Professionalism is a cult movement today.With every odd person nurturing dreams of entrepreneurship, a professional demeanor can make all the difference between success and failure. That’s exactly why we have added a professional welcome message to even your MyOperator FAX number. Dial it to hear, if you haven’t already!
The reason why I feel, that professionalism is a movement, a process, rather than a personality trait, is because, the human mind can be crude. A study of our evolution might lead us to believe that civilisation has overthrown our basic instincts of survival, metamorphing man who descended from the ape, to a well-shaven sage of principle. But, deep down, we know, that we are still neanderthals,in a way. That, today is as much a rat race to power and ultimately survival, as it was aeons ago.
However we might be beneath the surface, it pays to be the calm and collected ‘professional’ executive that we pose ourselves to be. This compels me to make my case on professional IVR, the same automated greeting which says to you, “Welcome to ABC Enterprises. Press 1 for enquiry…”.
From the perspective of the IVR (Integrated Voice Response), people expect professionalism when they call your helpline. The IVR is programmed to say things, they might as well be programmed to say something nice. Here’s why we think professionalism makes an impact:
The Tone of CRM staff
The concept of hiring a receptionist is slowly becoming obsolete, as business owners have become aware of the influence that the moods of their personnel can have over the tone and tenor with which they converse with customers, and ultimately, the customer’s perception of the company. SME’s have woken up to the number of customers they lose because of rude or unclear responses of their staff. Many of us have had experiences with receptionists who hang up, because we are unable to comprehend them, or ones who sound condescending, simply because we don’t know the stuff that they are supposed to explain to us.
Also, for small businesses run by few people, who juggle roles, it is sensible to turn to the IVR’s professionalism in customer handling, because at the end of the day, when you or your colleagues are fatigued and do not have the energy to be nice to a calling customer.
Erroneous Usage of Language
In a country that is supposedly boasting of the proficiency of its citizens in the english language, we still have people, who have good intentions, and poor communication skills.
“I have passed away you to the manager”, one says.
“I could not get you. Can you please tell again?” says another.
It isn’t very nice to mock these individuals. Infact, the second sentence might even sound fine. But is it professional? Imaging the effect it can have on your international customers. Even local customers, who can’t speak well themselves, will be impressed by being handled by a polite and proficient speaker. This can also apply to the usage of regional languages.
Reaching the people, gaining their trust
At the end of the day, it’s all about brand building. You might argue that, as long as there is professionalism in the work you do and the services you offer, what does it matter how you sound to customers.
Well, it does. How do you impress upon people the fact that your services are great? How do you tell them you’re credible? How do you gain their trust?
Only through professionalism in communication. By being clear and honest in your speech and articulate and considerate in the understanding of your customer’s needs.
- Professional welcomes make small businesses seem big.
- A warm welcome might even persuade a hostile customer to give you another chance.
- A balanced welcome (not a cheesy or patronising one) might draw even the most dubious customers to your product.
- A polite welcome, tells your customer that you are interested in their well-being and will in turn get them to be interested in what you’re offering.
- Professionalism instills loyalty in customers, towards your product.
All the points stated above or just another way of saying that professionalism can improve your profits dramatically. There are statistics testimony to the fact that first impressions made inspire customers to stick with the product life long. Thus it is the first lines you speak that impact the bottom lines you hope for.
The writer of this article, Ankitha Ramakrishnan is currently a student of Psychology, has written online content for magazines and worked as a reporter for the print media.