Don’t keep me hanging on the telephone….
So, you make a call to one of the Corporations, and after working out finally which combination of numbers to press ‘for the right department’ you are put on hold. And you do just that – wait. How would your clients cope with this sort of service, and are your communications working best for your customer?
Today I spent 25 minutes on hold and between departments trying to progress a claim I started weeks ago. ‘Your call is important to us please continue to hold’ they repeat with annoying frequency. After finding out that they STILL didn’t have all the information needed, they said they would get back to me later today (I am still waiting…)
Do you think your customers would still be doing business with you if you made it that hard? My guess is ‘No’. We need to make it as easy as possible for our customers to contact us, and get a prompt reply. This doesn’t mean waiting by the phone on the off chance it may ring, or jumping on an email the moment it arrives, but it does mean having systems in place to make it easy to contact you whilst still allowing you time to do your job too.
So, what are some of the things you should check.
Phone & Voicemail – If you advertise a phone number is it always manned during office hours? If not set up a redirect to go to your mobile after a few rings if you can. Make sure your voicemail clearly identifies who you are and/or your business name. If you have set times that you check or reply to calls, then let them know.
On Hold – If you do have to put your client on hold, what happens? Does it beep, play music or just leave them silent? Get someone to test it out to see what happens. Best of all check if it is better to call them back. If not, don’t leave them hanging for more than a minute without offering to return the call.
Website – How do you want someone to contact you? Whether it is by phone, email, or contact form, make sure it is always in sight whichever page they are on, and preferably without scrolling up or down. If not, put it in the top right corner of your page, and in the footer as these are the common places to look. Don’t leave the client to have to click on a contacts page, then search for the number. Extra clicks may mean they don’t bother.
Email – You don’t have to be tied to your email, but checking it 2-3 times a day should be often enough for a prompt response. If a full reply needs a bit longer, then let the client know that you have seen their email and when you will respond by.
Email address – Here is an additional point. What does your email address say about you? If it is yourname@company or info(or similar)@yourcompany then great. However, I don’t think pouchie1974@hotmail (or equivalent) really conjures up the professional image you are trying to set. If you don’t have your own company email address then consider creating an Outlook or Gmail one using your company name, or your name, or both. HairsToYou@gmail or Ann.LifeToShine@outlook.com sound more in keeping as a business. If your existing name is taken, it will suggest alternatives, and adding a full-stop can help. Don’t make it too long or difficult to type though.
Above all, make it easy for your customers to contact you, and get back to them within a sensible level of time. If a full reply needs a bit longer, then let them know what to expect and keep to it.
In the meantime I’ll just hold……..
TED Talks etc.
A couple of talks have been suggested in a recent Mastermind, so I thought I would share them here. TED Talks are online talks by renown, and local, experts on a range of topics covering science, business and global affairs. Most are around 10 minutes or so, and can provide a good source of inspiration and information. Thanks to Anna Bell and Barbara Luna for these:
The first is the TED Talk ‘Fear Setting’ by Tim Ferriss.
Tim is the author of the 4-Hour Work Week. This talk looks at envisioning your Fears rather than Goals. It is about taking control when depression and fear take hold and how to separate what you can control from what you can’t. ‘The hard choices – what we most fear doing, asking, saying – are very often exactly what we need to do’
The second on a similar Fear theme is on YouTube by the actor Will Smith. Don’t ruin your day by fearing things in advance. ‘The best things in life are on the other side of fear’. This makes me think how often I have stepped outside of my comfort zone and found a whole new opportunity on the other side.
If you have any TED Talks etc. that you have enjoyed and that have inspired you, send me a link so I can share it here.
10:00am – 1:00pm – The Centre-Mind Body Spirit (next to the Medway M2 services)
Life Skills, Sleep & Wellness – Tuesday 25th July – Not sleeping well can have a devastating effect on your life, from lowered concentration levels, falling asleep at work or even worse falling asleep while driving. Whatever is keeping you awake at night, your snoring partner, over active brain or a host of physical factors, Deborah can help. This workshop will teach you everything you need to know about lack of sleep, it’s causes and effects, and most importantly, how to change your night to refresh and restore you leaving you raring to go in the morning.
Other workshops over the next few months will cover Productivity & Finance.
Workshops are open to members and guests – & not just women 🙂
Book your place now. Links are below.
Ashford – 7th July, Kennington Hall – Learn Session: Amanda Holges, Time is Money, How to Optimise Both
* Sponsored by Kennington Hall, Wedding & Events Venue
Maidstone – 14th July, *Note Change of Location* The Centre – Mind Body Sprit, Moto Services, M2 London Bound – Learn Session: Barbara Luna, Customer Experience – Your Competitive Edge
* Sponsored by The Centre – Mind Body Sprit, Workshops, Healing, Therapies
Faversham – 20th July, Judd’s Folly – Learn Session: Jane Lowther, Creating your Business Wardrobe
* Sponsored by Judds Folly, Hotel, Restaurant & Wedding Venue
Meetings run from 9:30 (For networking) – 12:00
Book Now:We are currently not running any meetings, for further details see our facebook page
Have a good weekend
Amanda & The Metis Women Team