12 Telephone Etiquette Tips in Customer Service To Make You A Pro
The customer service teams are the real underdogs of any company. Usually, a customer’s first interaction with a company is with the customer service and their sales will hugely depend on the interaction.
The task, however, is quite difficult if you’re providing customer service over the telephone. That’s because there are a lot of communication barriers since aspects of effective communication are omitted such as body language.
But there’s nothing to be worried about. Take a look at these pointers that will make you a real pro at customer service and bring you accolades from customers and coworkers alike!
1. The Art of Greeting
The greeting will be the very first part of your interaction with your customer and it will also set the foundation of their experience with the company you are working for. Your greeting should be both, specific and concise.
You should state the name of the company you are representing and clearly state the purpose of your call. You should also mention your name so they will know how to address you.
2. Be Friendly and Inviting
While working with calls in customer service, you will come across many kinds of people. Some may feel uncomfortable to explain their situation in its entirety and that ultimately will be disadvantageous for your end since it will be harder to help find a solution for them.
Furthermore, if they find their solutions quickly, it will encourage them to use your service. Also, if you are kind and inviting, customers will return to your company as they will remember you.
3. Purpose of the Call
It is important to state the purpose of calling from the very beginning. As previously stated, you will come across many types of people. It is natural for them to have better things to do and to snap if you beat around the bush.
Talking in circles can also lead to misinterpretations so, it contributes to ineffective communication.
4. Never Interrupt the Client
Everyone is different and so you may come across some people who do not have the best communication skills. They might even beat around the bush for entire minutes. However, it is common courtesy to not interrupt the person on the other end of the line under any circumstances.
If you cut them off while they are speaking, it will discourage them from coming to you for further help and it will also leave them with a bad impression of the company entirely.
5. Keeping Clients on Hold
The hold button will practically be your best friend when you are constantly working on a phone. However, there are proper etiquettes for using it.
Firstly, don’t put a client on hold without informing them that you are going to do so, and properly explain why you are doing so.
Secondly, make sure never to keep the phone without pressing the hold button as it is unprofessional and the customer might end up hearing your personal conversations.
And lastly, once you are back on the line, thank them for staying on hold, and apologize to them in case you took too long.
6. Return the Call Instead
To add to the previous point, keeping customers on hold for too long is rude and also a bad reflection of the customer service’s image. It is a better option to tell them you will call back with answers rather than keeping them on the line for 40 minutes while trying to help them.
7. Assessing How to Speak
One of the most difficult skills to develop while working in the call center is assessing how you should talk to people. Just like a tailor makes clothes according to their customers’ measurements, you have to tailor your tone for your clients.
People who are busy are likely to sound assertive and will speak in a clipped tone with short and precise sentences. You should follow the lead and speak straight to the point.
On the other hand, people who are slow at communicating such as you will have to speak patiently and slowly with people with a language barrier. You should speak slowly, kindly and elaborate your points with them.
8. Be Confident
Confidence is like the suit in a business meeting, what you wear and how you appear matters. There are many sites like 2Shay, where you will find a list of the major companies offering excellent services over the phone. They are not only efficient but exude a lot of confidence while providing service.
9. Ask Questions
Understanding the customer’s exact problems will help you find the best solutions for them. You might get a lot of calls with common complaints or confusions but you should still inquire about their circumstances. This will help you avoid giving them the wrong advice.
10. Take Notes
You have to be attentive while answering calls and at times, the amount of information can become overwhelming. Taking notes can actually improve the quality of your performance and increase your productivity.
Keep a notebook with you and jot down the main points your solutions should address to ensure that your customer has all their answers.
11. Avoid Arguments
The phrase, “the customer is always right” is a timeless motto at work for a good reason. It is normal to have different opinions than the customers or for misunderstandings to develop. However, it is never excusable to argue with the customer.
Arguments are unproductive in terms of communication, will reflect poorly of the company you are representing, and will definitely get you fired.
12. Don’t Rush
When you speak in a hurried manner, you give off the impression that you are under a time crunch and will discourage the customer from explaining their entire situation to you or might give them the impression that you are not interested.
A patient voice is a key factor here. If the customer gives you sufficient information, you will be able to give them the best solution.
13. Never Give Incorrect Information
Confidence might be important but overconfidence will get you sacked. If you are unsure about the answers to their queries, find a way around the situation rather than making things up.
You can put them on hold and ask a senior colleague for advice, call them back after you have found the answer, or transfer the call to someone who is able to handle the situation.
In the digital age, word gets around fast so if you cannot provide the best service possible, the internet will find out. Also, while you are on the phone, you are the voice of the company you are representing so a mistake on your behalf will affect the company as a whole.
Therefore, instead of being confused about how to speak to customers over the phone, you can use these tips to improve your telephone etiquette instantly!