For most offices it is difficult to maintain a record of after-hours calls and those that are made on weekends, unless the client decides to leave a message on the answering machine. Do you have any idea how many important inquiries you may have missed just because someone called your competitor as he had a call forwarding facility to manage after hour calls which helped him land that order?
As an example of how to handle these calls, there are service companies that handle your office calls either during office hours or after hours which will be manned by a live individual to handle customer enquiries, urgent service requests or client enquiries that will later on be passed to you. This will help you to manage new and old clients effectively without losing business and show your professionalism even when you are not at work.
Here are some ways of managing after-office calls in an effective manner.
Customized call routing and answering
- Custom answering system for family members and regular clients that transfers the calls to your personal cell number so you can handle them directly.
- Customize hours of operations with specific routing messages so that each department’s messages go into specific voice boxes.
- If you want the client to feel confident that his enquiry will be managed or answered back within a short period of time take care to inform them in a customized message so they are assured that their message will be attended to at the earliest.
- Play greetings for specific times of the day in your voice message so the caller does not feel that he is talking to an impersonal machine.
- Emergency Calls – If the service you run is a critical care service then there should be a special number that a person can get hold of someone if it’s an emergency. This should be a 24 hour manned service so that the emergency is attended to by a competent person if not the caller is directed to someone else who can help solve the issue.
- Above all, keep your voicemail outgoing message up to date. Nothing says 'I don't care about your call' more than an outgoing message saying Merry Christmas.....in April.
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