Is it your job to train phone answering service staff? Your students are adults, but that doesn't mean they automatically have good telephone skills.
Begin by understanding that your phone answering staff will likely treat their customers in the same manner that management treats them. This can be a surprise at first, but think about it. Your managers create the culture in your company. Make sure they’re creating the kind of culture you want your customers to experience.
Mantra or Slogan:
Do you have a mantra or a slogan for your company?
At one time, Disney’s slogan for employees was, “We create happiness.” They cultivated a culture with three simple words.
Does your phone answering staff know what they’re cultivating? Insist that your employees treat each other as well as they treat customers.
Know your company’s values and make sure the phone answering service staff you hire understands and shares those values. Courtesy? Respect? Promptness? Hire people with the values you desire, communicate those values, and then model them.
are extremely powerful. Communicate your company's expectations of your phone answering service. Make sure your employees know exactly what is expected of them. How will they be measured? What policies are they required to follow? Where do they find solutions to the problems they'll encounter on the phone? How much authority do they have?
The more your phone answering service staff understand your expectations, the easier it will be for them to deliver excellent service.
Training - The Basics:
Make sure your employees are trained in the basics, at the very least, before they pick up the phone.
Basic phone courtesies:
- Identify yourself;
- Smile - your smile can be heard on the phone;
- Sit up straight - your posture can also be heard;
- Speak clearly;
- Apologize for problems - a simple apology is all many people want;
- Respect your caller's time.
Training - Ergonomics:
Sitting at a phone answering service desk for eight hours can take its toll on your staff. Proper ergonomics will help you manage your company's health risks.
The simplest rule to remember is that the body should form 90-degree angles at the knees, hips, and elbows. Wrists should be straight.
Educate yourself about ergonomics. Practice good ergonomics with your phone answering service staff, and watch your productivity increase and your risk decrease.
Train When Business Is Slow:
When business is slow, don’t cut training, use the time to provide more training. Increase your value to your customers, and you'll have more of them.
Inform Your Phone Answering Service Staff:
How do your employees get information? The more informed your phone answering service staff is, the better they can help your customers. Make information available to them via regular and electronic bulletin boards, newsletters, team meetings, whatever it takes.
Be a Role Model:
Your job as a leader, supervisor, trainer is to create an environment that people want to work in, to model the company’s values, to inspire employees to build relationships. Relationships drive repeat business and profit. Be a positive role model.