Telephone Etiquette in the Carpet Cleaning Business

"He's in the rest room." "He hasn’t come in yet this morning." "He’s playing golf today." or "She doesn’t want to talk to anyone today." These are all sure-fire ways to offend a caller or make the person being called look bad. The only acceptable statements a telephone receptionist should make are: "He’s out of the office," "She’s on another line," or "She’s away from her desk." always followed by, "May I take a message or could someone else help you?"

Do not ask who is calling! The epitome of being offensive is the person who screens a call by saying, "May I tell him who’s calling?" and then doesn’t give the name of the caller to the person being called. Even more insulting is to come back on the line and say, "He just stepped out of his office, may I take a message." If a caller chooses to wait on the line for someone, they should not be left on "hold" indefinitely. An occasional inquiry to see if they would like to continue to wait or perhaps leave a message, is proper telephone procedure.

These days, callers are treated to impersonal telephone equipment, endless menus of computerized choices and then lengthy hold-time before they ever get to speak to a real, live person. A little warmth by a real person can do wonders for customer relations. And customers are not the only beneficiaries to good telephone manners. Vendors especially appreciate being treated with respect and their goodwill is important to the success of any company. Sales people who call may have a need for carpet, upholstery or hard-floor care at their home or place of business and may refer you to their friends and neighbors. Be courteous!

Even a wrong number can be turned into a sale. Many years ago, Elizabeth Bane took a wrong number call, was pleasant in helping the lady find the number she was seeking and then added, "If you ever need carpet cleaning service, be sure to remember this number." The lady was impressed, asked for an estimate and the job was booked. You just never know where good fortune will come from, do you?