There are so many ways to communicate these days and the art of answering the phone and taking a message is being lost. We frequently see stories in the news about how young people are losing the skill of conversing with each other, thanks to their dependence on smartphones.
We are now able to contact friends and family by text, WhatsApp, email or many other social media messaging services, which means that the mobile phone is no longer used to do what it was designed for – to make telephone calls!
In business, however, the phone is still vitally important. Customers often choose to pick up the phone to speak to a ‘real live person’ rather than going the digital route.
However, when a customer does ring in to speak to a member of your team it might not always be possible to patch the call through to them. They might have popped out, be on another call, in a meeting, or even too busy to take the call, so you will just have to take a message. That’s simple, right? Unfortunately not! The art of taking the perfect phone message is slowly being lost thanks to the digital era.
So what should you do when taking a phone message?
1. Although it shouldn’t need to be said, the first thing is to be polite. You may be busy and the phone has interrupted you, but how you answer the phone is how your customer will remember your business. Give a friendly greeting and tell the caller your name.
2. If the person that the caller has asked for, politely explain that they are not available. However, say you will take a message and see that the recipient gets the message as soon as they are free.
3. Write down everything the caller says on a notepad. You can then create a succinct and informative message once you have said your goodbyes.
4. Ask questions if you are unsure what the caller requires.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask the caller to repeat themselves if you did not hear them correctly, or understand what they said – ensure your colleague receives a detailed message so can call back and address exactly what the customer required.
6. Repeat the message back to the caller so that you can confirm with them the important points.
7. Don’t forget to take the caller’s contact number – or email address depending on the request.
8. At the end of the call, say goodbye and ensure that the message will be passed on.
9. Give the message to the right person as soon as possible. Or if they are not at their desk, leave the message in a prominent place where they will be able to find it – or email it with a read receipt attached.
A well-taken message will mean that when the customer is called back, the person calling them will have already been able to find a solution to their problem or answer to their question. Plus they will not need to repeat themselves – no customer enjoys that!
Answer My Phone are experts in taking the perfect phone message, so why not think about outsourcing your call answering to us. To find out more about our services, or to take advantage of our free two-week trial, get in touch today.
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