Much in the business world has changed recently, but one thing hasn’t: Customers still expect great customer service. That includes when they call your business.
If your employees are working from home, how do you ensure people who call your business or your employees directly have an exceptional phone experience?
“All of the standard rules of professionalism apply even when you’re working from home,” says Holly Hinze, senior director of voice products for Spectrum Business. This means business owners must consider how they and their employees can provide a seamless and satisfying phone experience, similar to what they can provide from their usual business location.
Here are six tips for giving callers an exceptional experience from home:
1. Maximize your business phone features and capabilities.
Your business phone service should let you extend certain functionality to you and your employees’ home offices. For example, Spectrum Business Voice offers an online portal that lets you manage your phone lines from anywhere you have internet access.
This includes setting up advanced call forwarding, so that all inbound calls get directed to the right employees working from home—even allowing you to set up “sequential ring,” so that if someone doesn’t answer their phone after a few rings, the call is automatically redirected to another employee’s phone.
“Every call that’s missed could be a missed opportunity, so it’s important to answer calls as much as you can,” Hinze says.
2. Have a dedicated business line from home.
Simply forwarding business calls to employees’ personal phones may be convenient when employees work from home sporadically, but mixing business calls with personal calls can be problematic for ongoing remote work, Hinze advises. Business calls can come in any time of day—or night—and if you’re channeling incoming business calls to an employee’s personal number, you have no control over who answers that phone.
It’s usually better to have a business line set up—at least temporarily—at your employees’ homes for any employee who takes calls regularly. This allows the employee to clearly identify whether an incoming call is personal or business-related.
A dedicated business line also ensures that you have all of the business phone functionality at home that you have at the office—such as three-way calling and easy call transfers. Another big advantage: The caller ID for outbound calls would carry your business name and number, not your employees’ personal information.
3. Update your auto attendant and voicemail greetings.
Your business phone service’s auto attendant and voicemail features can be especially valuable when employees are working from home. The main greeting can provide callers with important updates about your business (such as if your hours or availability have changed). If callers have to leave a voicemail, you can let them know the time frame in which they can expect a call back, such as 24 or 48 hours.
4. Keep your phone etiquette professional.
When your home office is in the basement and dressing for work involves pulling on sweats, it’s all too easy for lax phone etiquette to seep in. Make sure your employees are answering the phone in the same way they would from their usual office.
With more of his employees working remotely these days, Mike Falahee, owner and CEO of Marygrove Awnings in Livonia, Michigan, gives his frontline employees scripts to use when responding to callers to ensure company messaging is consistent and clear. “With the right script, all the important information is covered because it’s been written by a member of the management team who has the relevant experience and product knowledge,” he says.
5. Invest in high-quality equipment.
Poor reception and sound quality can ruin a caller’s experience and come off unprofessionally. So make sure your remote employees are using high-end headsets and microphones to take calls. Prices have dropped dramatically on a wide range of microphones that can block out background noise—which is especially important if employees have kids or pets at home—and provide clean, crisp sound quality for the caller.
6. Use voicemail-to-email to get voicemails quickly.
Voicemail-to-email (which you can set up through Spectrum Business Voice’s online portal) will automatically send an audio file of all voicemails to your email inbox—or multiple employees’ inboxes. This allows you to receive and listen to all voicemails faster without having to call into your voicemail box and ensures the messages are saved. It means messages won’t fall through the cracks and can be easily forwarded to the right person.
Spectrum Business Voice gives you the features and flexibility to offer callers to your business an exceptional experience from anywhere you and your employees are working. To find out about setting up business phone service at your or your employees’ homes—even just temporarily—contact us at 855-299-9353.Print this article