When customers call your company, they have expectations of what they are going to get. Perhaps they fear an overseas call center or an automated phone tree that they can never escape. If you keep some customer service phone tips in mind while talking to customers, these interactions will go a lot smoother.
Here are some customer service phone tips:
Call the customer support number for American Express. You’ll be greeted by a friendly agent who introduces himself with something like “Hi, this is Scott in Columbus, Ohio.”
I love how they tell you where they are located. You can picture the person sitting in an office in a specific part of the country.
If your call centers are distributed across the globe, have your agents tell the customer where they are. It makes the interaction more personal and less anonymous.
If you receive a large volume of calls, you’ll likely have an interactive voice response (IVR) system. These phone trees should focus on serving the customer and not just you.
When the customer says or enters information into the IVR, make sure the customer service agent that finally answers has access to that data and can pick up the conversation with the customer without having to start over.
When calls are due to problems the customer is having, always apologize. A simple “I’m sorry for the trouble this is causing you.” will go a long way to easing any tension the customer is feeling.
Address the Customer by Name
Remember, that a person’s name is their most prized and favorite word. Ask the customer’s name and use it in the conversation just like you would in person.
You may speak formally with a “Mr. Smith” or informally and use just a first name. This will depend on your company culture and what the customer is expecting.
Resolve the Issue
All of these customer service phone tips are useless if you don’t properly handle the customer’s needs. The customer calls you for a reason. Fix the problem or handle the request while the customer is on the phone. If you are handling something the customer can verify right away, walk them through the steps and make sure things are working before you hang up.
When complicated issues arise, set clear expectations on when the problem will be fixed and when you will follow up with them.
Give the Customer Your Direct Number
At the conclusion of the call, give the customer your direct extension phone number so they can call you back directly if there are further problems. After several minutes on the phone with you, customers don’t want to start over with a new agent when they call again.
Customer Service Phone Tips in Action
Remember these customer service phone tips and you’ll have better calls and happier customers.
What customer service phone tips have you found effective with customers?