Great managers and supervisors know that in order for their employees to be successful, they must provide them with the proper tools and techniques that are necessary for success. For phone operators who are handling multiple phone lines, this means having an appropriate, functional workstation.
Managing multiple phone lines in your business can be very challenging. It is important that your customers’ calls are answered in a timely manner, and the customers quickly get the information they require. Mishandling phone calls can lead to angry customers and frustrated employees. Dexcomm endeavors to help small businesses learn effective ways of achieving successful customer service results. An important step towards achieving this goal is to set up effective workstations. Here are a few useful tips that we recommend for setting up work stations.
How many workstations/ What type?
If your small business has only one person answering phones and greeting visitors, the front desk may be the optimum space. But if your business has multiple phone operators, an area away from visitors may be more appropriate because of the distractions associated with multiple operators. In addition, if your business does have multiple operators, it will be important to ensure to limit the noise created by others answering calls. You may consider installing cubicle walls or determining the correct workstation spacing so operators can clearly hear their callers. Remember, it is crucial that the caller’s request or inquiry be clearly heard to avoid any misunderstanding.
Quick Tip: Increase your productivity, reduce stress, and lessen fatigue with workstations that are ergonomically designed. Click here to assess the ergonomics of your operator workstations. Consider stand up desks or alternatively designed chairs. Happy employees are productive employees!
Headsets or earpieces are another important tool in helping your operators to achieve success. The latest technology includes options such as wireless and bluetooth. Hands-free devices allow operators to take better, more detailed notes, decrease the repetitive motion of using a traditional phone, and increase the amount of movement and flexibility for multitasking. Multitasking activities can include, for example, greeting visitors and taking deliveries while continuing to manage the phone lines.
If your phone operator is responsible for managing the front desk, consider creating a window for privacy during phone calls or alternative options for the operator to notify a visitor that he/she is on the phone. One important consideration is the Health Insurance Privacy and Portability Act (HIPAA) and legal issues surrounding what visitors overhear when they are waiting to be greeted by your front desk staff.
Phone system capabilities are another important component for achieving successful customer service results. Features such a call recording, logging, caller ID, voicemail, ease of use, ringing options, “hold” music or service listings, and voice over IP are features that should be seriously considered when assessing phone systems. It is not necessary to adopt every form of technology available for call handling; determine what is relevant to your business, to avoid wasting time or money on options that will not be of use to improving your sales and business success.
Finally, adding computer or standardized forms for your operators’ availability can help with more reliable and clear message and note taking, form completion, and customer resolution issues. Assess what is unique about your business and establish processes for effective customer relations management for your operators. Also consider adopting a system to allow operators to promptly notify a supervisor or backup source when necessary. Options could include a chat feature, a help button, or other form of notification.