Getting the phone to ring with the right type of prospective client is no easy task.
It’s extremely time consuming and very expensive. In many cases it can cost a minimum of $500.00 just to get the phone to ring. I listen to a lot of mystery calls from all types of businesses and while I do hear improvements with script usage and tone of voice I have to say that I don’t hear that WOW, grateful, joyful tone that says I appreciate you and your call.
It’s easy to take your phone calls prospects and even clients for granted, but I’d like to suggest that you imagine for a moment if your phone doesn’t ring…it just stops ringing 100%; then what? So when your phone rings you should be elated, joyful and very grateful and do all you can to WOW that caller no matter who they are because you, the front office expert, are the company. Everything you do will dictate how that call and ongoing relationship will go with that customer or prospect.
Importance of the front desk. To properly reflect your school you must focus on appearance, behavior, attitude, business manners and communication skills. No matter how busy the reception area is you can count on the receptionist to always project a professional image and make a great first impression on everyone they encounter. The front desk (office) is your sales and marketing commercial.
Greeting promptly with a smile on the phone and in person. Your office is crazy busy, customers are waiting, coworkers are standing in line to speak with you, the phone is ringing off the hook. How do you handle this with ease? Breathe, be calm, count to 10, ask for help, use the script; it will help you to focus on where you are now.
Greeting Wow Customer Experience. Go around the front desk to personally shake the hand of the client (parents/students). Give the client a book of testimonials to read while waiting for the appointment. If someone is sitting waiting for a class check in with them. Any team member that walks through the front office should recognize the clients waiting. The greeting helps you to transition from the task you were doing before the phone rang then into the actual client/student/parent call.
Communication. When clients (parents/students) call, two of the most important needs they have are to be LISTENED TO and RESPECTED. Have you ever noticed how good it feels when someone really listens to you? When we’re listened to we become more open and relaxed. No body language that says I’m too busy for you, rolling eyes, no eye contact, arms folded, staying far away when you’re talking to someone.
Appearance. Examples of what’s not professional or say I’m not here for you: Too much perfume, clothes wrinkled, dirty, stained, ripped, smell like cigarette smoke, your desk is a mess, shirt hanging out, hair a mess, etc.
Behavior that says I’m too busy for you: Cell phones, texting, reading, eating at the desk, talking to someone else and not acknowledging the person waiting, not at front desk when someone walks in, talking to colleagues and to family and friends on the phone.
Body language that says I can’t hear what you’re saying: Posture, arm placement, facial expressions, not smiling, body movements, handshake and your posture at your desk. Are you slouched over? Mirroring the body language of someone else indicates that they are understood.
Physical expression. Waving, pointing, touching and slouching are all forms of nonverbal communication. Gestures can emphasize a point or relay a message; posture can reveal boredom or great interest and touch can convey encouragement or caution.
Remember each team member in your business is a sales and marketing tool on the job and off the job. What do you want your parents/students/customers to see?
Chris Mullins The Phone Sales Doctor™
NEW BOOK! “Monkey Business for Today’s Phone Weary Office
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