Sometimes in our quest to maintain and improve our sales and marketing results we overlook the simple things. One of the most basic fundamentals for sales and marketing success in an assisted living or residential care community is good telephone etiquette. How good is the telephone etiquette of your staff? Do they answer with a pleasant greeting that includes the name of your community? Are they warm and inviting in their tone? Do they use the name of the person they are speaking with during their conversation?
Here are some basic fundamentals to keep in mind when answering the phone (adapted from Cal State Fullerton “Telephone Etiquette Guide):
- Answer promptly (before the third ring if possible).
- Before picking up the receiver, discontinue any other conversation or activity such as eating, chewing gum, typing, etc that can be heard by the calling party.
- Speak clearly and distinctly in a pleasant tone of voice.
- Use the hold button when leaving the line so that the caller does not accidentally hear conversations being held nearby.
- Remember that you may be the first and only contact a person may have with your community, and that first impression will stay with the caller long after the call is completed.
It is helpful to establish a standard greeting that is used by all staff when answering the phone. Here is a basic script you can modify to suit your needs:
“Thank you for calling [name of community], this is [name of person answering phone]. How may I help you?”
You can adjust the standard greeting to suit the style of your community. Here is an example that is a bit more complicated, but also has more flair:
“It’s a great day at [name of community]! This is [name of person answering phone]. How may I be of assistance?”
Remember…sales and marketing is everyone’s job!