Telephone Customer Service Tips for Small Business Owners

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Attracting new customers and keeping the ones you have is vital for small business success. Do your telephone customer service habits help your business accomplish its goals, or do they actually hinder your chances of developing a thriving, profitable business venture? As a small business owner, itís vital for you to keep in mind that proving good customer service starts with answering the phone promptly, politely, and in a professional manner.

Whether you are the only person who answers your business telephone, or you have employees who also take calls, itís vital to pay special attention to the way your communicate with customers and prospective customers over the telephone. Small business owners should keep in mind that there is a chance of gaining or losing business every single time the telephone rings.

When you, or anyone else, answers your business telephone, itís important to greet the caller on the other end as if speaking with him or her is exactly what you want to be doing at that point in time. If an existing or potential customer calls your business and is greeted in an unprofessional manner, there is always a chance that the relationship will be permanently damaged.

Itís a good idea for small business owners to develop a script that should be used to answer the company telephone, no matter who picks up the line when it rings. By developing a standard greeting, youíll be taking an important step in making sure that your company is sending consistent customer service messages to callers.

The telephone script you decide to use doesnít have to be complicated. It should be short, simple, and sincere.

Try this script on for size:

Thank you for calling XYZ company. This is Susie. How may I help you?

This just may be the perfect greeting for a small business. You start out by letting the caller know you appreciate him or her, continue by identifying yourself, and end by asking the customer for input regarding the next step of the conversation. Anyone can remember this simple greeting, and it can easily sound sincere.

Keep in mind that the way you communicate with prospective customers on the phone determines whether or not they will want to continue exploring the possibility of doing business with your customer. Donít risk chasing them off by a brusque, rude greeting. Conversely, donít come up with a complicated greeting that is too long and canít possibly sound genuine. Companies that go overboard with gushy greetings are just as likely to chase of new customers as those that let the phone ring too long before answering or address customers in a rude manner.

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