WORKING ABROAD / DEC. 25, 2014
version 2, draft 2

Tips for Telephone Customer Service

Good customer service skills, whether on the phone or in face-to-face interactions, affect your business. Customers demand respect, and as the cliché goes, ‘the customer is always right.’ Practice proper communication skills on the phone and take each member of the team through communication and customer service training. The training helps them learn the basics and relate with callers in a friendly and helpful manner. Their relations with customer can boost or kill your business, and it is important that you ensure they learn and practice proper phone etiquette.

 

Welcome and Greet

Once you pick up the phone, offer a short welcome with the name of the company and your name followed by a greeting and an invitation to assist the client. For example, ‘Hello, this is XYZ retailers from Beverly Hills, Rasha speaking, how are you and how may I assist you’. The greeting sets a welcoming and friendly tone to the conversation. Additionally, the call to help communicates that the caller will get appropriate assistance, reassuring them that you value the time they take to contact you. Through the greeting, relax, keep your tone calm and be as natural as possible.

Listen

Give the customer time to speak and listen. Take down notes to avoid missing important points and respond to reassure the client that you are still on the line. Ask follow-up questions after the client is done talking to ensure you get all the information right before moving to address the issue. In case the caller would like to speak to a specific individual or department, request them to remain on hold before putting them on hold and transfer the call immediately to avoid delaying the caller. In case you can handle the issues, communicate that clearly to the customer and proceed to offer a solution. Listen to ensure your client is satisfied and wait for them to end the call.

Be Empathetic

Often times, customers call with complaints. Listen, understand the complain, and take a moment to view it from the customer’s perspective. For example, if the customer complains that he has called more than once on the same issue, apologize and offer to assist immediately. If you cannot offer immediate assistance, offer an alternative, for example, ask if you can call them later and take down their number or ask them to book a physical appointment and guide them through the process. Additionally, give the caller room to rant and complain, then address the issues calmly as you continually reassure him.

Appreciation

Once you serve the customer, go the extra mile to appreciate her taking time to contact you. Highlight a positive thing you noticed through the conversation, for example you may log into her account and realize she has been in business with you for five years, highlight this and express your appreciation. Look for a small detail that you can use to show your appreciation. Additional, end each call with a “thank you” message and invite the client to call back later for any assistance. Address her by name to express respect.

Warm, friendly and helpful customer service builds loyalty. Happy customers in return spread the word, marketing your company. Always pay attention to detail and build trust amongst your clients by engaging with them properly over the phone.

 

Image source: Sykesassistance

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