For most small businesses, the phone still serves as the primary tool for communication. That’s why telephone call handling is really important.
What’s Call Handling?
Simply put, call handling refers to how businesses and organizations manage both inbound and outbound telephone calls. Depending on whether you’re managing a fully functional call center or just a small team, call handling can include several processes.
Your reputation or first impressions of your brand can be made or broken with human interactions through telephone calls. That being said, it’s imperative to make callers feel that they’re receiving the best treatment and experience when they talk to you or your business representatives over the phone. The following metrics are what call handling will concern itself with:
- The length of time a contact takes to answer your or your business representative’s call
- The manner in which you or your business representative talk to your contact
- The product or service information you or your business representative relays to the contact
- The time you or your business representative is on the call.
The problem is that businesses waste a lot of time when using the phone. For instance, sales representatives fritter time away by playing endless phone tag rounds because of talking to machines or individuals who aren’t really the ones they want to communicate with. It’s especially true with outgoing calls that businesses that don’t use an auto dialer make.
But, what if it’s possible to just talk to the right people, say, whatever you wanted to tell them and move on? Imagine how much time you could be saving in the process. Time that you can use for other important matters. Imagine how more productive you can be. To help you make that a reality, here are tips for managing your outgoing calls better:
1. Frequently Program Numbers You Regularly Call
Many business organizations repeatedly call the same people. It’s true whether it’s their contractors, regular clients, or suppliers. That being said, programming the phone numbers for those people you regularly call into your telephone is a good idea. You can easily do this through dialing platforms, like Call Cowboy. That way, you can save a significant amount of time looking them up.
2. Always Update Your Contact Information
In order not to waste time trying to connect with people who aren’t available, it’s best to always update your contact information. For example, why waste your time trying to reach out to someone who likes to take their lunch around 2 o’clock in the afternoon every day?
3. Perform Some Research
You can improve your outgoing calls when you do some research before commencing the call. The research to be performed could include finding useful information about the organization (if you’re calling a company or business), the individual you’re calling, as well as any history between the contact and your company or organization. The information you’ve collected during the research might be used to modify the questions you’ll be asking in order to tailor them more to the person or organization you’re trying to reach out to.
4. Place All The Important Information About The Contact At Your Front
If the person you’re calling has already been entered into your organization’s contact database, keeping that specific contact’s information right in front of you when you’re calling them is a good idea. During the call, it’s going to be a great memory aid, whether you’re using a Rolodex, a mobile device, or a desktop computer.
Also, placing all the important information about the contact at your front allows you to make notes during the call. That’s because you wouldn’t have to look up something about the person to whom you’re calling in the duration of your conversation. It gives you ample time to focus on making the call more productive.
5. Plan Every Outgoing Call
When making an outgoing call, sticking to the point and ensuring that you’ll be able to cover every important detail is crucial. It will help avoid having to call the contact again after realizing you forgot something. The best thing to do is to jot the call’s main goal down, including the key points that have to be covered. Do it even before the call starts.
6. Prepare A Call Script
Part of planning an outgoing call is preparing a call script. A call script can be very helpful since you never really know exactly which direction the call will go, especially when cold calling. That’s a great challenge that outbound callers will surely face. To decrease the uncertainty, develop some sort of call script.
Note that the call script doesn’t have to be read verbatim. It also doesn’t have to be verbose and lengthy. It should be more like of an outline that you can utilize as a tool and/or a guide for figuring out which direction the call to take. It can make your outgoing calls easier and improve results greatly.
7. Make Sure To Leave One Detailed Message When Reaching Someone’s Voice Mail Or Answering Machine
Leave a message that contains your telephone number (have your telephone number mentioned at least twice) and the purpose of your call. For instance, if you’re calling someone to discuss a project’s estimate, make sure to let the person you’re calling know about it. Note that stating your phone number twice will give your recipient a much better chance to actually get it right and write it down without having to replay your message anymore.
Also, inform them when’s the best time to give you a call back. Informing the other party when they can expect you to call again is also a good move.
8. Schedule Your Telephone Calls
Block out time for your telephone calls. If possible, make them all together in just one block of time. When flipping back and forth from a specific task to another, a lot of people start losing a huge deal of productivity. That’s because most people aren’t really that good at multitasking. That being said, it’s actually more efficient to make calls all in one hour compared to just making one or two, and making another four calls an hour later, then, another three 45 minutes after.
9. Ditch The Urge For Telephone Compulsion
As you would probably agree with, it’s tempting to call a contact back after every 30 minutes when trying to reach someone but failed. However, it’s an idea that you’d want to give up immediately. Don’t give in to such compulsion or end up annoying your contact. If you’re trying to sell to someone, telephone compulsion, more often than not, only results in lost opportunity.
There’s really no need for you to be wasting time calling back multiple times, or leaving so many repeated messages. You don’t want to fill the person or organization’s voicemail or answering machine up. The best thing to do is to give the person or organization you’re trying to call until the next day to call back. Give your contact a reasonable amount of time after trying to reach them, but failed.
10. Try To Make An Outgoing Call During Prime Times
The best time to make an outgoing telephone call is between eight and 11 in the morning. It’s when more people are staying in their offices. It’s considered the prime times when your contacts are more likely to be reached easily.
11. Make Use Of the ‘Booking Strategy’ When Making Outgoing Telephone Calls
The ‘booking strategy’ increases the chance of an outgoing call becoming successful. It literally means booking your outgoing telephone calls with your contacts, if possible. It’s especially useful when the call isn’t going to be a quick one.
What you’ll do is to introduce yourself when you first call someone. Then, tell them the reason why you’re calling. Next, ask them if they prefer to discuss at a later specified time, or they find the present time convenient and are willing to talk to you. If they prefer to talk to you later, then, make sure to arrange when you’ll call them again. The ‘booking strategy’ when making an outgoing call gives your contact a time to be prepared to discuss the matter you originally called about. It will save you time both on the spot and when already calling back the person.
12. Prepare For Objections
When making outgoing calls to offer your product or service, you’ll face objections on pretty much each and every outgoing call you make. If you outline which objections you’ll likely to come across, you can script out your best responses and keep the call going while improving sales results.
Marketers are mostly the ones who do outgoing calls. You may not be greatly involved in caller operations as a marketer because the customer services department of your company is already taking charge of phone enquiries, however, it’s imperative that you’re still involved in how your products or services are being promoted verbally and sold over the phone. It’s essential since you’re a channel that reacts to the marketing activities of your organization.