Business phone calls are a critical part of maintaining both the best customer and employee relationships possible.
Customer service phone representatives must be able to be personal, understanding and maintain professionalism in high stress situations. As the voice of your business, telephone service members represent the core of a company at its forefront.
Keep the following six tips in mind to ensure the best telephone practices are kept throughout your business day:
- Answer promptly: The last thing an unhappy customer wants to do is wait before their initial phone call is answered. If customers must wait they may believe their concerns are not important in the eyes of a business, or even that a business is closed for the day. Be sure to answer within an appropriate amount of time, ready and willing to handle any customer issue.
- Be direct: When answering a customer’s concern or question, be sure to be direct and concise. If a customer feels as if an employee doesn’t know how to address their issue, they are likely to become more irritated quickly.
- Conflict management: In terms of conflict resolution, hear the customer out first and foremost. In terms of handling irate customers, listen to all their concerns and be sure to personalize your response with their name and a can-do attitude.
- Eliminate distractions: Distractions can ruin a phone call entirely. Be sure your desk or work area is clear of all distractions, including the computer. If an employee is distracted, they may miss an important part of the conversation, rendering the phone call useless to the customer. In addition, hearing typing or background noise can also cause the customer to think they are no longer the number one priority, which is bad for business.
- Focus on the outcome: Focus on the end goal and how your employee is able to get there. When the issue is resolved, be sure to end the phone call with a positive note. Thank the customer for calling, express appreciation for their business and ensure your business is ready to help again if need be.
- Positivity can go a long way: Answering a phone call with a simple smile can be the difference between a mediocre interaction and a great one.
MasteryTCN has a range of e-learning videos available for better telephone customer service skills including ‘Telephone Customer Service: Avoiding Monster Mistakes‘ and ‘Essential Telephone Skills: 10 Core Skills to Delivering Excellent Service Over the Phone.’
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