telephoneGood telephone communication is vital for every business and it’s easy to drive potential customers or clients away simply by how we communicate on the telephone. Case in point: Last weekend, I was looking to watch the Arizona Wildcats basketball game that was carried on the Pac-12 Network, which isn’t part of my DirecTV package. So, I called a local sports bar where I’ve watched several games already this season to see if they’d be showing it.

“I doubt it,” the young man who answered the phone told me, “because we’re carrying the big UFC event.”

“Okay, thanks,” I replied, and then—on impulse—called a new place that just opened up down the street. “Yes, we have the Pac-12 Network, and I’m sure we can get that on for you,” the young lady who answered the phone replied.

Did you catch the difference in how each establishment engaged a potential customer?

Now what I didn’t tell you is that the first sports bar is equipped with individual table monitors so even if a major event is on the big screens, they can accommodate customers who want to watch something else.

I’m willing to bet that if the owner of the first establishment had answered the phone, I’d have gotten a different answer and he would have had another customer that evening. Instead, I took my business elsewhere and may do so the next time as well.

The point of the story is simple: How you or your employees engage customers or clients is critical for business success. Even the way you answer the phone and the verbiage used can have a huge impact on business, especially in this day of social media.