Maham Riaz (March 14, 2016)
Telephone is one of the most widely used tools in customer communication. Businesses receive several customer calls every day in the form of queries or complaints. The way these calls are handled can impact your brand image and customer relationships. Offering excellent customer service over the phone requires competence. The first impression counts, greeting your customers in a courteous manner over the phone and expressing your enthusiasm to help them is the first step towards great telephone customer service. Never make your customers wait too long while transferring calls or putting them on hold. Choice of words and phrases used over the phone are also important since customers cannot see you, so make sure that you keep negative words and technical jargon out of your telephonic conversations. Here are five tips that will help you deliver great service over the phone.
For any conversation, the greeting and introduction part is really important. Customers contacting you through phone are likely to perceive your business and customer service on the basis of how well they are greeted and facilitated over the phone. Greet your customers in a friendly manner, introduce yourself and ask for the customer’s name. Keep the tone of your voice clear, don’t speak too loud or in a tone that is inaudible. Give a pause after every sentence to make sure that whatever you are explaining has been understood by the customer.
Listening attentively is a vital part of telephonic conversations. Listening to your customers will help you figure out their needs and grievances. While handling customer calls you need to pay attention to every single word your customers say. If a customer is registering his/her complaint over the phone, note down all the essential details. Never interrupt in the middle and make sure you don’t have to ask your customers to repeat a sentence. Be a good listener to your customers over the phone and give them the gesture that you want to help them in every possible way.
One of the most challenging customer service situations is handling irate customers over the phone. There are customers who will ask questions again and again about the same thing or those who will get really rude and abusive over the phone for receiving bad service. Handling such calls requires empathy and patience. You should converse with frustrated customers in an empathetic tone, be patient and never respond back in a rude manner. Never hang up if a customer yells at you, angry customers want to vent their anger so give them space and let them talk.
While handling customer calls you need to use words and phrases that have a positive meaning. Keep your customer service conversations pleasant by using considerate words and phrases. Avoid using phrases like “I don’t think so”, “Why don’t you check again”, “There is nothing I can do” and “It’s against our policies and rules.” Use simple and positive words in your telephonic conversations with customers, avoid using technical terms and jargon. Use words and phrases like “please”, “it is a pleasure to hear from you again” and “I will make sure it is taken care of immediately”.
A customer service call should always end on a pleasant note. You should assure the customer that his/her concerns will be taken care of, give a gesture that you will put in extra effort to address the issue at hand and appreciate him/her for doing business with you. Encourage your customers to stay in touch, tell them that you look forward to hearing from them again. Never use a written script for your customer service calls, instead focus on making conversations more interactive by communicating amicably with your customers and making them feel how important they are for your business.
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