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Category Archive:Receptionist Service

Excellent Communication Will Get You Far

Not that long ago, I had a bad employee. He was charming, funny and a good looking person with charisma that was approaching James Bond devilishness. He also happened to be a sociopath.

It took me a while to realize that this employee had some issues. What it taught me was the power of excellent customer service.

You see, this employee sabotaged some customer’s office machines for a different company of mine. He was smart enough to then keep in constant contact with them to let them know that help was on the way…soon. It took me a few weeks to get wind of the underlying problems that were building up.

This isn’t a blog about bad employees. This is a blog about great customer service. This employee, though criminal and negligent and void of all concern for our client’s office machines, was smart enough to care about the client’s feelings. That is why it took weeks to discover the issue.

That is to say that this employee spoke kindly, punctually and routinely to the clients he was working with. We live in a culture that believes that communication does not need to be kind, common or timely. At least, that is the way most communication is happening. So when we find kind people that meet our desires to have a real person to speak with to help us, we latch on. As we should. Good customer service is defined by great communication.

The joke around the Calls On Call office is that we could start any service company and be terrible at what we do and still thrive. For example, we could start a plumbing company and be terrible plumbers. The difference between us as terrible plumbers with great communication and great plumbers with terrible communication is that the people that need a plumber will be able to actually reach us. Have you ever tried to call a plumber? Most do not answer their phone.

After the person that needs a plumber reaches us we would keep kind, timely communication occurring. It may take days for us to solve their problem. But we would treat the customer with great respect and keep them involved in knowing what we were doing.

But Calls On Call isn’t going to start a plumbing company. We exist so that great plumbers can use us to have their companies become great communicators. Imagine a service company that was great at communication AND great at the actual service they were providing. That is the world that Calls On Call is here to help promote and grow.

You as a consumer deserve great communication. You as a business owner deserve to have clients that trust you will keep communication with them open.

James Kademan is one of the owners for Calls On Call, a shared receptionist service in Madison, Wisconsin. If you would like to know how Calls On Call can help improve your business communication, call 608-210-3110 or email hello@callsoncall.com. Or hire a full-time receptionist. Or something else, just get your phones answered. Seriously, you have a real business and clients want to give money to people they can actually talk to.

How to Improve Your Google Reviews

As I was surfing the internet searching for a home improvement company, I came across an odd result. Many area builders do not have the best Google Reviews. Google reviews as well as most other review sites I have always taken with the tiniest of grains of salt. After all, who enters these reviews?

The motivation to leave a review is limited by what either drives you or you find entertaining. Leaving a review doesn’t rank high on my vacation plans. But if a company makes someone upset, I imagine that the customer that they upset would be driven to leave a negative review.  The challenge is you need to satisfy roughly 100 people for 1 person to leave a positive review and you need to upset 1 person for 1 person to leave a negative review.

In the case of many local home improvement companies, the reviews had more to do with just getting in touch with the company. A large percentage of 1 star reviews read something similar to this review from J Lynch,
“I contacted Company X* to install a new tub and shower valve… I was then told that their plumbing person would come over to discuss the job and what it would take to get done. He was supposed to be here on a Friday at 5:00. He did not show or call. He was suppose to do the work on Saturday. He did not show. I called Company X but they did not return our calls. Thanks Company X. All it would have taken was a telephone call.”

Or this review from Nathan,
“Contacted Dan and his team several times to use a gift certificate. Very slow response. Contracted to have our home power washed, guy showed up and his equipment failed. We were the told some one would be back. It has been 2 months and the scheduler, Jessica , doesn’t return calls. Do not pay in advance and certainly do not buy a gift certificate from Company X*.”

Or this review from J,
I called Company X* but they did not return our calls.”

No calls, no shows and no answering the phone. I have heard about employees like that. They work at places where mystery meat sandwiches can be had for around a dollar. Is that how you want your business to be represented?

If you are happy with your company operating the same as a pimply faced, mouth breathing, self-proclaimed victim of society treats their first job, you are welcome to offer that level of service. If you would consider offering a higher level of customer service or you believe that you actually already do, please do me this one favor- answer your phone. Then show up when you say you will. The reward for you is happy customers and positive reviews. And the whole cash and profit thing.  Isn’t that why you do all of this?

*Company names changed to protect the guilty.

James Kademan is one of the owners for Calls On Call, a shared receptionist service in Madison, Wisconsin. If you would like to know how Calls On Call can help you get your business phones answered, call 608-210-3110 or email hello@callsoncall.com. Or hire a full-time receptionist. Or something else, just get your phones answered. Seriously, you have a real business.

10 Signs You’re a Dedicated Receptionist

If you’ve ever doubted your excellency, see if you can par 10 for 10 of these signs that you are indeed a dedicated receptionist!

  1. You speed-pee because missing a call feels equivalent to ramming a toe into a steel door.
  2. You get 45 minutes of lunch instead of 60 because Excel spreadsheets are as good as hypnosis.
  3. You’d rather not take a day off for fear someone will adjust your chair, or worse, your monitor position.
  4. You hide all your good pens; leaving borrowers to pick from freebies your bank and dentist provided.
  5. Even at home you answer your phone “Hello, this is ___. May I help you?”.
  6. Going out right after work means going with a kink in your neck from a handset, because the headset hair-dent isn’t a trend.
  7. The office printer is both your baby and your nemesis.
  8. Your telemarketer and BS radar is a runner-up to psychic senses.
  9. Your wordsmith skills are not affected by facial expressions.
  10. You never refer to yourself as “just the receptionist”.

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Lacie Lederman 6-22-2016

How to be an OUTSTANDING RECEPTIONIST

Anyone can be a receptionist, but it takes special kind of personality and breed to be an OUTSTANDING RECEPTIONIST.  Becoming an OUTSTANDING RECEPTIONIST takes a lot of hard work and experience which will develop over time.  What are the most important skills exactly needed to be an OUTSTANDING RECEPTIONIST? Well let’s below!?

  1. Exceptional Phone Voice and Manner

Anybody can learn how to the phone, but having a “phone voice” is an unteachable trait.  It has something to do with pitch and stressing of syllables and sounding like you genuinely care.  Always be polite and respectful to each and every caller. Note accurate and correct caller details repeat telephone numbers if necessary for return calls.

 

  1. Terrific Listener

You need to listen to what your client/customer is telling you and respond with a solution… You may have the information they want, with the organization that can promptly assist them.

 

  1. Wonderful Sense of Humor

It really helps for a receptionist to see the funny side of life and to make clients/customers feel welcome while waiting.

 

  1. Dazzling Wardrobe

All receptionists should dress well and wear that welcoming bright smile!  A receptionist is usually the first “face” your client/customer sees when they cross that doorstep into your office.

Like I mentioned before anyone can be a receptionist, but being an OUTSTANDING RECEPTIONIST takes a lot of skill and practice.  You need the right attitude and to genuinely care about your clients/customers.  With these traits in hand you are on your way to being an OUTSTANDING RECEPTIONIST.

 

-A.L., An OUTSTANDING RECEPTIONIST!!!

Why Your Cell Phone will Kill Your Business

Do you remember business before cell phones?  Not that long ago, it was common to see some business people with HUGE cell phones.  They didn’t even call them cell phones.  They were bag phones or car phones or Motorolas.  Bringing it to the cell phone nomenclature is fairly recent.
Back then not every 12 year old kid had them.  Most people did not have them.  Many people thought they would come and go like a fad.  Many businesses relied on landlines and answering machines just as many businesses relied on brick and mortar stores.
Oh how times have changed.
Or have they?  With a landline you were committed to either an office or subject to missing calls.  You had to run back to your office and check your answering machine, tape and all, to find out if any customers called.  This resulted in a lot of wasted time.  What has changed?  You now have the convenience of a cell phone, on your hip even.  Only now you still fail to answer it.
Was that a vibration I just felt?
The convenience and availability is there, but you still seem to fail at one huge factor.  That factor is simply that your potential customers also have the convenience of cell phones.  Smart phones even.  So when they look up a number for a service you provide they are given choices.  Let’s take a moment to fire up your phone and go ahead and Google what you do.
Are you the only company that shows up?
If you are, that may be a good thing.  Or you still fix typewriters and everyone else is out of that business.  More than likely a dozen or more of your closest competitors show up.  So let me ask you a simple question.  Is it easier for your potential client to leave you a message and hope you call back or just hang up and dial the next company in line?
You know the answer, and customers want one.
But you would love to believe that of course these potential clients will leave you a message.  And wait.  You are better than all of your competitors, right?  Don’t these potential clients know this?
No, they don’t.  And they don’t care.
Because if you are the best at what you do and no one can get a hold of you that puts you in a place of obscurity.  You may be the fastest runner, but if you never enter a race, who wins?  Not you.
So what is the solution?
Get your phones answered.  All the time when a potential customer expects an answer.  10:35am on a Tuesday?  I would expect an answer from anyone but a bar.  You may be thinking that in your industry it is standard practice to not answer your phone.  Is that acceptable to you?  More importantly is that acceptable to your clients?  How easy would it be to grab business from your competitors if all you had to do was answer your phone?
Easy money.  And that is the best kind, isn’t it?

If you would like to know how Calls On Call can help get your phones answered, call 608-210-3110 or email hello@callsoncall.com.  Or hire a fulltime receptionist.  Or something else, just get your phones answered.

How can I get my phone answered?

You have a successful business.  But all of this growth and success has cost you some momentum.  You now do not have the time to answer your phone.  Some days you have a rough time getting to all of your email.
What is a business owner to do?
One great option is to outsource your phone answering to a shared receptionist service.  This is a service that takes a highly skilled, domestic receptionist and places them in a professional office.  Then, with the power of a technologically advanced phone system your company calls go to this receptionist.
But it doesn’t stop there.
This shared receptionist is trained by you to answer your incoming calls exactly how you would have a full time receptionist answer them.  This receptionist can answer questions, schedule appointments, ask questions and take care of all of your incoming calls so you can do what you do best.  Make your company money.
But what is the shared part of this shared receptionist?
This highly skilled and well trained receptionist is answering the phone for your company.  She may also be answering the phone for a few other companies.  You essentially split the cost of a great full time receptionist with a few other companies.
What happens when more than one call comes in?
Great question and one we get asked a lot.  Essentially your shared receptionist is part of a team.  So though she is able to handle the majority of your calls, other back-up receptionists are available to take up any slack.  This alleviates missed calls due to lunches, breaks, illness, vacation and other employee issues that you would have to tolerate with your own receptionist.  So you save money and get better service.  You win.
Can I really train this receptionist?
You bet you can.  Some companies prefer the receptionist simply take a message, others get deep into training and bring in all of their processes.  Other comapnies that utilize a shared receptionist start simple and gradually move into more advanced training with their new receptionist.
Calls answered equal more money for you and your company.
But you want more than just money.  You also want freedom.  Have you ever gone on vacation with your cell phone and laptop?  Kiss those barely vacations good bye.  It is time for you to get the time off you deserve, without the hassle and worry of taking work with you.
Utilizing a shared receptionist service is just one option for getting your phone answered.  Calls On Call offers this service and we do it very well.  If you would like to learn more, simply call us at 608-210-3110 or email hello@callsoncall.com.

Business Coaching 101

Have you ever received a business gift from someone?  Something like a book or audio or even a link to a video that promises to bring massive business success?  I have received a lot of these and am forever grateful that people think of me when they see, hear or read something that has a business tip in it.

What puzzles me is that often the advice and information that I get out of these powerful tools is great.  Often it approaches the phenomenal category.  The crazy puzzling part is in relating the material with the person that gave it to me.  More specifically, has this person who presumably read, listened or watched actually ACTED on this great source material?

Sadly, more often than not the answer is a resounding ‘no’.  To my dismay they more likely represent the polar opposite.  When a book suggests to get systems in place, my fellow entrepreneur is putting out fires everywhere in a hurried mess.  When a podcast suggests you should grow your business to bring on the freedom you want I find businesses that have 1 employee…the owner.  When a video states that the path to business success is taking care of the customer I find a business that struggles to maintain a simple calendar for them or their clients.

What would I suggest?  2 things, really.

  1. Keep giving me these books, links and leads.  I love them and cannot get enough.  And I sincerely appreciate it.
  2. Realize that maybe some of the information given in these materials is great.  And it wouldn’t hurt you to take a pinch of the advice.  ACT ON that advice.

I always joke that I’ll be a business coach some day.  But I won’t need to work weekly with you or give you multiple assignments.  I won’t even charge you thousands of dollars to watch you continue to flounder.  All I will have you do is get your phone answered.

Utilizing a shared receptionist service is just one option for getting your phone answered.  Calls On Call offers this service and we do it very well.  If you would like to learn more, simply call us at 608-210-3110 or email hello@callsoncall.com.

I Forgot I Called You

I was looking for someone to help me with what you do. But I called so many people and left so many messages I actually forgot which companies I called.

7 was my limit. I called 7 companies, left 7 messages and after 20 minutes of nothing to show for my efforts I went to lunch. Then I came back to work. I went home and watched TV, I may have even seen your ad, I don’t know.

I even made it back to work the next day. 2 days after I called you and I performed my daily tasks that did not include staring at the phone like a lonely prom date you called me. Dreams do come true, right? Finally you are blessing me with a call back. Surely the stars have finally aligned for you to give a care enough to call me back. It was magical.

But I was confused. Who are you again?

You were under the impression I called you and only you and had green money to spend with only you. That was not the case. I’ll spend money with 2 types of companies: ONE) Those with zero competition that have something I must have and TWO) Those that make it as easy as possible to buy from when I want to buy from them.

You must have been on vacation or your phone didn’t work or you just didn’t care about my call. And you were frustrated when I didn’t care about yours. Better luck next ring, right? Maybe you’ll be available and I can begin to care who you are again.

Let’s make a deal to make this easier. When I have money to spend with you and I call you at a reasonable time, you answer your phone. No one will be confused, I can get my stuff done and not kill 20 minutes trying to get it done. You can have some of my green money and do your job and get referrals and grow your business. Does that sound fair?

Having a business means having to work with customers. Customers will likely call you at some point. If they do not, if I was the exception and it is rare that anyone calls you, then I apologize. If that is the case, my friend, it sounds more like a time-consuming hobby.

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