Phone Etiquette: Why It Matters To Small Businesses

By Chris Keenan on April 5, 2016

For some service-based small businesses, the phone may be your first line of contact between yourself, your employees and the customers–which can be the make or break of any business deal simply based on phone etiquette.

When answering the phone, it is important to remember what to do and what not to do and your business thrives on the satisfaction of your customers and word of mouth to their friends and family as well.

In all, phone etiquette matters, especially in small business. Below are three considerations as to why ensuring the phone call experience had by your customers should be an important part of your pest control businesses best practices:

Answering The Phone

Whether it is at 8 a.m. or right before close, answering every call allows you to give every customer the same amount of respect and attention. Taking their concerns into consideration, taking down their information properly and clearly for both follow-up and to have on record and hearing their concerns through is key. The biggest mistake a business can do is make a customer feel unappreciated or not gather all information such as name, phone number and their question or concern because without this you can?t only not reply, but you won’t be able to give them the personalized service most small businesses need to give to be able to stand out among other businesses.

Putting The Customer First

Office work, filing, data entry are all important parts of the job, but also need to be placed second to the customer. Even if you are in the middle of inputting daily profits into an Excel spreadsheet, if you do not pick up a call, you may have just lost a potential customer. Customers will always have to come first to secretarial obligations as they are the reason you remain in business and should be at the forefront of your concerns. This means always picking up?and in the event you truly are busy, making sure to let them know you will call them back?and actually call them back.

Listening To the Customers Concerns

A major portion of phone etiquette is listening, which is a skill everyone is capable of perfecting. You may have an elderly woman on the other line who is in need of your service and on a very small fixed income. While you may not be able to give her a service pro bono, you may be able to listen to her concerns and offer her a compromise or the best service for her income. So many times, a business will throw a quote out before listening to a customer and not only is it insulting, but also can break the business deal because an offended customer will most likely not return.

These pieces of phone etiquette mean having to deal with both pleasant–and equally unpleasant–customers. This is also a time where just listening, giving them your full attention and making sure all information is taken down can provide them a sense of relief. Proper phone etiquette offers a form of personalization as you are taking into account their personal situations and frustrations and a chance to build a lasting relationship based on your genuine concern and desire to help your customers.