There was a tech conference you were sent to cover and you needed a hotel near the venue. The nearest one had a rating of 3.5 stars on Trip Advisor.
You dug deeper because hotels with 3.5 star ratings have been synonymous to a so-so experience. This will be your first time in that city and you plan to enjoy your time there. That means great accommodation.
As far as the pictures of the room are concerned, the hotel looks decent.
Getting past your initial hesitation, you dialed in to have a room reserved.
There was a ring.
Two minutes later, without successfully booking a room, you knew the reason people gave the hotel a 3.5 rating.
The front office officer sounded as though she was having a dysmenorrhea.
The opening spiel was painfully forced to sound accommodating; you instantly imagined an old irritable lady care-taking an ancestral house somewhere in Alabama.
It was not a good sign.
The front desk officer, obliviously, cut you halfway when you were inquiring about the rooms and had recited the tariffs as convincing as the Third Amendment.
You had to remind her to slow down. She did, but you’ve already lost the enthusiasm to proceed with the booking.
Saying your ‘Thank you,’ you ended the call, didn’t resist the urge to open Trip Advisor in your phone and gave the establishment a 3.5 rating.
You feel the responsibility of warning others of the impending ‘unprofessionalism’ should they opt for this establishment.
Yes, you haven’t actually been in the hotel and experience the service first hand, but as a former customer service specialist, you know you are the company’s front line to the public, and therefore you must be trained. Really trained, because you know impression is everything.
It means between getting a sale and getting a bad reputation as soon as that customer shares his experience with family and friends.
You don’t want to be that person who has contributed to the downfall of the entire company by your giving away a bad customer impression.
Here are three effective ways to capturing people’s hearts by creating an awesome first impression when answering the phone: Smile
Say ‘Good morning’ with a smile.
That sounded instinctively nice, right? Plus, it felt instinctively good.
Now, say ‘Good morning’ without smiling.
The difference couldn’t be starker.
Answering the phone with a smile will sound ‘pleasant’ even when you’re having a bad day (say, having a dysmenorrhea).
The customer will sense it right away and would feel accommodated, leading to a friendly conversation. Great things can happen, sales-wise, if the customer gets friendly.
Every time the phone rings, remember to smile first before picking it up.
Speak with clarity
Because talking faster when answering the phone could be a sign of anxiety.
To cover inefficiencies, most people would employ speed in their speech.
It defeats the purpose of communication, which is to understand and to be understood.
Now, if your customers don’t get some of the things you’re saying, it gives them a sense of confusion. When a customer is confused, he would never voluntarily give anything until his confusion is cleared.
For business, this is a red flag. A very red flag.
Also, when someone is anxious, it means they’re new. And as much as people could avoid it, they don’t want to work with amateurs.
Have you ever been in that situation where you were having a hard time articulating what you want in the department store and the sales person took the words out of your mouth, pointing you to the product?
Maybe some people have telepathic powers.
Or maybe, some people just know how to listen smartly.
When you listen smartly when customers talk, you can identify the signals and connect them to the right information, enabling you to provide the solution at the earliest stage of the conversation.
Not only it will save both of you time, the customer will also be deeply impressed by your swift response, winning you his positive impression.
These are the simple yet effective ways to creating an awesome first impression from customers when answering the company phone.