Branding via Telephone Part 1Tuesday, December 09, 2008
by guest expert Terrica Skaggs from Fabuluxe™ Inc.
Get A Vanity Number
You have several options when signing up with Ring Central. Personally, since my client base is made up of out of town clients and since my staff works in different areas, having a toll-free number was the most logical step. You do, however, have the option of getting a number local to your area.
I chose a vanity number for my company, because it is another way of extending my brand. It also makes it easy for both my prospective and current clients to remember. Case in point: What are the seven digits for 1-800-FLOWERS? Who knows? Who cares? You already know the “number” in your head, and can do the translation when you have the phone in your hand.
Greet Them Properly
You have the option of creating/having an “Introductory Greeting” with your Ring Central account. While it is nice to have the automated voice announce to your callers that their call is en route to you, you don’t want to come off as cold, corporate or impersonal. This is a very personal business—you need to make that personal connection with every communication.
I have always said that our business is similar to dating. You can’t get from being introduced to getting married in one fell swoop. When pursuing or wooing a prospect, you are courting them and showing them all of the reasons why they should commit to you, your company and your services. You want your potential client to get to know you, like you and appreciate what you can do for them. Just having a “great service” is only part of the deal. Additionally, when using the standard greeting with your company name option, your greeting could end up sounding digitized or fake. For example, My company’s name is Fabuluxe™. However, when the automated attendant said it, it sounded like “Fabulookes”. Not good. I then had to program my name as “Fabulucks” in the system to get it phonetically correct, however this affected other parts of my tweaking ability (which I will share later).
If you are horrible at writing, you should hire a copywriter for your website and marketing materials - or at least get the help of someone who is well-versed in this area. The same goes for your greetings. For some brides, this may be their first contact with you. If you fail to enunciate, have a heavy accent that impedes comprehension, or speak in common vernacular, you could very well lose a client—regardless of how great your work is.
Just to give you an example, years ago when I was shopping for an agency to represent me, I came across one whose outgoing message was recorded by a woman with a British accent. Studies have proven that British accent speakers rate the highest in intelligence, friendliness and attractiveness. I was intrigued, visited and was ultimately represented by the agency. When I required into whom the woman was on the staff, my agent replied “Oh, she’s just another one of the other models. We hate how we sound on the phone, so we asked her to create an outgoing message”. It was brilliant.
While I am not suggesting that you find a Briton to record your message for you, I will strongly advocate that you find a friend who has a great speaking voice to record your messages if you are weak in this area. Ring Central also has a service where you can pay to have your greetings professionally recorded. Record a great introductory message that lets the bride know whom she has called and that you will be with her in just a moment.