Many companies are heavily invested in marketing. They then turn around and in the name of progress have automated phone answering systems that are a turn-off to people. Most new clients originate from the telephone. What happens when a potential new client calls your office?
If voicemail is answering your phone, you can bet on missing calls. Lost calls are lost opportunities – an item no business can afford in these competitive times. Business owners should be committed; a little bit obsessive if need be, to reaching out to first time callers. The challenge is the proper handling of these callers while you’re in a meeting, during evenings and weekends.
Your staff can’t sit by the phone 24 hours a day, but a Virtual Receptionist Service can. Here’s where the magic of turning a first time caller into client begins. After the Virtual Receptionist answers your phone exactly as your Receptionist would (even though it’s 7 PM), she then uses your criteria to determine if the caller is a potential new client, urgent existing client call or something that can wait until regular business hours. If the caller is a potential new client or urgent call, the Virtual Receptionist will Warm Transfer the caller to your mobile phone.
Warm Transfer – The act of transferring a call to someone in a polite and ‘warm’ fashion AFTER the caller meets your criteria of an urgent call. Virtual Receptionists will inform your caller “One Moment Please” and then announce to you, the caller’s name, company and a 4-5 word ‘Snap Shot’ of what the call is regarding BEFORE connecting the caller to you. If you wish to talk with the caller, the receptionist will connect the caller to you. If you prefer that the receptionist takes a message, she can return to the caller and say “Mr. Business Owner is unavailable at the moment. What number can he return your call to?”
Warm Transfer also helps you gather your composure when you know who is calling before actually talking with them…
Virtual Receptionist – “Mr. Business Owner, I have Pamela who met you a few months ago at her daughters’ school event. Would you like to speak with her?”
Mr. Business Owner – “Pamela, I’m so glad you called. Tell me more about your situation”.
What qualities do you want your business to represent to your current and prospective clients? Professionalism? Trust? Virtual Receptionists can serve as an extension of your brand and reinforce the same qualities your staff embodies on a daily basis. One last question; your advertising, social media and marketing dollars work 24 hours a day. Why not have your callers greeted by a professional receptionist 24 hours a day? Dirk Moeller is the Operations Manager of Business Connections Call Center www.bcanswer.com and can be reached a1-866-601-6115 or firstname.lastname@example.org