The first form of contact between a company and its customers is often done in writing (usually from filling out a contact form online or sending an email). However, phone calls have quickly become the preferred method of communication. It is essential to properly manage your phone calls and your reception by an options menu in order to maintain a good relationship with your customers. Dropped calls and other issues give off a negative image for your company.
Why are phone calls necessary?
Phone calls are typically the first form of contact between a company and its customer.
It is the most preferred method for establishing a connection between a company and its customers. You can present your company’s services, solve their questions, and more. It is the most effective and instantaneous means of communication.
Phone calls are even more important for an e-commerce business, because it may be the only time a customer can speak with a human. Because of this, it is extremely necessary to have a phone number available on your website.
An effective and high quality customer service over the phone will give off a positive company image to the customers who call. It will also show that the company has a high level of professionalism.
It is important to remember that human contact is the most effective way to speak and communicate with others. It is more effective than simply exchanging emails. By speaking over the phone, you are able to solve any questions or doubts as quickly as possible.
How to make a good telephone reception?
- Introduce yourself: remember to introduce yourself every time you pick up the phone. This includes stating the name of your company, but also your own first and last names.
- Identify who the caller is talking to: if the caller does not show up, do not hesitate to ask their name and what company they are calling you from. This establishes a relationship of trust with your contact person.
- Quickly determine the reason for the call: if the caller does not tell you the reason for his or her call, ask the question so that you can guide the caller as well as possible.
- Be a good listener: take note of what the caller is saying, ask questions to encourage them to express their needs more fully, let them ask you their questions themselves, etc.
- Have a positive attitude: adopt a tone, flow and vocabulary that is adapted to the person you are speaking to and that reflects your positive attitude. Don’t hesitate to smile, because it will show in your tone.
- Don’t hang up too quickly: before hanging up, make sure that your customer or client has asked you all of their questions and that you have been able to resolve all his or her doubts. Ask if you can help them with anything else before hanging up.
- Set up a phone greeting: It is essential that your customers listen to a greeting when you don’t pick up the phone or take a long time to answer. This can be a simple message informing the caller that they have contacted your company, or a more detailed message, informing them of your office hours, etc.
- Create an options menu: To ensure that your calls are always delivered to the right person, it is important to have an options menu, to allow your caller to choose who they want to talk to.
What is an options menu?
An options menu is a voice menu that the caller listens to when making a call. You’ll typically hear something like: “To speak with someone in the sales department, press 1; to speak with someone in the administration department, press 2.”
This allows the call to be automatically redirected to the desired service, and saves you from having to perform call transfers, which often slows down the business process.
With WebRTC technology, Fonvirtual provides you with an even more advanced tool: the ACD Cloud, which stands for Automatic Call Distributor.
The advanced version of the options menu: ACD
At Fonvirtual, we offer you the possibility to integrate an Automatic Call Distributor to your Call Center Software.
This is a system that allows you to distribute incoming calls in an intelligent way, according to the available agents.
The calls are distributed according to different agent criteria. For example, the languages they speak, the department in which they work, whether they have already been in contact with a particular customer, etc. These criteria are established by assigning each agent a score for several areas.
For example, a commercial agent speaking French and Spanish will have a 10/10 in Spanish and a 10/10 in commercial, while a new commercial agent speaking French and German will have a 10/10 in German, but a 7/10 in commercial, for example. Thus, commercial calls from France will be redirected in priority to the commercial agent with the best commercial rating. However, if the call comes from Germany, the call will be redirected to the new agent, although he is less experienced, as he has a better score in German.
ACD allows you to perform other tasks in addition to automatic call distribution. For example,
- Identifying important calls. You can set up a list of VIP customers which will receive special treatment, such as having their calls answered first.
- Agent Effectiveness Reports: CDA allows you to create statistical reports to assess the effectiveness and performance of your customer service agents.
- Customer information: With ACD, you can have your customer information at your fingertips and know the essentials to handle their call in the best possible way.
What are the benefits of an options menu and ACD?
There are many benefits whenever you install an options menu on an ACD to manage your phone calls. Here are just a few:
- Facilitates the communication process: when you receive a call, it is automatically directed to the right person, eliminating the need to systematically transfer calls.
- Reflects a good company image: thanks to option menus, you will give off a large, organized company image.
- Allows you to be more efficient: Thanks to option menus, you will know specifically why the caller is calling, and will give yourself time to prepare for the call.