Use Your Phone to Its Maximum Potential
Inventor Alexander Graham Bell had no idea how significant an impact the telephone would have on customer service – or how detrimental an impact it might have in the other direction.
In order to offer outstanding customer service, the telephone may be a very useful instrument. However, it can also rapidly damage the image of your company to a potential client. What measures can you put in place to guarantee that every time you or your employees pick up the phone, they are adding something good to the customer experience?
Here are a few suggestions.
Respond as soon as possible.
It’s an old pro advice, but one that is often overlooked! When the phone rings, you’re sitting at your desk, deep in concentration, drafting your monthly report when it calls. When you think to yourself, “I’ll just complete this phrase quickly…”, the phone rings ten times before you realize what is going on. It’s doubtful that the caller is in a good attitude at this point, assuming he hasn’t already hung up!
Just try to recall the last time you were seated in front of a phone that kept ringing and calling. What images sprang into your head as you were sitting there waiting? A picture of the person you are attempting to reach sitting at his desk talking or casually sipping on his coffee would be nice. It didn’t exactly put you in a nice mood, did it? Why would you subject your consumers to this?
Aim to answer your phone within 3 to 5 rings of the first ring. A quick pick-up will get the discussion off to a good start and will also save you the trouble of having to start the chat with an explanation.
As a result, dial the phone as soon as possible.
Be Positive and Optimistic
You should make sure that your voice communicates the message, “Really excited about chatting with you!” when you answer the phone. Make your voice light, infuse it with a sense of eagerness and passion, and, most importantly, seem excited. Even if you are doing anything else, you don’t want the caller to have the impression that you are avoiding them.
Incorporate a genuine sense of optimism into your initial welcome. A strong, joyful tone should be used to greet someone when they say “Good morning” or “Good afternoon.” This will instantly improve the mood of your caller and get you both off to a positive start.
You should get up and accept the call if you are really having a terrible day (and we all have them!). If forced enthusiasm is going to be a strain for you, you should not participate. Changing your body posture and body language may have a beneficial effect on your voice, as well as on your body language and position. Try it out and see how it works.
Take Notice of What They Have To Say
You may believe that you pay close attention to every discussion you engage in. It’s tough enough to maintain eye contact while speaking face-to-face with someone, but doing it over the phone without making eye contact makes it much more difficult to maintain concentration. Consider the job you were just interrupted from or the conversation you had with one of your suppliers earlier in the call. This is particularly true if the caller has a tendency to stretch out every point he wants to make. Prior to realizing it, you had completely lost track of what the caller was talking about.
It is essential for anybody who wants to utilize their telephone as a tool for excellent customer service to be able to actively listen to what is being said. However, how can you maintain your concentration on what is being spoken to you?
• First and foremost, make a personal commitment to yourself that you will attentively listen. Nothing ever occurs until there is a firm commitment.
• Take notes throughout every phone conversation, even if you don’t think you’ll need them. You will be forced to listen as a result of the need to record the caller’s important remarks. Simply concentrate on writing down keywords rather than full phrases, or else you will be focused on writing rather than listening!
• If an essential remark has been made, repeat it back to yourself in your own words to reinforce the point. This will compel you to pay attention to the important topics that need to be repeated.
• Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Maintain a reasonable level of curiosity by asking just the minimum number of inquiries necessary to keep your mind awake.
Maintaining active listening skills is not just about ensuring that you get all of the important information; it is also about showing respect to the caller. If it is obvious that you have been paying attention, they will feel that they have been treated with significance and respect. It just takes a few pertinent inquiries and the odd “Umm” to make the caller feel as if they have been heard and understood.
Distractions should be avoided.
Make every effort to eliminate distractions as much as possible while chatting on the phone, particularly if the conversation is critical. If your office door is open and normal office noise is interfering with your ability to hear the caller, ask them to hold for a minute and then shut the door behind them.
You should tell anybody who comes into your office while you are on a critical phone conversation that he should either remain outside or come back later. Being interrupted by someone sitting at your desk while you are chatting may be very inconvenient.
If you were working on your computer when the call came in, turn away from it and face the other direction. You don’t want your eyes and thoughts to be drawn back to the document you were previously working on.
Respect the caller’s time by removing or avoiding anything that may lead your attention to wander off during the conversation.
Finish on a high note
In order to successfully conclude the call, it is critical to do it in a powerful and persuasive manner. Summarize what has been agreed upon, what steps are to be taken, and by whom these actions are to be performed. There is no room for question in the caller’s mind as to what the next step is.
Just as your opening speech was brimming with energy, so should your closing statement be. The call will come to a satisfying conclusion with a nice, forceful, and optimistic, “Good to chat with you and speak to you soon” closure. The customer will hang up knowing that the call was beneficial on your part.
Respond to phone calls and voicemail messages
Leaving a recorded message if you are not at your desk or in the office is just as essential as making the real call in terms of establishing the proper impression as making the actual call itself. Leaving messages is not something that everyone enjoys doing, but if your phone has the capacity, then utilize it! The fact that you left a message provides your client with the chance to partially fulfill the reason for his call at the very least. When you are unable to express yourself, it may be frustrating.
Here are some suggestions on how to record messages that are effective:
- Make a written version of your message before you record it. It is best not to do it on the spot since there will most likely be lots of “umms” and pauses. It will not have a professional ring to it.
- In order to ensure that the caller can comprehend what you say, talk slowly and attentively while you are recording your voice. For telephone numbers where you may be contacted in an emergency, this is particularly important to remember.
- Be succinct and to the point while communicating your message. Keep it as short as possible and avoid including any extraneous information.
- Dial your phone number and pay attention to the message. If it doesn’t sound right the first time, record it again and again until it does sound correct.
- Change your message on a regular basis to reflect the work you are doing. In the event that you are going away on vacation, please specify when you expect to return. You should inform the caller that you will return their phone call later in the day if you are just gone for the morning. If the messages are current, the caller will have more confidence in their decision to leave a voice message.
It is possible to establish a strong reputation for delivering excellent customer service by using the telephone effectively. When used improperly, it may do significant harm to your company by providing yet another incentive for your consumers to leave and do business elsewhere.