It’s very important to improve your company’s telephone answering abilities and customer service if you hope to build a good reputation for your company and encourage further business from current clients. Knowing how to do this can be a challenge, so here are 10 tips on how to improve your customer service and telephone answering skills:
Answer the phone promptly
If you answer the phone with in five rings, this shows an eagerness to attend to the customer’s needs and will also portray a professional image right from the very start. It also means that people are not waiting around on the phone for you to answer, getting frustrated with you and then hanging up completely. Seeming prompt makes you appear readily available to assist with any problems that may arise, helping to build a trusting relationship.
Answer with your company name
Choosing a greeting for your company phone calls is also important. Making this consistent across all of the telephone answering allows your company to portray a professional brand that is impressive to the caller, as well as reinforcing your brand name awareness. A simple “hello” just won’t cut it.
Transfer to the right department
Rather than trying to deal with an enquiry you know little about yourself, it is important to find the right person straight away for the caller to speak to. Transferring into the right department means that you can quickly handle the nature of the caller’s inquiry and not waste time.
Don’t put them on hold for too long
Putting people on hold for too long is frustrating and can show poor customer service. You want all callers hanging out, believing that their satisfaction was just as important to you as anything else you may have to deal with at that moment.
If you do have to put on hold, put on some music
Try to choose music that is not too annoying or on a continuous loop. Classical music is a good one for calming customers as they wait on hold. By providing this small amount of entertainment you relieve some boredom and seem like a highly professional organization.
Do not let calls go through to voice-mail
If you are unable to answer the amount of calls that are coming in, try not to let it go through to voice-mail services. Instead, think about hiring a call centre to manage your high volumes of calls when it gets too much for you. If a customer is taking time out from their day to give your business a call, they expect someone to be available to assist them.
Take down all the right details
Make sure that you take all of the details of the person who has called you, so that you can call back if you get cut off or if you or someone else needs to follow up later.
Keep the conversation on track
Come back to the initial enquiry and try not to go off on a tangent. Often times during a customer service call a customer may be upset and get off topic, but things will be resolved much quicker if you try everything possible to keep the discussion focused.
Also remember: the quicker you solve their problem, the less time another customer may have to wait for your assistance.
Ask if there is anything else you can help with
At the end of the telephone conversation, make sure that you have fully answered all of the caller’s questions and see if there is anything else you can help with. Sometimes they may get wrapped up on one particular thing and then just have to call back again later, so try and remind them before you hang up.
Don’t end abruptly – say goodbye
Do not just hang up the phone, say goodbye and tell them, “have a nice day!”. This active friendliness shows that you are a caring company and makes the customer feel appreciated, which is what customer service is all about.