Many business owners across Canada don’t have the opportunity to meet and greet their customers in person. With so many businesses using the telephone as their chief means of communication, it’s important for them to practice high quality phone skills. They include how to greet customers over the phone, of course. And, unlike when you are face to face with a customer, you have to focus predominantly on the way you sound.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t smile though. In past blogs, we’ve commented about how a smile can be “heard” through the phone. Consider the impression that you are making on each and every one of your callers. Without sounding pleasant in the very first word you utter, you stand the chance of turning your caller off of your brand. It’s important to make pleasant and friendly customer service a big part of your company’s repertoire.
Here are six ways to make great impressions over the phone:
1. Have a solid standard greeting. You should have a standard way to say “hello” that incorporates four important elements: a salutation, an introduction of your company, your name and an offer of help. For example, “Good morning, thank you for calling MeloTel, this is John speaking, what can I do to assist you today?” Of course, you can come up with your own version of this. Just remember to smile while doing it!
2. Smile! Okay, so perhaps this should have been first on our list of tips since we mentioned it so early in the blog. Try out this experiment. Record yourself saying your version of the greeting suggested above without smiling. Then record yourself saying the exact same thing while smiling. Notice a difference? When you smile, you practically can’t help but sound as if you’re in a good mood. This will go a long way in endearing your first time callers to you.
3. Show empathy. In many cases, people call companies to have their problems solved. If your company can present a resolution to the issue, you’re in good shape. However, what will really impress a customer is the way you’re able to add the human element to your interactions. “I’m sorry to hear that you’re having trouble with that” or “I totally understand the frustration that you’re experiencing” are two examples of showing empathy that will make good impressions.
4. Be personable and personal. Naturally, it’s important to sound friendly and accommodating. But don’t be afraid to offer a little bit of insight into your personal life to develop a common bond between yourself and the caller. Obviously, no one is expecting you to tell your life story. However, saying things such as “I had the exact same problem with my service last year. It was so annoying” shows that you are more than just a company representative. You’re a person too.
5. Offer resolution timelines. As mentioned earlier, customers generally call up companies in order to have problems solved. But, it’s important to remember that they often want their problems solved quickly. With that said, you should offer up a timeline that you know you’ll be able to resolve their issues within. Give yourself a little leeway so that if your task is completed “early”, it will really impress your new customer all the more.
6. Follow up. You don’t always have to let your customers do the calling. Shortly after resolving an issue had by a customer, give him or her a quick call to ensure that everything is still going well. Often, your follow up calls will be much appreciated. It shows that you care about your client and that you are committed to doing a good job. Making great impressions over the phone will become easier with experience. So don’t be afraid to do some dialing yourself.
For more information about MeloTel’s Commercial Phone Services, please give us a call at 1-888-MELOTEL!