Have you ever tried to call your own business? It is not something that many managers or business owners ever attempt, but it can be quite enlightening in terms of helping you to understand the kind of customer service that business provides. The level of service that you offer can be crucial to your relationships – not only with customers but with suppliers as well.
The next time you get ten minutes free, try giving your business a call. Plan out a fairly complex range of queries that may require being transferred between members of the team for information. This can be a very effective test of the kind of call that your business might be dealing with every day; it’s important to know that they are doing it right.
Firstly, check how long it takes for your call to be picked up. If the call has rung several times before it is answered this can be an indication that your team is either very busy or they aren’t recognising how important it is to pick up the phone quickly. Either way this is bad news. Having to wait on the line for a long time can make a customer simply hang up and try somewhere else. Equally, your staff should treat every incoming call as a priority.
Now you’ll get the chance to see how your team answer the phone. Do they sound friendly and helpful? Are they professional in the way that they speak to clients? Do they listen properly to your queries and provide helpful responses? It may be the case that they have never really been trained in call answering and this can be a new opportunity to learn.
Finally, ask yourself how well your team dealt with your query. Were you passed to the correct person to answer questions? Was the information accurate and useful? This kind of test can be extremely elucidating.
Of course there is the chance that the test reveals that your customer service is very poor. If so, it could be a smart idea to invest either in training for your team or professional call answering. This can make an enormous difference to your dealing with clients, potentially earning you more business and certainly improving your customer relationships.