How are phones answered at your insurance agency?

We all know how important it is to provide extraordinary customer service. But have you ever considered how vital it is that you and your agency employees answer the phone warmly and professionally?

Here are some tips for improving your phone etiquette:

Simply listen to how phones are being answered. You could also enlist friends or family members to call in, asking to speak with you. Ask them how the interaction made them feel. Discover whether the phone is being answered according to your professional standards and expectations.

Remember good manners. Everyone in your agency, not just the person who typically answers the phone, should be taught to begin with a polite “Hello, this is such-and-such agency, so-and-so speaking. How can I help you?” This seems obvious, but as our culture has become more casual, so have our phone manners. How often have you called a business and heard “Yeah?” or only “Hello?”

Tone and pace. Encourage everyone in your agency to speak clearly, slowly and kindly as they answer the phone. Clients don’t like being made to feel that they’re hard of hearing or that your agency is too busy to spend time with them.

Ensure you have a system in place. You’ll need it for phone messages to be conveyed to you and others in your agency. And, be sure to return calls promptly! All the good manners on the front end will be wasted if you and your employees fail to return calls to clients and potential clients.