No one ever said that working on the phone was easy. Well, maybe some people have…but they’d be lying to you! Whether you’re in sales or in customer service or a mix of both, conducting your job on the telephone always comes with challenges. The best phone agents know, however, to always keep their cool. They’re aware that literally everything they do and say is a reflection of the company they work for. So, there are certainly some things you should never do.
Here are six telephone customer service no-no’s:
1. Hanging up on customers. It’s possible that nearly everyone who has ever had a phone job is guilty of hanging up on a customer at least one time. But, that’s one time too many. Every so often, you may encounter a customer who is so irate that he/she doesn’t give you an opportunity to speak. Perhaps, that person is being verbally abusive. While no one deserves to be disrespected, it’s important not to hang up. If absolutely necessary, escalate the call to a supervisor. But, when it’s all said and done, being the bigger person will be a lot more beneficial.
2. Placing customers on hold without warning. This is nearly as good as a hang up. Not only should you inform your customer that you will be placing him/her on hold, but you should be asking for permission first. “Is it okay if I place you on a brief hold while I take a look into that for you?” Offering this measure of respect will not only keep your caller on the line but present a favourable impression of your company’s ability to provide excellent customer service.
3. Speaking with someone else during the call. Hold times are necessary for a number of reasons. One of them is so that your caller isn’t privy to another conversation that you’re having. Especially if the conversation isn’t directly related to the purpose of the phone call, you’re not only wasting time, but you’re insulting the person who is waiting for the customer service he/she called for. One conversation at a time please!
4. Placing calls on speakerphone without permission. You can pretty much guarantee that every call that comes in to your business is one from a person who expects it to result in a one-on-one conversation. Oftentimes, people speak in certain ways that are reflective of private encounters. Never run the risk of embarrassing your caller by placing him/her on speakerphone without informing him/her first. Keeping in mind the previous point, it’s best to ask permission first.
5. Eating or drinking during the call. You think the person on the other end can’t hear you chewing or sipping…but they can. Not only does your phone receiver often amplify what you may assume are soft-sounding noises, but eating and drinking also stunts conversation. There’s really no way to be able to communicate clearly when you have something in your mouth. Avoid eating, drinking and even chewing gum when you are on the phone.
6. Not returning phone calls. In previous blogs, we’ve highlighted the importance of being accessible. Understandably however, not all businesses can function on a 24/7 basis. So, whenever your customers leave you messages, be sure to return them promptly. In some cases, phone agents forget to return calls at all. And, needless to say, this leaves a very bad impression of the business to the neglected customers. Be sure to return every voicemail you receive.
Let’s not forget that to provide the best possible customer service over the phone, you’ll need the best possible phone service. MeloTel’s VoIP-based Commercial Phone Services will provide you with just that! For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-888-MELOTEL or use the “Live Chat Support” feature on our website!