Make sure you are just as focused on your telephone customers as the ones right in front of you.

Since most cleaning companies gain their initial contact with a prospective customer by telephone, there is little more important to the continuing good image of your company than your telephone demeanor. Though your customer can’t see you (unless you are FaceTime-ing, of course), she can “hear” a lot from your tone of voice, hesitations, background noise, and more.

First, it’s critical that you acquire training for yourself (if you take all calls) and fully train anyone you hire or promote to customer service. Customer service telephone etiquette isn’t intuitive; techniques and training are available and must be practiced and refreshed on a regular basis.

Second, contrary to common assumption, the best telecommuters and off-site call centers insist that the folks answering the phone NOT be wearing their pajamas just because they can’t be seen. Why? Because how you are dressed physically, your personal hygiene and wardrobe are part of preparing your mind to be the professional that you need to be on the telephone.

Finally, though there is a whole collection of physical and mental techniques to help customer service staff project a customer-focused persona and attitude through the telephone, the number one thing that can completely reform your telephone demeanor is a smile!

Keep this quick list of reminders handy:

Answer the phone promptly
Offer a greeting; identify yourself and your company
Offer assistance
Personalize the conversation with the caller’s name
Listen carefully to any message you receive; record the correct name and number as well as the date and time of the call
Derek Christian is the owner of My Maid Service with locations in Cincinnati, OH and Dallas, TX, as well as a business coach through Cleaning Business Builders and publisher of  Derek is now an investor in several cleaning companies including My Maid Service Dayton and Real World Services Columbus.  Derek is also a consultant for industry leaders Marvelous Maids and Castle Keepers.