When what you do all day is talk on the phone, you get to learn a little something about customer service. I’ve been with PCN for quite some time now and they are amazing at making sure that we are well trained in customer service. They asked me to write up a blog post about the 5 things that I find most helpful in dealing with customers on the phone, so I’ve come up with 5 tips that I think will help anyone that deals with customers on the phone on a daily basis.
1. Don’t Try To Go Too Fast With A Customer
Yes, you have a lot of calls coming through. You probably have a stack of work on your desk too. But if you want to deliver excellent customer service it takes time. You need to make sure that the customer feels heard and you can’t do that if you are already thinking about the next call that you are going to take. Stop, breathe, and focus on the caller. Hear their problem, understand their problem, and then deal with their problem however possible. We find that hearing a customer is better than solving a problem as far as customer satisfaction goes.
2. Close The Conversation Well
This goes hand and hand with number one, but you have to make sure that you have actually dealt with the issue. You want to take the time to ask, “Is there anything else that I can help you with today?” Don’t assume that if you solve one issue that the customer is now happy. There are often multiple things that a customer would like help with, and if you do not give them the chance to voice them, they will often not call back and will leave the interaction quite unsatisfied.
3. Be Unified
This one is huge. It is great as an answering service that we get to talk through common complaints and how to handle them with our clients. That allows us to have all of the information in our script so that no matter what operator a caller talks to, they will get the same answer with a complaint. All companies should have something similar, and it has to be a working document. When a new issue arises, take the time to document how you want it to be handled and make sure that every employee that may deal with customers on the phone has easy access to it. The last thing that you want is for two customers to compare notes and find that they were both told different things. Or for two employees to tell the same customer two different things. Either of these can turn into a customer service nightmare.
4. Answer The Phone Quickly
We find that when we answer the phone quickly customers appreciate it and feel better cared for. At the times when the phone rings a few more times, a customer has already started to become annoyed and it can often last through the whole conversation. So do yourself a favor. Answer the phone quickly with a friendly and professional voice (our trainers tell us to have a smile in our voice and that really seems to work) and you can already start to put out any fires.
5. Have The Right People Answer The Phone
I bet having read that, you pictured an employee (or past employee) that shouldn’t be taking customer service calls taking one. There are some people that should not be tasked with customer service. If you have a very task oriented employee, they are going to struggle to take the time necessary to make a customer feel heard. That is not to say that there is no place for task oriented employees – companies would be lost without them. But you need to make sure that you have the right people plugged into the right places.
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