How To Make Your Over-The-Phone Customer Service Stand Out

Submitted by Dan Faraldo in Customer Service

In any blog you read about providing excellent customer service, you’re bound to receive the cookie-cutter style of advice that asks you to sound pleasant and be polite. Tell you something you don’t know already, right? It’s a no-brainer to be nice to people. However, there are some customer service practices that can help set your brand apart from its competitors.

What can you do to make your over-the-phone customer service stand out? Read on.

Show that you really care.

Caring for customers requires a bit more than simply answering questions and being nice. Express a genuine interest in what interests your callers. That way, you’ll be better able to serve them. Customer service – and sales, for that matter – is about meeting needs. We’re talking about the needs of your customers, not the needs of your business. Get to know the people who support your brand and you’ll receive a lot more support going forward.

“Providing top-notch support often requires developing a genuine interest in the customer’s question, concern or situation,” writes Tiago Paiva on Salesforce.com, “Agents can accomplish this by building effective rapport, asking probing questions and having some empathy for the customer…Developing an interest in the customer will show them that your company cares about them and will provide them with the service they crave.”

Whoa! Slow it down there, buddy.

Do customers like expeditious customer service? Absolutely. Do customers like having their problems solved at the first point of contact? For sure. Which of the two do you think they prioritize? Rushing to help a customer resolve an issue quickly doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be resolving the issue correctly. Take your time to ensure that your callers won’t have any complaints after getting off the phone.

On HelpScout.net, Gregory Ciotti offers up a quote from Gallup researcher, William J. McEwen that perfectly exemplifies this point: “What builds a stronger tie to Arby’s may not be whether a customer receives a sandwich in less than three minutes. Speed won’t compensate for a cold, tasteless sandwich or for rude and incompetent service.”

Admit you don’t know.

Sounds like a strange piece of advice, doesn’t it? But you’d be surprised just how much favour you’ll gain with your callers if you admit that you don’t have all the answers. Nobody’s perfect. And your customers know that. Show your human side by admitting you may not have the answer to every question. Do, however, show that you are willing to seek that answer out right away.

“Providing amazing phone support requires that agents are honest with their customers, teammates and themselves,” says Paiva, “They should never lie, guess or make up an answer. If they do not know the answer to a customer’s question, they should politely explain that they will transfer the customer to an employee who can better meet their needs. Customers will appreciate the candid response and will be thankful that there is someone on your team who will resolve his or her issue.”

For a dose of the excellent over-the-phone customer service that MeloTel provides, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-888-MELOTEL or use the Live Chat feature on our website!