You can have the best product, the greatest sales team and a top-notch repair department, but if your customer service performance doesn’t make the grade, your competition will benefit. Your customers need to know that they matter, that their concerns are important, and that your company is going to be there for them.
Excellent customer service is all about satisfying the customer’s needs and ensuring that they conclude the interaction with a positive impression of your company.
Share these Four Tips for Customer Service Etiquette Your Company Can’t Do Without with your call center front line. These will enable them to create a positive customer experience every time.
- Positive First Impressions & Building Rapport
Understanding the nature of the customer’s concern is paramount, and the first step to good communications is listening. Take the time to let them explain the situation without interruption. This allows your agent to build rapport with the customer. Even if the call will eventually be transferred, listening to the story makes the customer feel as if they matter. Listening also allows your agents to understand and ask the proper questions without asking the customer to repeat themselves.
- Courteous Communication Leads to Call Control
One of the biggest challenges for call center agents is handling an angry customer. While listening goes a long way to placating even the angriest person, empathizing, apologizing and reassuring the customer that their concerns are as important to you as they are to them continues to build rapport between the customer and the agent. This helps put your customer service representative in control of the conversation and allows them to take the next proper steps towards remedying the situation. Having an open dialogue with a customer is critical. Take the time to explain the process so that the customer understands the next steps. Hopefully you can make the process as effortless as possible for the customer.
- Proper Call Holding and Transferring Techniques
If at all possible, do not transfer calls. If transfers are necessary, inform the customer that you may have to put them on hold, briefly. Be sure to explain the situation to the best of your knowledge to the employee who will handle the question or complaint so the customer does not have to repeat everything. Once you have established the response process in-house, explain it to the customer so they understand what will happen next and what steps will be taken to alleviate their concerns.
Do not leave the customer on hold for more than a minute, if possible. But if it is necessary to put the customer on hold, do it right. Do not hold the phone against your body or put your hand over the phone while speaking to a supervisor or co-worker. If a quick transfer or response is not possible, ask the customer if they prefer to wait or receive a call-back. If they choose a call-back, provide a realistic timeframe for the call.
- Be Professional
Yes, it may seem superfluous and unnecessary to even mention this, but professionalism is the most critical aspect of the customer service operation. Greeting the customer in a confident, enthusiastic manner and maintaining a professional attitude throughout the call will achieve several positive outcomes for your customer. It ensures:
- the customer feels at-ease
- your control of the conversation
- a positive image in the mind of the customer.
One of the best ways to maintain professionalism is to be aware of your own body language. Believe it or not, just sitting up straight creates a professional attitude, and the customer will sense it in your responses.Taking the time to close each call professionally goes a long way to leaving the customer with a positive impression of your company.
Satisfying a customer’s issues, concerns or challenges provides them with a favorable view of how you treat customers – ensuring brand loyalty and maximizing long-term revenue potential. Your call center team is often your most important contact with your customers because they provide the ongoing support. In many cases, the front line team may be the only contact the customer has with your organization, elevating the role customer service etiquette plays in the company-customer relationship.
How much time does your company spend training call center front line agents on proper phone etiquette?