The manner in which you answer phone calls is the absolute heart of your answering service business. As part of the phone call answering protocol you develop for your clients you will want to develop a phone script.
Different clients and different industries will vary in their needs when it comes to answering phone calls. For some businesses, for example a doctor’s office, the client may want just their name and an offer of assistance to be used. That would go something like, “Dr. Smith’s office, how may I help you?” In other cases you will need a full script, starting with a friendly greeting, the name of the business, the operator’s name, a slogan or list of specials and a call to action or offer of assistance. An example of this would be, “Hello and thank-you for calling Sandy’s Elegant Creations, this is Joyce, I want to let you know that we are offering 20% off all custom vases today, would you like to place an order today?”
When creating your customized phone answering script for your client, I would suggest prefacing it with a one word description for the tone that should be used with that clients’ callers. For example, the doctor’s office script would be labeled “professional” and the sales business might say “cheerful”. Your operators will instantly be able to change their mood and tone in preparation for taking that phone call.
The incoming phone script is the way you develop your clients’ image in the eyes (or more precisely, the ears) of their customers and the skill in which you co-create (with your client) and deliver this script is what will set you apart from the others. This is where you will want a great deal of your energies in training new employees to go. They will need to understand the importance of the words that are used, the mood or tone their voice sets and the proper inflection to use when speaking. While the script should be visible to them during each call, they should be memorizing the scripts to make them as natural as possible. You never want it to come across to the caller that you are reading a script.
Another part of the script will be answers to frequently asked questions you may receive from your client’s customers or patients. It is important that you and your staff are able to answer basic questions about the business such as location, hours, etc. and more detailed information should your client request it. In many cases, your client will want callers to believe they have reached his or her own office and the answers to common questions should also be well-practiced by your staff.
Running a successful answering service requires you and your staff to be a “jack-of-all-trades” and having detailed and accurate scripts available will help you to flow flawlessly from answering calls for a doctor one minute and an electrician the next. Your script is your life-blood in the answering service business so make the most of it.