There are ways to manage your inbound phone calls so that it cuts down on the amount of time you need to spend actually speaking on the phone. This time management principle can be applied to incoming phone calls without being rude to your customers, or making them feel unimportant.
Use a Business Greeting
First and foremost, you want the caller to know exactly who they have called, and immediately move onto the purpose of the call. The caller will know why they are calling, but if there is any doubt in their mind who they’ve just called, they may seek clarification and waste time. It’s important to move the phone call along as quickly as possible.
Consider Follow-Up Calls as a Quick Solution
As the caller launches their query, you can assess if the query is something that can be dealt with immediately, or may require some investigation, and therefore would be best suited to a follow-up call later in order to save time. If it is something that can be dealt with on the spot, then no need to refer the caller to any further action, but if you think it is something that may take a little time, then it may be better to assure the caller that their query will be dealt with, and arrange a suitable time to call them back.
Keep the Call on Track
Often, callers have an idea about the query they are calling for, but are not specific in the questions they need to be asking. This can cause delays in getting to the root of the problem. To speed this process along, you should use summaries as way markers, e.g. “so what you’re saying is…”, and also pick out anything which you feel is straying from the main point, e.g. “I think that may be a separate issue”, or “could we just deal with the first point first”, and so on. The caller is likely to appreciate being guided through their enquiry.
Close the Call Effectively
In order for the call to end, it is the receiver’s role to close it off. This can be done by providing a brief summary of all that was discussed, followed by a reminder of the actions that you will take, also including anything they agreed on that they need to do. If you need to hurry the call along because you need to be getting on with other tasks, then this is a really good way of closing down the conversation and ending the call, rather than leaving it open and more flow of dialogue eating into your time.
Always Ensure There is Someone Dealing With the Phone Calls
It may be tempting to have a voicemail machine collect messages, or just as bad in our book is an automated Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, since customers are proven to not like it either at the end of their phone call. If you’re struggling to cope answering calls alone and there is no one else inside your business that can help, then you should outsource this side of your business professional providers, such as Reception HQ USA call answering service. They’ll be able to help you increase productivity, and the small cost is likely to be offset in greater sales volumes.
Time management for SMEs can be difficult, so it’s useful to try and speed up the length of time spent on inbound calls, or another solution might be to have a professional answering or reception service take the calls for you.