Volume 8, Issue 2, March-April 2004
Hello, Can I Help You?
by Penny Beverage
After several rings, alas, someone picks up. “Hello,” the voice says, in a husky, disgruntled manner.
“Yes, can I get an estimate on how much you’d charge to tint the windows on a four-door, 2003 Acura TL?”
“Hold on a second.”
“OK, now what do you want?”
“I’d like to get an estimate on how much you’d charge to tint the windows of a 2003 Acura TL, four-door.”
“How many doors was that?”
“Oh, let me get the person who can help you with that.”
(Another person picks up.)
“Hi, what are you looking for?”
And so it continues …
Yesterday afternoon, I spent about two hours contacting shops for our new “Price Points” section (see page 26), and you wouldn’t believe how many times the above exchange took place.
Often, I would start by making sure the number I was calling did in fact belong to a shop—because it usually sounded like I’d woken someone at home up from his afternoon nap.
This made me wonder if our readers’ customers fall prey to the same problem—or, if the shops I called just happened to be ones with exceptionally bad phone skills.
How do you answer your phones? Is it in a friendly way? Do you identify your shop name when you pick up the phone and offer to help what could always be a potential customer?
Try this: “Hello, this is XXX Tint Shop. How can I help you?”
It takes about 15 seconds longer than saying hello, yes, but it could be the difference between a potential sell and a failure.
Personally, even the shops with the cheapest prices wouldn’t get my business if they made me feel as if I were bothering them when I called—and believe me, usually I’m extremely cheap.
Do you take notes as your caller tells you what he’s looking for, so you don’t have to ask him to repeat everything one or more times?
And, don’t forget … politeness never grows too old to be popular.
There’s no better way to end the call than, “Thank you very much for calling, and have a nice day.”
Sure, it may sound a little goofy at first, but it could be the selling point the customer is looking for—someone who cares enough to be polite, and therefore will also take care of his vehicle.
I know those of you who read Window Film are the best of the industry and are the most professional of the group, but, nonetheless, phone skills are one of the most important parts of any business, and we can all stand to improve on them. They can make or break you—and often are the first impression you make on a customer.
Also, be sure that if you’re out there and in business these directories have your company listed correctly—and with the right number. (Also, on the subject of Yellow Pages, please be sure to check out the International Window Film Conference and Expo™ review on page 18, including information from Yellow-Page expert Barry Maher’s keynote speech.)
And have a nice day.
© Copyright 2004 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.