perfectly as much as possible the caller's concern. If it's necessary to make follow-up calls or updates, you're free to make one. This will surely build familiarity and trust with your customers, which will then lead to their investment on your product or service.

With a neck-to-neck battle among telephone answering service providers, choosing the most effective virtual receptionist (or virtual assistant) is really essential. This can dictate the future of your company, especially for start-ups trying to move up to the ladder and be known to consumers. Success stories are often founded by friendly and humble beginnings.

Telephones are like doors where customers enter and having a receptionist to welcome them at your doorstep is the secret to getting and maintaining loyal patrons. This will surely increase sales and build the name every company longs for. Companies alone cannot build a reputation, it's the customer's experience and feedback that will introduce them to the market and will harden the foundation, making it stronger and bigger in the years or even decades to come.

Sign up now for your free 7-day telephone answering service trial, and see for yourself how it can help your business.

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