For many companies, inbound calls are a major part of the business. Customer call into the company for orders, consultations and even seeking general information. Inbound calls can seem intimidating at times since many times we don’t know who is on the other end of the line. But knowing the right tools, such as a proper greeting and key phrases, can help the telephone operator through any situation.
For inbound calls, every company has their own set of greetings or scripting to use when they answer the phone. A good greeting typically includes a salutation, the company name and the operator’s name. This lets the caller know where they are calling and who they are speaking to. However, some individuals like to adlib some parts, which can be helpful at times, but can also cause a lengthy greeting message. Long greeting messages may seem as though they are offering information to the caller, but instead they can deter interest and cause the caller to lose interest before the operator has a chance to help them. Generally, an inbound greeting should last between 5-10 seconds. After this time frame, the caller begins to lose focus and interest.
When a person calls into your office, they may not necessarily know who or where they are speaking to. It is important for the operator to find some form of introduction to use with each caller. Every company has something different, but common examples include
“Thank you for calling ________, my name is Jane. How may I help you?”
An introduction should identify where the caller is calling to and who they are speaking with in that location. This type of introduction not only welcomes the caller to the company, but it also lets them know who is there to help them and invites them to get right to their request.
One of the most important aspects of business is to maintain its customers, and one of the best ways to do that is to focus on the customer’s needs. Inbound calls allow patients to call into the company and reach out for help and assistance. So when a customer calls into your line, take the time to focus your attention on answering the call. Focus on what the caller is asking for and what sort of help they need. The caller may speak fast and have a long line of requests or even demands, but the key is listening for what they really want from the call and start from there.
Inbound calls can be lengthy and tiresome for the operator. In these calls, the client is calling into the company and will start making requests right away. Sometimes they can begin talking as soon as they hear a live person on the other end of the line. It is important for the operator to be patient with the caller and be sure to take the time listen for what the caller is really wanting. Never become pushy or pressure the caller to make a decision or state their purpose for calling. Some calming tips include taking deep breaths or silent counting exercises. Keeping your cool while still being able to assist the caller is a great exercise in patience. This will not only reflect well on you, but for the company as well.
Sandra was training one of the newly hired employees, Elliott, on taking inbound calls in the office. She first reviewed the proper greeting messages and how the employee should introduce themselves. Sandra advised Elliott that he could say the greeting in a way that he was comfortable, but to make sure it wasn’t too long-winded or wordy. As Elliott took notes, Sandra reminded him that one of the most important parts of the phone call was to focus on the customer’s needs and remain patient with them at all times. Elliott knew he had a problem staying patient with people, and asked Sandra what she uses to stay patient with her callers. Sandra shared some of her favorite exercises, such as using deep breathing and counting backwards from 100, and told Elliott that in time he will learn different patience exercises that work for him.