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Who Answers Your Business Phone?

Business to Business relationships come to expect a certain level of professionalism, from the first telephone call to the final delivery.

I cannot count the number of times I have had to ask to person answering the phone to repeat the mesh of words that just flew by. Hundreds of times I have been ka-thudded on hold with not so much as a "Hang on Bub!" One bored telephone person can do more to undo what took years to do more than any other company asset (or liability).

What if your company is you? Staff of one with a home office. What happens when a call comes in and you are not there to put on your best voice? Does a machine get it? In how many rings? What does the machine say?

It only takes a few minutes to draft a script for the answer machine. So much better than an ad lib. Even the pros write it down. Forget about that "Iím not here" stuff, any moron can figure that one out. No need to lecture them with "..say your phone number twice" or "talk slowly, I am not a stenographer". Record it over and over until it sounds bright, happy, and clear enough for Grandma to understand.

The ultimate professional faux pas is to use your home phone number as your business number. This might work if you are the only one ever to answer the phone and your machine always answers if you are away (even if the house of full of kids and an in-law or two). What usually happens is a child, or grandchild, will answer "huh-whoah?"

"Is this Acme Consulting?"

"Iíll get my Mommee (clunk) Mommeeee"

Neat first impression. Consider the ramifications if a teenager in your house has figured out how to dial out. - by BIG Mike
What if your company is you? Staff of one with a home office. What happens when a call comes in and you are not there to put on your best voice? Does a machine get it? In how many rings? What does the machine say?
My company is me and my business phone is always answered by me. There are no children young enough to do the "mommmmeeee" thing because my daughter is old enough to know that I will answer that phone. If it's on a machine at any time, it's answered after 3 rings. The message announces the place they reached and the fact that I'm unavailable and please let me know by message what I can do for them. But they don't do the message thing usually. ;cr - by destiny
When my customers call me the could get me, my husband or my 25 year old son. They can also leave a message. I only have one problem with it. We have caller ID and my husband won't answer the phone if he doesn't recognize the caller. I have to constantly remind him that he isn't going to recognize all my Avon customers and to please answer the phone! ;om - by ozzie
My main contact number is my cell phone. I think I should decrease the number of rings it takes for the voicemail to kick in.

Earlier today I had an agent tell me that it wasn't working. I checked it and it was, but it had to ring several times. - by Ricardo
Here's a tip: If you're in a crummy mood... DON'T be the person who answers the phone! ;pi

I have a professional receptionist that I can transfer my calls to whenever I'm not interested or available to take calls. - by AZBroker
How we APPEAR to the customer is what is important.

Appearing business-like means no little kids answering the phone.

Appearing business-like means you personally answer between the end of the first ring and the beginning of the third ring, and answer machine (voice mail) same timing if you are unavailable.

Appearing business-like is also what the answer machine says. You can run 'em off with the wrong message. I got one once that said "speak your phone number twice and slowly, I don't take shorthand!"

I called Pat Boone's agent once and Pat answered, on the answer machine. Very clever. - by BIG Mike
Oh, this thread just reminded me of an actor/comedian I know. He's always stepping out of the box on his answering machine.

Once his recorded message was "Hello?..... Hello?...... Hello?...." which prompted me to keep talking to see if he could hear me.

He's a very nice guy, with some horrible phone message ideas, I'd say. :sa - by Ricardo
I have two handphones. One for family and friends and the other is for business purposes. I answer my own business handphone even if I'm taking a shower my phone is always with me. - by shinningstar
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