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Excerpts from Jill Reed’s Conference call on April 22, 2011

Matching the Call to Your Brand

The incoming call process is often the first impression a customer has on your company. It is a crucial touchpoint that can either support your brand or hurt it.

Most companies are very careful and particular with their marketing – a postcard promises that the company is professional, efficient, and employs respectful painters. But then the customer calls and gets a rude customer service rep who is short with the customer, rushes them off the phone and doesn’t get the necessary information. Or, they sound annoyed to be interrupted and put the caller on hold multiple times.

The Roles

The incoming call process has several roles:

  1. Serve the customer
  2. Pave the way for the estimator by gathering information and letting the customer know what to expect.
  3. Gather information for operations – by getting an email address, the company can email the estimate.
  4. Gather information for the company – by getting marketing information

If the overall experience is good for the customer while scheduling the estimate, the estimator has an easier time with his or her appointment. If the experience is negative, imagine what the estimator walks into when they get to the home. They are often blindsided. There are questions in the customer’s mind. Is this a company I want in my home?

Elements That Make a Good Call
  1. Name of the company
  2. The CSRs name
  3. Spells the name and address and email address
  4. Keeps the call moving at a good pace.
  5. Speaks clearly
  6. When she is doing something, she tells the caller what she is doing instead of leaving them hanging.
  7. She repeats the essential information back to them.
Tone and Inflection

Tones change. You may have trained someone appropriately, but over time, bad habits seep in.

I used to have a girl working for me who was part of our marketing department and would answer the phone as a backup. But she would answer it with the following tone:

Thank you for choosing RedClick Marketing, this is Allie, how can I help you. There wasn’t a question, it was a statement. When I heard that, we started training again. Once I pointed it out to her, she was surprised because she hadn’t heard herself saying it.

Information to Collect During a Call

This depends on what the company needs to know to schedule the estimate, but most often it is:

What the customer would like an estimate for

Their name, address, phone number, alternate phone number, and email address

Billing address the same as the mailing address

If the home was built prior to 1978

The timeframe they are expecting the painting to be completed by

A marketing question – How did you get our number today?

And, what day would work best for them to schedule the estimate?

It is also helpful for the CSR to review how the estimate process will work if the caller is new to the company.

Jill Reed,

Take the Next Step for Your Business