Taking orders over the phone can be a great selling point that can increase sales for your business. Phone orders are quick and easy when you have a clear method in place.
The best way to take orders over the phone is by putting the order directly into a computer system. However, if you are just starting out, you may have to begin with a pen and paper system. Either way, record keeping is a must. Here is how you can start with a pen and paper system to take orders over the phone
Initial Order: When customers call in, have a friendly greeting ready. Make sure that your employees are trained on how to fill out special order forms. Also, have the tax figured out on each item so everything is easy to total.
Shipping: Ask how quickly they would like to receive their order, as it will change the grand total. Let the customer know if you can guarantee that the purchase will arrive at a certain time. Make sure you let your employees know if larger orders or specialty items will take longer to ship. The employee should give the customer a grand total of the purchase with tax and shipping along with an estimated arrival.
Payment: Decide beforehand how you will take payments. Over the phone, you can take the customer's credit card information. You should require your customers to prepay for all orders that will need to be shipped. If your customer insists on paying by check, inform them that mailing a check will considerably slow down the shipping process.
Receipt Process: Have your employee tell the customer how the receipt process will work. We recommend putting the receipt in the package that you ship. Also, if available, take down an e-mail address and electronically send a copy of the receipt.
After the Call Procedure: Make sure that you have designated places where order forms go such as a "To Fill Order" location and a "Filled Order" location. Also, put all orders and order statuses in the computer for more efficient record keeping.
For more information and to view a complete list of mail or telephone order rules outlined by the FTC, visit the FTC website.