Like answering my cell phone when it rings.
I try to catch it after one ring, but that is not always possible, as we know. With the ability to put calls on hold, it is very achievable in 2-3 rings - unless you forgot to unmute your phone (Dough!).
In this era of texting, emails and phone answering services, most people are actually stunned when a live person - never mind the exact person they are calling - actually answers the call before it is kicked to an frustrating phone tree that might lead you into a forest of phone extensions, asking you to leave a message for a return call.
I wonder how many potential sales are lost when the annoyed caller simply says, "To heck with it."
All of this came to mind when a recent new customer of mine told me that the actual reason she was switching to me and AAY Merchants was, not because of lower credit card processing rates (which she got), or a free new EMV chip-ready terminal (which she got), or even Next-Day Funding (which she got and never believed truly existed).
She said it was because I answered her phone call the first time she dialed me up.
Ideally, answering a call on the first ring is the ultimate and most impressive. But it is very realistic to respond to a call before it kicks to voice mail. If you already are on the line with a client, simply tell the caller you will get back to them as soon as the current call is concluded. They will appreciate not having to leave a message and that you value their call.
How much of a priority are your clients' calls?
It comes down to this: Do you or do you not want to be known for answering your phone?
Pretty easy, pretty old-fashioned, really. But it's Customer Service your clients will appreciate and a clear differentiator between you and the competition who prefers not to deal with a call on the spot. I think they now call that "Real Time."
You are welcome to test me: (727) 410-9055.
Clients want to be able to reach you when they need you. How badly do you want to answer their call?