Right now, customer service provided by telephone is the dominant way for customers to reach businesses like yours. So before you invest everything in your website, consider how inexpensive it can be to increase sales and satisfaction with a few telephone tips for customer service representatives:
Answer the phone with a “live” person: “call centers” (especially the ones in India!) have an increasingly poor reputation. Just answering the phone with a live person starts you off on the right foot.
Don’t use a speaker phone! Pick up the receiver, or use a headset (they’re great for comfort and ease of use) and your caller gets a personal sound. We’ve all had our calls answered with a speaker phone: it sounds like they can’t be bothered, the audio quality is poor, and we end up shouting to be understood. Treat your caller like you’d like to be treated
Create a “phone answering script” that is personal and polite. Don’t try to say too much (Thank you for calling XYZ company, home of the widget. My name is Joe and I’m here to provide excellent service. How may I help you today?” Is that really any way to answer the phone?
If you use an automated answering system, limit the number of options: 3 or 4 should be plenty. And do you really need to have several levels of options? Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. They are the customer, right?
Train your customer service reps so they know more than the customer does! How many times have you called a call center to ask questions, and the rep has had to constantly “check their sources” for “additional information”? With just a little experience you can understand your “Frequently Asked Questions.” The 80/20 rule usually applies: 80% of your callers will ask the same questions covering just 20% of the information. Train, and test, your customer service reps. By the way: what are your customers’ biggest problems? If you don’t know, try working on the phones yourself. Then you’ll be able to train your reps better!
Staff your phones properly. We’ve all been told “We are experiencing a higher than normal volume of calls” way too many times. We all know that it’s not higher than “normal.” Great customer service builds great customer loyalty.
What if you do answer with an automated system, and your customers do have to wait (in a “queue” which is like waiting in line) for their call to be answered? What should your caller listen to? Some people like silence or music so they can do other things. I’ve had the experience of waiting in a queue for a few minutes and completely forgetting what I called for. Even when it was important. So consider giving your caller helpful information while on hold. Don’t make it a pushy radio commercial, and don’t try to record it yourself (it won’t sound professional).
|Telephone Magic USB Message On Hold Player|
A Message On Hold System can make all the difference in the world, as it plays CUSTOMIZED messages about YOUR business with appropriate background music. The latest digital On Hold Message player type utilizes USB Flash Media stick to easily transfer On Hold Messages from an emailed file. Telephone On Hold Messages will inform and entertain your clients when they have to wait On Hold for your business staff.
Try different recording for different groups of callers. For sales lines, feel free to talk about product features and benefits. “Cross marketing” can be very profitable (increasing you average order size) and helpful to the caller. Talk about product features, and educate your caller about how to understand the difference in features and what it means to them. Use the opportunity to show how you’re different (and better) than your competition.
For customer service or tech support lines consider answering FAQ and offering advice on fixing the most common problems. Do you list this information on your website? Tell your caller exactly where to look. Don’t just assume they’ll hang up. They can just look while they’re waiting for help.