Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Challenges of Working at Home: Phone Calls and Children

It can be a real challenge to sound professional to clients with babies crying and children screaming in the background. As a work-at-home-mom, I am all too familiar with the dreaded phone call. But there are a few things you can do to work around this problem.

  1. Communicate via email and fax as much as possible. Not only is this a noise free means of communication, it is also very efficient. I have even changed my voicemail message to state that emails will provide clients with the fastest response to their inquiry. Once they get used to it, they seem to like this policy.

  2. Let it ring. If the children are particularly noisy when the phone rings, let voicemail pick up. It is more professional to return the call at a better time.

  3. Wait for nap time. Plan your day to utilize nap times to make phone calls.

  4. Keep to the point. If you have a limited time frame to make phone calls, keep to the point, refrain from chit-chat. Leave the talkers for last so you can cut the call short if it runs past nap time.

  5. Discipline. Older children should be taught patience and respect. It is not unreasonable to require older children to remain quiet when you are on the phone and save questions for when you are done.

  6. Higher a phone service. If it is imperative that your customers reach a live person each and every time they call, you can higher a phone service. This can be through a full service telecommunications company or simply a Virtual Assistant who offers this service. Setting up your phone to forward to a Virtual Assistant is easy, cheap and undetectable to your customers. Most phone companies offer a service entitled “call forwarding”. For a couple of dollars a month, you can activate your phone to forward all incoming calls to a number of your choice. The best part of this service is that you can turn it on and off at will, so use it only when you need it.

With a little organization and planning, you can run a professional home business and be able to care for your children.

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