At MeloTel, we have many years of experience working with business owners who run call centres. We’re very well aware of the extremely hard work that is put into making call centres run smoothly. Naturally, hiring dedicated and energetic phone agents is an absolute necessity. And, of course, equipping your call centre with state-of-the-art equipment and software is integral to the company’s success.
Of course, the MeloTel team prides itself on offering cloud-hosted Commercial Phone Services and DaFeeder Preview Dialer – two practical must-haves for any call centre. However, we also believe that we possess a wealth of information in the customer service department.
We all know that customer service provided in person and customer service provided over the phone are two different animals. Without the use of hand gestures, facial expressions and other forms of body language, it can be a lot more difficult to communicate your messages.
So what steps are necessary to be the absolute best phone agent you can be? Here are three:
1. Be an active listener.
You can practically guarantee your caller a poor customer experience if you’re not properly listening to what he/she has to say. A multitude of problems can be avoided by getting all of the necessary information you need correctly the first time. Even the slightest misunderstanding can lead to a major mix up. Be sure to listen attentively on every call.
“Active listening is essential for effective communication,” says Shauna Geraghty on TalkDesk.com, “It allows for a better understanding of the customers’ needs and shows a willingness to help. Allow the customer to talk without interruption, reflect back their main question or concern and ask clarifying questions when necessary.”
2. Offer alternative solutions.
The best customer service representatives always strive to provide solutions to their customers’ problems. And, in some cases, the companies they work for can’t necessarily provide those solutions. Is there a way to solve a problem that may involve your caller going to another company? While it’s not ideal, your honest advice will go a long way in building trust with your callers. Don’t be surprised to hear back from such customers for their future needs.
“When you’re helping our customers with issues they’re having with your company’s product or service, you’ll likely run into some obstacles,” notes Mary Barkley on CustomerThink.com, “It’s simply a natural part of the job. You may offer a solution that they’re not thrilled about. Since your job is to make the customer happy and try to exceed their expectations, make sure you offer alternative solutions.”
3. Remember it’s better to ask than to demand.
In blogs of past, we’ve highlighted the importance of asking for your callers’ permission to be placed on hold. We’ve stressed that a “May I place you on hold for a minute or two while I look into that for you?” significantly outshines a “Hold please” when it comes to providing optimum customer service.
Geraghty notes that making a habit of asking questions instead of making assumptions or demands will help for better customer interactions. “Statements can sound harsh,” she writes, “Asking appropriate questions makes the conversation more collaborative.”
Allow MeloTel to help your phone agents be the best they can be. For more information about our Commercial Phone Services and DaFeeder Preview Dialer, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-888-MELOTEL or use the Live Chat feature on our website!