I’ve heard it all, people. The entire span from “Ya!” to “BODYSHOP!” to “Thank you for calling ABC Collision Repair, this is Susan, how may I help you today?”; it’s all over the board. Really, I think it is a measure of personal respect, the manner in which you answer your business telephone.

In this issue, we’ve talked about the first impressions made by the physical appearance of the outside and inside of your business, and your employees, but the telephone is no less important. Giving the due diligence to have a procedure for anyone answering will pay off indefinitely.

Your first impression on the end of the ringing line is a concern. It is a primary source of revenue. It’s a first line to your customer, both existing and potential. Talking to your staff – including yourself – about what takes place when you pick it up can change the dynamic of your customer base. The expectation of folks today is that any retail business should be professional, and act professionally.

What are the most important factors of answering the phone properly?

  • Identifying the business name
  • Stating the person’s name answering
  • Smiling face and cheerful tone of voice

To put it all together, put a smile on your face and say my latter example above: “Thank you for calling ABC Collision Repair, this is Susan, how may I help you today?” personalized to you of course.

Why the smile and cheerful tone? You can’t ask someone to come to work happy, but you can have an expectation that their private woes will not affect their manner in interacting with your customers. Hence, the smile, because it’s difficult to sound down while doing it. You can improve a lot by empowering those in this position with the understanding of how crucial they are to the success of the entire business.

No customer expects a receptionist to be able to answer all of their questions, but they do want a friendly voice that can assist them in a time of need. If there is not a dedicated answerer, then anyone who would ever pick up a phone should be on the same page as to how the phone will be answered. Then the team can maximize any incoming lead into new repair jobs.

Taking a few minutes to give this part of your business a mini-makeover could be more important than the sign out front.

Published in the June issue of Hammer & Dolly Magazine