Can one thing in your business be both a benefit and a disadvantage at once? If you’ve heard the incessant ringing of your office phones, you know it can.
Of course, you want increased interaction with your clients, service providers and consumers. But it adds to overworked receptionists’ and office workers’ workloads.
Is there a way to navigate this situation more effectively to benefit all?
Find the Cause (Good or Bad)
Firstly, you must research the nature of this spike in call rates:
- When does this happen? Is it a constant influx or sporadic? This determines whether your solution will be permanent, temporary or occasional.
- Are there mostly complaints or simply enquiries? You may be able to fix a problem with a product or service, which will bring an end to the high call volume.
- What is the nature of the enquiries? This will help you find the most suitable solution. If it’s associated with a recent promotion it’s bound to return to normal, which means you only need a short-term solution.
Organize Additional Staff
Depending on these answers, you may have to provide your receptionist with additional help. If call volumes spike at certain times for instance after a weekend you can assign current employees to telephone duty during those periods. This is more cost effective than hiring more personnel that will only have work at certain times of the week.
Minimum Time — Maximum Results
No matter your solution you need to make sure calls are kept as short as possible. Yes, you want to provide personal service to each caller, but you also need to manage time so you can answer as many calls as possible.
When you put these guidelines in place, each call will be handled effectively:
- Ensure the employee who answers the phone knows enough about your business to answer basic questions, instead of asking for assistance from managers.
- Make sure phone operators know exactly when and how to connect calls to superiors if necessary.
Use Call Answering Services
A handy alternative to using your own staff is to outsource this task to a company that provides call answering services. A professional, friendly human voice will answer each call and you have these benefits:
- You don’t have to invest in more office space or telephone equipment.
- No HR process to find the right candidate is necessary.
- Other employees’ work won’t be affected.
How Can You Utilize Your Website?
While you analyze the reason for your calls you should consider utilizing modern technology to your advantage. If most of the calls relate to basic questions about your business it means people want to know about you, but they can’t find the facts.
In today’s market, your website is probably consumers first step in research. After all, internet usage increases by the day and most people are more likely to browse online than picking up the phone. But if they can’t find information on your site, they’ll contact you.
Can you improve your website to display more basic information that consumers are currently phoning you about?. This is also relevant when you launch promotions or new products. When you keep your website up to date a large percentage of your audience will have information on hand.
We all know phoned in complaints can take longer than average calls. You can minimize them by adding a discussion, review or complaints feature to your website. Make sure you answer each one, and you’ll have fewer calls.
Your phone ringing off the hook can mean more sales and more happy clients, but to guarantee this you need to handle it like an expert. There’s no single right way, but you need to take action if you don’t want those calls to turn into complaints about your business’ customer service. These tools will help you make the best of a challenging situation.