Listening to your customers

January 21st, 2010

If listening is core to communication and building relationships with new contacts, what about maintaining relationships with existing customers? No doubt we all deal with call centres for many of our services and have horror stories to tell of relayed phone conversations and repitition and hanging on …

Yet, many people have DDI service and personal voicemail, in businesses of all sizes with, or without, reception and secretarial back up – how well do they use these facilities?

I called someone recently, with a senior role in a medium-sized organisation, using his DDI. His voicemail message was fine, except that it wasn’t dated and I wanted to know if he was around that day, so I dialed 0 for reception and asked if he was in. She just put me straight back through to his line and voicemail!

Some people set their voicemail message daily or weekly and others don’t, with a promise to call back “as soon as I can” or “within three hours” maybe “the next working day”. And many people have a system for checking each others’ messages and either passing them on or placing a holding call.

Needless to say “as soon as I can” or “within three hours” become meaningless very quickly, when they are not returned. If your customers struggle to get through to you when they need to, for whatever reason, what will stop them going elsewhere? And, if you answer the phone for others, as a colleague or a receptionist, listen carefully to the caller and what they want, before just putting them through.

If you would like independent views on your telephone answering service or help building the communications culture you want, call us.

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