Proper Phone Etiquette Still Viewed as Critical Business
In this age of e-mail and Web sites, it’s easy for kitchen and
bath specialists to forget about the humble telephone. But, the
fact remains that the phone is, and will continue to be, the way
most of our customers and prospects will reach kitchen/ bath
retailers in the coming decade.
Attitude is everything. Customers and prospects deserve to speak
to someone who’s positive and cheerful. Many of the people who call
will be calling you for the first time. An indifferent greeting,
whether by a person or machine, is as bad as having a dirty
showroom or a rude and ill-kempt receptionist. You’ll lose
potential clients immediately.
Bouncing people around is also bad. Do you enjoy talking to
three or four strangers just to obtain basic information? Of course
not, and neither will people who call you. Your employees should
not simply pass callers from extension to extension. If the person
who answers doesn’t know the answer to a question, they should find
that answer out quickly and professionally.
Don’t let your employees leave people hanging. Your callers
should be offered additional help or information. There should be
an active attempt to find out who is calling and what can be done
Another telephone-related issue is your telephone book listing.
Many dealers use their Yellow Pages listing as their only
advertising, but few use it effectively. Spell out your services,
be sure you have a street address in your ad and be equally certain
you list your business hours.
Finally, don’t forget to turn off the telephone you’re carrying
when consulting face-to-face with a client or prospect. Taking an
outside call conveys the message that the client or prospect is not
If the call you’re expecting is urgent, be sure the person
you’re talking to knows about it. Say something like: “We may be
interrupted by a call I need to take, but I promise to make it
brief so it won’t take up your time.” Then excuse yourself again if
the call comes, and keep it short.