I made a call to an office today and was greeted with the most droll sounding phone receptionist – “XYZ’s Office. This’s Elaine. Mayep you?” No, those were not typos, that was exactly how she sounded. Besides the fact that I couldn’t really understand her words, she had the enthusiasm of someone who had just been told that she needed a root canal. Which, actually, is funny because it was the dentist’s office that I was calling.
My point is this – When you have staff in a public position that interacts and communicates with customers, be certain that you have told them exactly how they should be interacting. They need to be enthusiastic. They need to sound professional. They need to sound like they mean it when they ask if they can help. It’s disrespectful to ask the question if you don’t mean it and are only asking because it is your job. Customers know it’s your responsibility to help, but they are impressed when you sound like you actually want to help them.
As customers, we are so used to the poor level of service being delivered these days that we are impressed when someone actually does their job. We are even further impressed when someone does their job well. And, we are over the moon when they do their job well and come across as if they enjoyed it and appreciate the fact that we paid them to do their job.
The indifference that is perceived by customers is the determining factor as to if your customers will leave you. If your public positions aren’t sounding professional and genuine with your customers, you need to replace them. You need to clearly tell them what is expected of them, effectively teach them how to deliver your message, and then hold them accountable for it. Some people have a natural gift for sounding professional and cheerful on the phone. Those are the ones you want to have as your main phone operators. You need these people to deliver your customer service expectations.
Make sure that your sales staff and receptionists are attentive and genuine from the moment that your customers walk through your doors. They need to genuinely sound like they want to help, not just saying it because they are expected to. If your staff doesn’t sound like they mean it, your customers will find one of your competitors who does.