As a business, one of your top priorities should be to have good customer service. Nothing can give you a bad reputation as a company faster than providing poor customer service to those you work with. And because the customers are the lifeblood of your business, it only makes sense that you’d want to make them as happy as possible so they’ll continue to want to do business with you.
But while face-to-face interactions often prove easier for customer service representatives, phone calls may be more challenging. Because so much of communication is done non-verbally, it can be difficult to rely solely on the verbal cues you’re getting from a customer. So to help make your phone calls with customers become more positive, here are three tips for improving customer service over the phone.
Work On Your Tone
When you only have someone’s voice to work with, tone is everything. According to Laura McConney, a contributor to SkillsYouNeed.com, having a positive yet natural tone to your voice can help make the customer feel more comfortable in their conversation with you. Additionally, it can help the entire trajectory of your interaction become more positive, even if the call was initially placed with negative intentions. To help you have a more positive tone when you’re on the phone, try speaking with a smile on your face and feeling genuine sympathy for the person to whom you’re speaking.
Use Their Name More Frequently
Mary Barkley, a contributor to Customer Think, reminds us that one of people’s favorite words and sounds is that of their own name. Knowing this, using the customer’s name when you’re speaking with them on the phone can instinctually make them more at ease and less combative. While you don’t want to overdo it, you should try to use the customer’s name a few times when you’re speaking with him or her. But in order to do this, you have to first ask for their name at the beginning of your conversation and ensure that you don’t forget it.
Listen and Respond
Most people call customer service because they’re experiencing some sort of problem. Their intention with the phone call is for you to help them address whatever issue is taking place. But for you to effectively do this, Alyssa Gregory, a contributor to The Balance Small Business, shares that you first have to actively listen to what they’re saying. It won’t be helpful to offer advice if you don’t first understand what they need or are looking for. Once you have pinpointed their need, respond quickly in a way that will help resolve the issue positively for both parties.
If your staff is struggling with handling phone calls to customer service, consider using the tips mentioned above to help improve in this area.