on hold marketing


Do your customers feel welcome when they call you?

Oh,….it may seem like a little thing to mention this, but are you aware of how you ‘sound’ to your callers?  As we get busy in life, we sometimes neglect to remember a few very simple ‘rules’ in terms of telephone etiquette.  Here are several quick tips and thoughts for consideration.

  1. How do team members answer the phone when a customer calls?
    1. Do they sound rushed or harried sounding? Do they sound like the young lady that answers the phone at doctor’s office that says….”thank you for calling *&^14%@fb and Sons, how may I help you”…..in under one second?
    2. Do they sound burdened by the phone call or excited about the opportunity to serve?
    3. Do they clearly speak your business name succinctly? (see above *&^14%@fb and Sons)
    4. Do they include their own name? People like to use names when they converse with other people, and it builds rapport.
  1. Once they answer the phone, do team members……
    1. Sound like they are in a rush to finish the call?
    2. Take a moment to be calming and conversational when possible?
    3. Properly end a call with a “thank you for calling _______”?
  1. If the team member needs to chase down an issue do they….
    1. Make the caller aware they need to place the caller on a ‘brief hold’?
    2. Simply put the handset down while the team member walks away to chase down the issue? If so..
      1. Be aware the caller can hear all that goes on at the counter.
      2. The amount of time seems longer to the caller than if they had been placed on Hold.
  1. Let’s talk about VOICE MAIL
    1. If you offer it, be sure to do the following
      1. Be sure to record a PERSONAL GREETING in each user’s mailbox. If you simply default to “the person……at extension 104…..is unavailable”, you have instilled a sense of uncertainty to the caller that they have their ‘hands in the right mailbox’.
      2. The PERSONAL GREETING should be short. Avoid including the tag line or anything that lengthens the GREETING.  Keep it as simply as…. “Hello, this is the voicemail box of John Adams, please leave a message and I will return your message as soon as possible.  Thanks for calling”.  Brevity is king today.  
      3. As employees and associates come and go, be sure to add and delete them as necessary in your system.
  • Return calls as quickly as possible. “Next business day” is truly no longer acceptable like it was years ago.

Back in the 1980’s and 1990’s, voice mail etiquette was closely managed, but as email / text / and other messaging options emerged, voice mail was used less frequently…….yet still used.  Clients that call from cell phones often do not wish to stop or remember to email or text as they inquire about their service issue, so voice mail lives on!

As a final note, try calling your business and determining if you are comfortable with the items mentioned above.  Heck, in all likelihood, one of the biggest violators may be………YOU! It happens.  Good luck out there!

By: Rich Moncure, President, On Hold Marketing

Rich is the President of On Hold Marketing, a marketing focused audio studio helping businesses and practices take advantage of their telephone system’s On Hold capabilities. Prior to On Hold Marketing, Rich spent 20 years in telecommunications working for such giants as Williams Communications, NextiraOne, Bell Atlantic and Nortel Networks.

Publish Date: April 24, 2019