Talking on the phone is easy, right? You say “hello” at the beginning of the call and “goodbye” at the end and throw in a few pleasant words and phrases in the middle. It’s all pretty simple. That is, of course, unless you’re providing customer service during that phone call. A chat with a friend and an opportunity to secure a customer’s loyalty are two completely different things. Performing the perfect customer service phone call requires more effort than the average chat.
In the business world, a lot is made of how a company answers its phones. As you may have guessed, a simple “hello” isn’t going to cut it. It’s important to answer the phone with a pleasant greeting, then state your name, the business’ name and ask a question to begin the conversation. A fairly decent standard is as follows: “Good afternoon, this is Mark at Marshmallow Cleaning, how can I help you today?”
“The way a company answers the phone says a lot about the kind of service you can expect to receive,” says Miruna Mitranescu of Aircall, “How you answer the phone sets the tone of the entire call… Don’t make your greeting too long or over the top, as it can quickly become annoying. Nobody likes to be greeted with superfluous information, like this: ‘Hello. It’s a beautiful day here at Springtime Solutions. How may I help you?’”
Of course, one of your main objectives is to provide answers to questions. But, when speaking to a customer, it’s important to get to know his/her interests, needs and wants. Providing unbeatable service entails building a rapport. By showing a genuine interest and also showcasing your winning personality, you’ll do more than just please a customer. You’ll gain a friend who will likely to return to the business for more great assistance.
“I encourage my staff to build rapport with callers, rather than following a script,” offers call centre manager, Amy Rose on CallCentreHelper.com, “Instead of just simply entering details into the computer we use the opportunity to make the call into a conversation. For example a caller may look for a quote for travel insurance. We would normally ask ‘Where are you travelling to?’”
As you’re undoubtedly aware, a simple “goodbye” wont’ suffice. As Mitranescu insists, you should always end each call on a positive note. This includes asking the caller if there is anything further you can do to help, thanking the customer for his/her business and allowing the caller to hang up first in order to ensure the call isn’t prematurely disconnected.
It’s also wise to write down any important information as soon as you get off the phone, says Mitranescu, “Doing so prevents you from getting caught up in other things and forgetting pertinent information.”
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