CoatingsPro Magazine

MAY 2018

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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30 MAY 2018 COATINGSPROMAG.COM you're finding the best answer to his or her question. You can do this by using simple phrases such as, "I'd be happy to find out. May I place you on hold?" In concept, nobody likes to be put on hold. But when used well, placing a caller on hold gives you the opportunity to fully answer his or her question with confidence. For more complex queries, offer to call the person back or to put him or her in contact with the person who is most capable of answering the question. You and your customer will appreciate the time saved by ensur- ing you have the complete answer ready. Keep responses at the ready for your most complex customer queries. Examples of those are,"Great question! I'll find the best person to answer it and have him or her return your call. May I have your telephone number?" or "He keeps his own schedule, but I'll be sure to have him return your call as soon as possible. May I have your telephone number?" 3. Be sure to know how to put a caller on hold. The location of the hold button is one of the first things you learn on your business's phone system, but learn how to do so properly: It's better to ask than tell. Ask your customer's permission to press the hold button with a simple "May I put you on hold?" Of course, your caller may prefer to stay on the line. If that's the case, stay on the line and communicate how it is you're addressing the question or ask how his or her day is. A hold button is a valuable tool for small businesses, but only when used correctly. 4. Incorporate politeness into your phone etiquette with a few key phrases. While there's no shortcut for great phone etiquette, saying "please" and "you're welcome" will go a long way. Phrases such as "my pleasure," "may I," and "I'd be happy to" make a conversation feel balanced, pleasant, and natural, especially when it's your custom- er's first point of contact with your business. 5. Be sure to smile when speaking over the phone. You may have heard this piece of advice before, but did you know that you can hear a smile over the phone? Callers will be able to hear the warmth in your voice, and you may find yourself feeling more positive. No one else can truly antic- ipate all of your business's unique needs, but a smile is an important first step to keeping the conversa- tion upbeat. 6. Reverse the three-stage greeting for a professional sign off when the conversation is winding down. Be sure that you've addressed your customer's reason for calling by asking if there's anything else they may need help with. Once the conversation is at a close, thank your caller for reaching out. They're expressing an interest in your business, so regardless of how the call ends, be sure to thank them for their time. Your final exchange for every call will sound something along the lines of, "Is there anything else I can help you with today? Thank you for calling ABC Construction. Have a great day!" The First Stage W hile a myriad of communication channels feed your small business sales funnel, it's important to remember that for nearly half of all new customers, a phone call is an integral first stage. As a small coatings contracting business, telephone etiquette is an opportunity to extend your professional courtesy and outshine the competition. It's up to you or the person answering your phone to know how to do so on behalf of your business. CP Kate Kauffman is a market ing and customer e x per ience specia l ist who has helped sma l l businesses g row t heir brand s for more t han a decade. In her cur rent role at Ruby Recept ionists, her focus is to help cont ractors create rea l , meaning f u l connect ions w it h t heir cur rent and potent ia l customers to ensure posit ive e x per iences and word-of-mout h refer ra ls and to r ise above t heir compet it ion. For more infor mat ion, contact: Ruby Recept ionists, w w w.ca l lr uby.com While there's no shortcut for great phone etiquette, saying "please" and "you're welcome" will go a long way. Contractor's Corner

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