How to Kick Ass on the Phone
Top Three Takeaways:
- Our 5 best tips for tackling customer calls in a professional, confident and calm manner. Staying positive, calm and organized.
- The 5 C’s of Customer Service - how to get to the point, speak professionally and talk to customers the way they should be treated.
- Common Scenarios and to handle them. We made it easy with a script you can use in any situation
Customer service can be hard to master yet its one of the most important aspects of running a good business. Word of mouth can be such a powerful and underrated marketing tool and the best way to get a good word out is to have some kick-ass customer service skills.
A few pointers for tackling customer service on the phone:
- Listen. The single most important thing when talking to customers on the phone is to LISTEN. Whether it's a brand new customer, a returning customer or an angry one, you must first listen. People just want to be heard. Before you interrupt with questions or comments, wait your turn and listen to them. Talking over someone is just frustrating for everyone.
- Speak in positive tones. Always try to sound positive and sincere on the phone. People can sense when you are not relating to them or understanding their problem. Try smiling when you are speaking to someone. As crazy as it sounds, you can “hear” a smile over the phone.
- Stay Calm. Always stay in control of the conversation with a calm tone of voice. Don’t raise your voice or yell, it will only infuriate an already upset customer.
- Stay focused and organized. Staying focused on a phone call is just as important as the manner in which you speak to someone. Stay organized so when you go to pull up a customer's contact information you don’t sound flustered. Using software like Pointman can help make it simple to pull up customer information, easily see their past history with you, what technician has serviced them and all their billing and payment records so you can have a clean and confident interaction with them.
- Get Personal. You don’t have to go into great detail to connect on a personal level. Try this simple technique of recording one memorable fact about a customer. Using Pointman or similar software, record details on your customer so that you have something personal to bring up the next time you have an interaction with them. For example: record the customer's Dog’s name, and next time they call to get their A/C fixed you can reference how their pup Max probably doesn’t like that heat too much!
The 5 C’s of Customer Service
- Clear- Speak clearly and slowly. You’ll get a variety of education levels, language barriers, older folks and even bad phone connections. Try to make sure you are speaking in a way that anyone can understand you. Don’t talk too fast, mumble or talk too softly.
- Complete- Speak in full coherent sentences, don’t use slang and try not to be distracted while you are on the phone. Focus on the task at hand and completely iterate whatever the point of the conversation is about.
- Concise - Keep it short and sweet, get to the point and don’t ramble on. Don’t waste your time or their time. Listen to the needs of your caller and get to the bottom of it. It's also important to remember not to rush someone off the phone either, you don’t want them to think you don’t have time for them. It's a fine line, try to find that happy medium.
- Confident - Act like you know what you are talking about. You want them to feel like they reached the expert on their problem. If you sound nervous and shaky they may either lose trust that you know what you're doing or try to take advantage of you. Its okay to not know the answer, just put them on hold and find out. Don’t lose faith in yourself on a call.
- Correct- Again it's okay to not know the answer, but you don’t want to give someone the wrong answer, incorrect information or false hopes for something, it will almost always come back to bite you. Customers would rather wait for the right answer then be told false information.
So what are some common scenarios on the phone and how should I handle them?
I’m glad you asked! We had our Pointman Customer Success Team all give their best solutions to some common phone scenarios and we put together this awesome script. Click here to get our favorite lines for solving some of the most common customer service issues.
Customer Service can make or break your business. People will remember the work you did for them, but they will remember even more how they were treated by your team. Handling customers on the phone is usually your first and last point of contact with them, so it's so important to make sure you are leaving them with warm and fuzzy feelings so they keep coming back and choosing you!