Do You Really Need to Answer the Call?
If your phone rings, you can choose to pick it up or you can choose to let it go to voicemail. If you are in the middle of a project and you answer a call, it’s not the customer who interrupted you. You made the conscious choice to be interrupted.
Don’t blame the customer and stop whining about how busy you are. Own it.
“But Bill,” you reply, “I need to demonstrate good customer service, therefore I need to answer the phone every time.”
While it is true that being available to a client is a good thing, don’t confuse good customer service with a bad definition of what good customer service really is.
It is widely known by my daughters that their father is nearly 100% available on-demand. Either they have a habit of calling at the right time or there is little in my life I cannot interrupt to take a call from anyone. Furthermore, when they call their mother, well, as one of them put it recently, “I can expect a callback within three to five business days.”
It’s not that she cares any less. She simply does not share the same sense of urgency.
When I can talk to the girls, I do. When I can’t, I will still answer and ask, “Is this urgent or can I call you back?” Taking this approach gives them the chance to handle any immediate needs (read: good customer service) as well as to provide reassurance that their father is always there for them (read: good parenting).
Whether you change your outgoing voicemail message to include the date and time when you will be available or if you pick up the phone and ask if you could call them back, you can still achieve the goal of demonstrating good customer service without experiencing the penalty of being interrupted.
I read somewhere the phone is there for your convenience, not someone else’s. Hey, if you choose to pick up the phone 100% of the time, 24/7, good for you. Just understand you are making the choice to be interrupted, the choice to let your customers invade your personal time, and the choice to suffer any downside, such as the message it sends to your family.
You do not need to answer that phone call. The world will not fall apart. Your customers will not leave you. Your worst fears will not be realized. Will it make you anxious? Absolutely. But so long as your outgoing voicemail message gives them all the information they need — including the ability to reach you right now — everything will be fine.
Keep calm and let it go to voicemail.
Just like these tips are common sense, growing sales comes down to the fundamentals. That’s Bill’s approach to everything. If you aren’t happy with your sales, look into the books and programs right here on BillFarquharson.com. Contact Bill Farquharson by phone at 781-934-7036.
Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer for the graphic arts. Email him at Bill@AspireFor.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault are available at BillFarquharson.com.