Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
Answering phone calls is part and parcel of your life as a business owner. For regular business owners, there’s usually a receptionist who answers everything for you. But, when you run a small business from home, you may not have this luxury. Below are a few tips to help make sure you are making the most of your phone time and resources.
Get A Real Business Number
Before someone even picks up the phone to call you, they can be left with a pretty bad impression of your home business. It’s vital that you have a proper business number for them to call, rather than your mobile or landline. There are services out there that offer 1800 numbers hosting for businesses like yours. With this, you will have a professional 800 business number for people to key into their phones and call up. As if by magic, you’ve made a great first impression.
Forward All Calls To Your Mobile Device
Even though you now have a professional number for people to call, you have to ensure that you answer as many calls as can be. Set this up so calls are forwarded to your mobile phone. Carry it around with you, and you should miss as few calls as possible. It also prevents instances where someone in your house picks up the phone to answer it, which can damage your reputation as a professional company. Always make sure you have a good signal when you answer calls as well, this will make a huge difference.
Start Every Call With A Professional Greeting
Instead of just answering your calls with a simple “hello” or “hello, who is this?”, you should have a professional greeting that you use every time. It can just be “Hello this is (the name of your business) how may I help you today?.” It’s an effortless change, but it immediately makes the call more professional. Also, it helps if you have a separate mobile device just for your business calls. This means you know that everyone calling that phone is a potential customer so you can give them the greeting.
Set Up An Answering Machine Service
If you can’t pick up the phone, then the last thing you want is for clients to just hang up and leave. They will do this unless you have an answering machine service in place. Give them a chance to leave messages, and you can call them back right away. It may not seem like it, but this really makes a difference.
Hopefully, this advice can help you create a more professional representation of your company whenever someone gives you a call. It all starts with the actual number they call you on, the manner in which you answer the phone, and so on. Try and get to as many calls as possible, but have a failsafe in place just in case you can’t.