COSTLY TELEPHONE MISTAKES
This blog is a result of several telephone blunders made this week by business owners:
- A friend had a Doctor’s appointment this morning. He had to hire a special transport to take his wife at the appointment time. When he arrived the nurse said “We had to reschedule your appointment:I called you home and no one answered, we moved your appointment to tomorrow.” The doctor was informed several weeks ago that the patient and the husband had relocated to a care facility. The cell number was left as the contact number. There was no apology just “come back tomorrow.”
- A client asked me for a referral this week for a plumber. The last referral he received from his neighbor did not work out. I asked what happened: “I called four times over a period of two weekdays and only received a call back on my 5th call. I stated my problem and asked when he could come to my home. His answer, I will have to call you back as I don’t have my schedule with me. Two days later, still no call back.
I have a lot more stories to share, and I am sure that each of you can share similar experiences. In these days of digital, voice recognition technology, it is possible to get moved around for an extended period and still not reach a live person.
Nick’s telephone recommendations:
If possible, always have your business phone answered by a real live person.
- If needed, hire someone to answer your phone either on a permanent basis or if you can’t answer it in three rings. There are professional answering services and some home based answering services that are not that expensive.
- Don’t let your land line be your primary contact unless you are in the office all day.
If it is impossible to answer a call, your message should state the time you will call back. I recommended a maximum of two hours.
The telephone is only one method of communication. E-mails, text messages and social media sites are all methods a customer or potential customer may use to contact you. Today’s consumer is seeking instant results and will find someone else if you can’t respond. Proper communications is one of the best marketing tools available.
If business is good at this time you might say “I don’t mind losing a few customers”, remember that there will come a time when you will wish you had those customers.
Make a list of your pet peeves regarding communications and then make sure that you will not offend your customers and prospects the same way. Remember, just as in the two real situations I presented at the beginning of this blog, bad service has a way of spreading 10 times faster than excellent service.
Keep Your Customers Happy! Return Calls, Texts, and Emails Promptly!
Tips & Advice by Nick Petra, CFP – Founder of Strategic Duck and BizQuack
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