Welcome to another episode of “Building your Multi-Million Dollar Business.” James Tobin, the Director of ProfitSee Operations in Australia, joins us today to discuss “Who’s answering your phone?” After calling multiple accounting firms and seeing their general phone protocols, James shares some of the opportunities that were missed, which ultimately could have brought on new clients.
You never want to miss out on an opportunity to build your business, so we have compiled some steps your firm can take to make sure that the person answering your phone is making the best first impressions. First off, in James' experience, all the people who answered the phones were very cordial and accommodating, but some opportunities that they missed were:
- No one asked for his contact information
- No one asked about his business or asked any personal information to get to know him more
- No one said that they would call James back, they all invited him to call them when he was ready
When a potential client calls you need a special skill-set to get the correct information, learn more about their business, and find out the true needs of the client. Most times, the initial questions they call about aren't actually what they need answered. It takes effective listening and communication on the side of the accounting firm to get the correct information from the caller, and getting these skills takes time and practice.
I'm sure you've heard of the phrase "Aces in their places," and we know this applies to every firm. Since the person answering the phones for your firm isn't necessarily the team member with all the answers, a process is necessary to get the correct information from those who call. What that process looks like is entirely up to you, whether it's automated prompts on your website, calls being mapped to the correct department, or a questionnaire form waiting by the phones.
By getting a process in place, you are meeting an expectation of your clients that you will get them the proper help they need quickly by asking the correct questions on that initial call. An added benefit will be seen when bringing on new staff, as the training will have a process set in motion.
It's easy to get a process up and running:
- listen to what questions clients are asking when they call
- make a form for the person answering your phones
- create a process to get the information collected from that call to the correct person
- consider how you leverage the phone calls as opportunities to make a spectacular experience every time someone contacts you