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5 common business call answering problems – and how to deal with them
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5 common business call answering problems – and how to deal with them

In an ideal world, every incoming call your business receives would be dealt with perfectly.

Callers would be transferred first time to the right person.

Calls would be answered quickly and professionally – every time.

And detailed messages would be taken, providing the relevant person with all the information they need to effectively return a call.

This isn’t an ideal world though, and when it comes to incoming calls, there are plenty of common problems we see coming up time and again.

Despite what you might think, many customers still prefer to pick up the phone and call a company, especially when dealing with a small business or when they have a particularly complex, or personal, issue to resolve.

And failing to provide a high level of customer service on the phone can spell huge problems for your business.

But all is not lost if you’re having problems dealing with incoming calls, because all the most common problems we see are easy to fix.

1 – Issues with call transfers

Call transfers can be a minefield of problems and technical difficulty.

Calls end up going to the wrong phone. When the other person answers the phone the customer can’t hear them. Sometimes customers seem to disappear into the ether.

But most of these problems have one root cause – a lack of training in using office phones.

The vast majority of employees have never received any training on how to use office phones, according to our research.

If you’re expecting employees to answer calls as part of their job, it’s critical you provide the relevant training, rather than expecting people to wing it and hope they work out how the phones work on their own.

This is even more important today if you have hybrid and remote teams, as this just adds another layer of complexity into call handling and more potential for things to go wrong if your teams don’t really know what they’re doing.

2 – Inaccurate or incomplete messages

One huge problem with not having a standard way of dealing with calls, is that employees don’t all take messages the same way.

This means you’ll be returning calls not knowing the full context of what the issue is, or worse, having no idea why the customer was calling. While it’s a big problem, it’s often self-inflicted.

This is because many companies don’t have a standard form for taking messages. You should have a standard set of information that all employees should take in a message.

This should include the caller’s name and company, contact details (phone and email), full details of why they called and time they called.

With this information it’s much easier to call someone back prepared to help them, rather than expecting them to repeat themselves.

Every employee should be made aware of the information they’re expected to get when taking a message.

3 – Having no processes for calls

Every call that comes into your business is an opportunity to provide excellent customer service and potentially win new business.

But all this is lost if your team doesn’t know what to do with a particular type of call.

Although not every call will be exactly the same, there’ll be patterns and similarities in the types of calls you’re dealing with.

Some will be customer service, some will be sales, others will need to go to accounting, for example.

You can make life a lot easier by planning processes and call routes for all the types of calls you deal with and making sure teams know which calls should go to which people within the company.

4 – Having no call escalation process

As hard as you try, not all customers can be calmed down or helped.

In these instances you’ll need to have a policy for dealing with customer escalations.

Many businesses don’t though, and it leaves the person answering the phone in the position of not knowing how to help the customer, and also not knowing who they can be passed to.

As part of your customer service, you should set a standard policy for dealing with these escalating customer problems and have a dedicated service rep who’s responsible for handling customers and complaints when your team are unable to.

5 – Missing calls entirely

Without a dedicated resource to solely answer incoming calls, you always run the risk of calls being missed.

Whether you’re a solo business owner, or only have a small team, there are many reasons you might miss a call. When this happens it could cause big problems.

You might miss a sale or lose out on much needed revenue. You might miss a customer calling with a problem and now you risk losing them because your customer service doesn’t match their expectations.

Whatever the reasons, it’s important you have the resources you need that you’re able to answer all calls coming into your business.

Is a telephone answering service what you’re looking for?

Telephone answering services help solve these inbound call problems your business may be experiencing.

Our call answering service helps your business deal with other problems like repeat callers, nuisance calls, unwanted sales calls and more. So you can deal with the issues that matter.

At Face For Business we’re well-positioned to help your employees deal with calls and deliver an unmatched customer experience.

To find out more about how a telephone answering service could be the key to your problems, get in touch.

10th November, 2023

Posted by Face For Business

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