Call management might not seem like a big deal, but when done correctly, it can help you become far more productive during the day. Guest blogger Alex Quilici, CEO of YouMail, shares his tips for helping you better manage your calls.
As the CEO of a company that’s dedicated to making people’s lives better through more efficient call handling, one of the questions I often get asked is, “So what exactly does good call management look like?”
For a lot of us, efficient call handling doesn’t really cross our minds. We answer the calls we can, let the ones we can’t go to voicemail and return the ones we miss later. Is there really anything more to it?
Yes. As it turns out, more effective call management yields noticeably higher productivity for your workweek. Think about it—when you have several different tasks a day, you don’t just work on them at random. You prioritize, sort, and work on your projects accordingly. Transfer this method to answering phone calls and the result will be happier customers and less miscommunication. So which calls do you prioritize, and how can you save time on the phone? Here are five tips for better call management:
1. Answer calls from potential clients first
Securing new clients is a beast to be tamed in itself. And the best place to start is by answering your potential clients’ calls. If you’re on a time crunch or it’s not a good time to talk, a potential client will still appreciate if you answer the phone to let them know you’ll call them at a better time. Answer every inbound call from potential clients that you can, and if you receive a current client’s call when you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, let it go to voicemail.
2. Prioritize your calls and pick the best time to take them
Similarly, sometimes you have a free moment to take a call, but you also have other important matters to take care of. Decide within the first minute of an inbound phone call whether the conversation would be better handled at a different time. Say something like, “I want to give your question my full attention, could I give you a call back after this meeting?” and then let the caller know specifically what time you’ll call him or her back.
3. Be prepared for your calls
Keeping a pen and notepad handy can go a long way when you answer most business calls. There are meeting times to take down, important pieces of information you don’t want to forget and—especially with new clients—names to remember. Write down each new clients’ phone number and name, then save it in your phone. The next time they call, you’ll impress them by knowing who it is even if it’s only your second time speaking to them on the phone.
4. Summarize the call before it ends
The best way to make sure phone calls are productive is to know exactly why a person called you and understand whether or not the call gave them the information they needed. At the end of each call, ask the caller if you’ve answered their question or rephrase what you think the purpose of their call was. This will ensure that both of you are on the same page.
5. Use your voicemail wisely
Your voicemail system will be there to catch any of the calls that fall off your radar. But make sure you’re using voicemail efficiently. As you go through your messages, delete or file any ones that you don’t need to keep—which can easily be done with apps that offer visual voicemail. When you go through your voicemail again at a later time to find important information, you won’t have to sift through unimportant messages first.
Effective call handling is a process. Treat it as importantly as you would your other work projects and responsibilities. After all, it is crucial to your business to make sure current clients stay happy and potential clients are given your fullest attention. Follow these tips to start handling calls smarter and you’ll quickly find what works best for you and your business.
Alex Quilici has been a successful entrepreneur in the telephony space for the past 15 years, and is now the CEO of YouMail, which replaces traditional voicemail with unique call management services.