Handling High Phone Call Volume
The telephone is one of the most important pieces of equipment to a tree service, yet, many struggle with the challenges associated with it. This is especially true during periods of high call volume. A lot of times, the difference between winning a job and/or keeping a customer is a matter of which tree service answers the phone. This article is meant to give you a few tips on how to shine as an organization when the phone is ringing off the hook.
Find out when your phones ring the most. It sounds simple, but ask yourself, when do we get the most calls and why? Perhaps you get a lot of calls after a large storm or the first nice Spring day when people get out of their house and look at their property. Every business will have a little different answer depending on the services you focus on and your clientele, but typically you should be able to identify a handful of high call volume times.
Figure out how many people need to answer the phones so that the majority of calls get to talk to a live person within a few rings. If your phone system isn’t set up to handle multiple lines at one time, invest into a new system so that you can ensure that your customers and prospects do not get trapped in the voicemail game of tag.
Staff the phones during these times with knowledgable team members, preferably from your sales team. They should be the most well versed in the operation of the company and will be able to give verbal estimates of what may need to be done on the call thereby mitigating the threat of them calling another company. To be clear, I’m not suggesting that they diagnose the customer’s problem without seeing the tree or give an actual proposal, but a quick idea of what your company can do for the customer can go a long way in helping them make their decision about which tree service to use.
Train on the most frequently asked questions. What are the common questions that customer’s and prospects ask? Train your team on these so that they can help answer the call in the most efficient way possible.
Change your voicemail to indicate high call volume due to whatever your company is experiencing and give the caller an expectation of when they will hear back from you. It’s extremely important to actually call the person back within the time frame that you had given them. These callbacks should also be done by the sales team to speed up the process of getting the customer’s problem addressed as quickly as possible.
Investigate hiring a call center. The last tip I have for you is to hire a call center so that every phone call gets answered by a live person. The call center will not be able to provide much for actual support to the caller, however, there is something comforting with talking to a real person, not a voicemail. During your research on this make sure you choose a company that is in your general region and will have employees that naturally have the same accent as you do.
Managing the peak phone call times in your business is a challenging task, however, following these simple tips can help turn this stressor into a profit center for your business. Done correctly, you can turn the phone from an important piece of equipment into your most valuable one.
Written by: Eric Petersen