I had a busy weekend that started with a dryer that wouldn’t dry. My wife who thinks I can fix just about anything let me know that our ten year old clothes dryer wasn’t heating up. We quickly figured out where the heating element was located and on Friday I began my journey to find the parts I needed.
After some research I found two shops that advertised they carried the part I thought I needed and looked for the one that was near our house and made the call. The phone was answered on the second ring with by a rough sounding voice that said “hold”. Hold? Nothing else, just hold. I wasn’t even sure if I had connected to the right business and there I was placed in phone purgatory. There wasn’t even any music to hum along with. I waited about one minute and hung up.
I then called the other number on my list and was greeted with a happy sounding voice announcing the name of the store and the name of the person answering the phone. I was asked if I would be willing to hold for a few seconds and I agreed. In about 30 seconds I was able to talk with an employee and got directions. So off I drove to the store that was about 15 miles further away. It didn’t matter, I had a smile on my face and happily made the trip because I had connected with someone that had a great attitude and spent a little time assuring me they could help me figure out my dryer’s problem.
I thought to myself, what was the lesson in what I had just encountered? Well, the first shop had my business to begin with but lost credibility and my purchase with the simple act of a poorly answered phone. The second shop was able to make me feel good enough to drive 30 extra round trip miles with the simple act of a pleasantly answered call and by treating my with respect and instilling confidence that the could help me solve my problem.
Many business owners and managers spend thousands of dollars advertising to get our phones to ring. When the first opportunity to interact with a customer and start building a relationship occurs our employees fumble the ball. Have you called your business lately to hear how your phones are answered?
As simple a process as it should be, many business owners have no idea how their phones are answered or have a procedure and message for handling the phone calls. You might want to pull out your cell phone right now and call your office number and see what happens.