[Customer service] What is the difference between telephone manners and customer manners? Introducing how to automate the reception


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Answering phone calls and receiving visitors is an important part of the company’s face, as it involves direct contact with customers.

Since the first impression of the corresponding employee is directly linked to the image of the company, it is also negative for the company if the customer is unfriendly and makes the customer uncomfortable.

Precisely because this is a daily task, it is necessary to keep in mind to respond smartly and politely without neglecting it.

In this article, we will explain the etiquette of answering the phone and welcoming visitors.

Also, if your employees are burdened with answering phone calls and visitors, there is an option to introduce a system to improve efficiency, so please consider it.

Basic etiquette is the same for both phone calls and visitors

Responding to daily phone calls and responding to customers visiting the office.

Although there is a difference between voice calls and face-to-face, the flow of reception is basically the same.

  • Employees who notice will take the initiative to respond
  • Listening to your needs and passing them on to the appropriate person
  • If the person in charge is absent, respond instead or leave a message

In the case of a company, there will be more referrals to other employees than dealing with phone calls and visitors to yourself, so it is necessary to accurately grasp matters that are not related to you and guide you smoothly.

Let’s take a look at the actual response flow and points.

Ask for the other party’s name and purpose

It is important to have an accurate understanding of these two points, “who” and “what kind of business”, in order to perform appropriate intermediation when responding to calls and visitors.

In the case of a phone call or visit from a business partner with whom you have a business relationship, the other party often identifies themselves.

If they don’t give their name, ask them, “Excuse me, but may I ask for your company name and name?”

Especially for visitors, be careful not to let strangers through the office.

Transfer to the person in charge/Guide to the reception space

In the case of a phone call, call the person in charge or dial an extension, tell them that you have an incoming call, and transfer the call.

If you are a guest, be sure to check if you have an appointment. In the case of a visit without an appointment, please do not let it through immediately, and ask the person in charge to decide whether it is okay to proceed.

If there is an appointment, we will guide the customer to the location specified by the person in charge. Please check the schedule, as we may be occupying a meeting room or reception space.

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Response when the person in charge is absent

If the person in charge is not available (including when they are busy and unable to respond), inform them of the scheduled return time and available time.

You may return the call as soon as you return.

In the case of a visit, we apologize for your absence and send you off politely.

Accurately report the content of the correspondence to the person in charge later.

Calls and visitors without a designated person in charge

What should I do when the customer doesn’t specify the name of the person in charge when calling or visiting?

First of all, we listen to what you have to do, and if you know the person in charge or department, we will act as an intermediary.

You can directly respond to things that you can handle, such as general inquiries, exchange of documents, and simple procedures.

In the case of sales calls or walk-in sales, report it to your boss or person in charge, and if it is not necessary, flatly decline.

If you transfer to the person in charge or give your name, the next time you will receive a nominated phone call, so it is an iron rule that there is no unnecessary sales .

Be courteous and respectful

When dealing with phone calls and visitors, try to be polite and soft as the face of the company.

Even if you have nothing to do with yourself, sales, or complaints, you are an important customer for your company.

Of course it is important to be able to use the correct honorifics, but please do not forget to express your gratitude and consideration for the fact that you called and visited us.

What to do when you receive a phone call while visiting

There is no change in the fact that both phone calls and visitors are dealing with important customers, but what should you do if you are unlucky to call and visit at the same time?

There are two ways of thinking about this.

  • Priority is given to those who respond first
  • Prioritize the visitors in front of you

Basically, it is smart not to interrupt and let the person who comes after you wait.

However, if it is a matter that you know will be completed in a short time, it will be a big loss to have you wait or come back, so you will need to temporarily leave the desk with the other person’s consent or make a phone call . You may decide to call back .

In addition, while we should give top priority to the customer in front of us while we are visiting, we may have no choice but to respond to urgent phone calls.

Make decisions according to the situation on the spot.

How to say when the person in charge is serving customers or in a meeting

Customer service and attendance at meetings are also part of the company’s duties.

If the person in charge is in the middle of a customer service or a meeting and receives a phone call or a visitor, you can say, “I am currently serving customers” or “I will be at the meeting until XX o’clock.”

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However, do not mention who the guest is or who is in the meeting.

In addition, if you are told that you want to take care of an urgent matter, write it in a memo and give it to the person in charge and ask for instructions.

If you have to deal with visitors and phone calls by yourself

When you’re the only person in the office, there may be times when a visitor and a phone call overlap.

If the phone rings while you are having a visitor, say no to the other party and answer the phone. We want our customers to understand that this is an unavoidable situation.

Please let the person you are calling know that you are visiting, and keep things brief.

If a customer comes to you while you are on the phone, you have to answer the call if there is no one else.

If you need to interrupt the call for some reason, do not put it on hold, hang up and call me back.

Can customer service be automated?

Although the staff’s response to phone calls and visitors gives a polite impression, it also has the disadvantage of interrupting the main work.

Also, when there are multiple calls and visitors, it may not be possible for the limited number of staff to handle them.

You can see that the basic flow of correspondence is the same for both telephone calls and visitors, and there are patterns.

There is a way to introduce a system to improve efficiency, but customer service is a task that requires high quality and flexible judgment.

Is it possible to automate using a system while maintaining customer satisfaction?

Looking at the latest system introduction examples, it can be seen that there are cases where both the company and the customer benefit from the elimination of manned support.

Let’s take a look at the current state of visitor reception and telephone response automation.

Increase in unattended office reception systems

Due to the spread of telework due to the corona crisis, the reduction of offices, the increase in free addresses, etc., it is becoming difficult to maintain manned reception.

Therefore, an increasing number of companies have introduced unmanned reception systems, in which terminals are installed at the entrance of the office and customers self-reception .

By automating the visitor response, it is possible to reduce the labor cost of coming to the office and hiring staff for reception, and the work of other employees will not be interrupted.

Visitors can directly call the person in charge by operating the terminal, so there is no need to explain the matter to the primary response employee, which is also beneficial for the customer.

A service that AI responds to calls has appeared

Telephone correspondence is compatible with AI’s speech recognition and language processing, and it is also a field where AI is rapidly being introduced.

The primary acceptance of orders and reservations can be automated with voice transcription by AI.

In addition, if answers to standardized questions are automated, it is possible to connect to employees only for matters that require manned support. You can solve both problems at the same time .

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Messages from customers can also be transcribed, so AI can complete the call-back reception and message memo creation when you are away.

Call transfer service “Canario” that also functions as a receptionist

The call forwarding service “Canario” provided by NEC Networks & System Integration is a service that combines call forwarding and AI support and is ideal for automating calls.

Using AI’s voice recognition and language processing, you can listen to the customer’s voice, transfer it to the person in charge, convert the message into text, and entrust the entire call handling work.

In addition to being able to focus resources that were previously devoted to primary phone calls to the main business, you can receive calls addressed to you wherever you are, making communication with customers smoother.

If there is a person in charge, you can refer by name, and if there is no designation, you can create a flow that calls all group members all at once, so it can also be used as a reception desk for visitors to the office .

Article Summary

The basic manners and attitudes are the same for both phone calls and visitors. The purpose is to smoothly transfer the customer to the person in charge.

A polite and pleasant response is required, but if you spend too much time and effort on the phone or dealing with visitors, your work will be delayed.

Automating the handling of phone calls and visitors does not necessarily mean less hospitality.

It is also possible to satisfy both work efficiency and customer satisfaction at the same time, such as shortening the waiting time and smooth access to the person in charge.

Please contact NEC Networks & System Integration for more information on “Canario”.