6 Dos and Don’ts of Professional Phone Greetings - Talkdesk - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
When customers reach out to your call center, your phone greetings are the first sounds they hear. Phone greetings are the official electronic ushers of your brand and should therefore be both welcoming and professional. Your greetings set the tone for your customer’s interaction with your company.
In many instances, telephone customer service interactions are the only direct points of contact customers have with businesses. If this is the case for your company, you should think very seriously about what message your professional phone greetings send to customers.
There are many different types of phone greetings. They include the welcome greeting, the waiting queue greeting and the voicemail greeting. Each has a role to play in the customer experience.
In an ideal world, greetings are pleasant and facilitate an effortless customer experience. The last thing callers want when they reach out for service is to be confused by IVR prompts. Unpleasant or difficult to navigate greetings also prime customers to be rude to customer service representatives, which in turn creates a negative work environment.
For these reasons, smart businesses pay careful attention to how their greetings are structured. Here are a few of the dos and don’ts followed by the most successful companies:
DON’T go off brand
Your phone greetings should reflect your company’s personality. As with any other business material, the best practice is to maintain a consistent voice. Make sure that the greetings in place follow the same brand guidelines as your marketing and sales materials.
Ex: If you work for a fun startup that sells dog toys, your IVR should greet callers with excitement and maybe a joke. No one wants you to be stuffy or follow the same old script.
DO give callers options
The purpose of an IVR is to help callers sort themselves so that they can receive the best possible service. A well-organized call center has agents divided into ring groups and a multi-tiered IVR to direct callers. Professional phone greetings should give callers clear choices for how to get to where they’re going.
Another aspect of giving callers options is allowing them to opt out of speaking to an agent. Self-service is an up-and-coming trend in contact centers. Record greetings with standard business information, like hours and location, or direct callers to your website.
DON’T ring false
Phone greetings are an essential part of your company image, but they are not human. This means that they should express the correct information without attempting to humanize what is patently an electronic process. They should not affect any kind of empathetic viewpoint.
The classic example of this is phone greetings that say, “We’re sorry, but all of our agents are currently unavailable. Your call is important to us. Please stay on the line.”
This message is inherently frustrating. Callers do not feel valued if they are waiting in line and being apologized to by a pre-programmed greeting. Find a way around aggravating your callers with false offers of sympathy.
DO configure all available phone greetings
Make the most of your call center software by configuring every greeting available. Greetings help move callers through your system. Avoid jarring callers with missing steps or overly generic messages.
Advanced call center software solutions offer a variety of non-standard greetings. Companies should have the option to record phone greetings or type them out and have them read by the software. They should also have greetings to accompany features such as unsuccessful queue callback message and intelligent reconnect.
DON’T provide too much information
The key to professional phone greetings is being clear. As my fourth grade English teacher would say, KISS. Keep it simple, silly. The easier it is to move through your greetings, the better callers will feel once they reach an agent.
DO regularly check and update your IVR greetings
A well-oiled machine requires regular oil changes. Take the time to mystery shop your IVR at a regular cadence to be sure that existing settings still meet the needs of your callers. By checking the health of your phone greetings, you are ensuring that your company puts its best foot forward every time customers reach out.
Effective and pleasant phone greetings are one of the pillars of a successful call center. Be sure to put conscious effort into optimizing yours.
Publish Date: June 29, 2016 5:00 AM
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