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Customer Service: How to avoid telephone tag


Reaching a customer can be a frustrating task. It's especially irritating when you have an important message, and you know your party wants to receive it. Here are a few ways to get your information through.

1. Improve your timing. Schedule calls when you know the customer will be in. Early mornings are good.

2. Have an alternative contact. Establish it at the start by asking who you can leave a message with if your party isn't there.

3. Send an e-mail or a fax. It's not as good as personal contact, but may be better at getting a detailed message through than talking to a subordinate.

4. Leave clever messages on answering machines. Get the target's interest. Don't overdo it.

5. If you really have to reach the customer and discuss a matter in person, get specific information on when the person will return, whether he or she will be going into a meeting, and what time would be best to call.

6. Decide how long you will "hold." Even if your information is important, your time is valuable too.

7. If all efforts fail. Wait for the customer's call.

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