It happens every day. You call a business and you cannot believe the lack of attention your phone call is given. How often do you encounter one of these irritating situations?
- The phone rings and rings with no answer.
- You are delivered into “voicemail jail” with no way out.
- The line is busy and your call is not connected. You have to call again.
- The phone is answered by a hurried, agitated or rude receptionist.
- You are abruptly placed on hold for what seems like an eternity.
- You are met with dead silence while holding. There is no music and no marketing message.
- You reach someone on a cell phone and it is noisy with a poor connection. They are distracted by something else they are doing.
Unfortunately, these are not unusual experiences. Businesses often work hard to create an incredible and memorable brand image to set them apart. Business owners understand that a quality brand image is ubiquitous and all areas of contact and customer interface are considered important. However, one area of contact is almost always overlooked: phone answering is typically left out of the mix. Businesses must remember that branding encompasses every impression a company makes on its customers. Leaving phone answering out of your branding equation is both unwise and impractical.
When employed optimally, a properly trained receptionist, a professional telephone answering service or a well-developed voicemail strategy can provide the professional image that creates a great phone experience for your customers. Isn’t it great when you reach a business and the phones are quickly answered by a professional, courteous and friendly person? It is a memorable experience that stands out in the day-to-day phone foray! I’m curious, do you have a noteworthy good or bad phone experience you’d like to share and/or any pointers on branding your phones?
Update: 11/08/2011 I’ve added more information for saving sales and retaining customers by Branding your Phones