Create Your Business Telephone Usage Policy
It always surprises us when we see customers that they very rarely have a business telephone usage policy. It is very in vogue to create a huge “IT Policy” with such useful instructions such as employees must not use office IT equipent to create home made weapons of mass distuction but even in this document the humble telephone rarely gets a mention.
Implementing a business telephone usage policy can help you make the most of your business telephone system and maintain excellent customer service. It also ensures that staff know where they stand when it comes to the rules around telephone use which can save a vast amount of wasted business time.
These are some of the things it can be useful to include in your policy:
Staff should be clear on the rules around making personal calls from work phones. This could also include business mobiles, which many individuals see as theirs to make personal calls with as the company has “free minutes”. Well I am sure we don’t need to tell you that the mobile networks are not quite this generous and your company will be paying for these minutes some where. Some companies allow reasonable personal use of work phones, whereas others ban it altogether. Make sure this is outlined in your policy.
Some companies, even small ones, ask their staff to answer all calls in a specific way. It may be that they say the company name and/or their own name or ask immediately how they can help the caller. Having this in writing in the policy will help maintain these standards. 99% of marketing budgets is spent on trying to get customers to contact you – why ruin all this hard work with a poor greeting to your business. Remember what your mum taught you – first impressions count!
Automatic and recorded messages
Modern business telephone systems allow you to create tailored messages and routes for callers but always ensure that you regularly test and monitor these to make sure they are good quality and up to date. Staff should know that any new messages should be cleared by management before going live.
Make sure you always have an up-to-date transfer list available to all staff and that the policy makes clear when calls should be transferred and to who. Callers need to be transferred quickly and smoothly for a good customer service experience.
Many business telephone systems allow you to set up automatic call transferring when someone is away from their desk or out of the office. Outline how and when staff should use this facility.
High-volume businesses sometimes choose to monitor some calls to give feedback and to check consistency and quality. Ask your business telephone system provider about this service.
Remember that call monitoring has privacy and data protection implications and there must be a good business reason for doing it. Staff and customers should be made aware that their calls may be being monitored and the matter should be covered in the telephone usage policy.
It might interest you to know you can now monitor mobile phone statistics – see here
Hope this helps!