It is a well-known fact that many people hate it when they have to call companies over the phone for customer service reasons. Why is this? It is because most of the time calling a company to deal with an issue over the phone is incredibly frustrating.
First you call up, only to be put on hold for at least five or ten minutes and in some cases an hour or even more. You listen to mind numbing music or a promotional spiel repeated several times per minute, while you keep getting reminded that “your call is important to us”.
When you finally get to talk to a customer service representative you explain your problem, only to be transferred to someone else. You might have to explain your issue two or three times until you are transferred to the right person. Unfortunately, sometimes these people are working from a script and they only provide you with simple, formulaic responses rather than real help for your questions.
That is if you are lucky enough to speak to a real person. A great deal of the time you will end up talking to an automated phone answering machine which will have you pressing buttons to get to the next menu or repeating yourself over and over until the voice recognition understands you.
Stand Out Above the Rest
The horrible standards in telephone customer care are unfortunate, but they offer an opportunity for you as a business. If you can provide excellent customer service over the telephone for your customers, this will make you stand out above all of the others who are terrible on the phone. People will appreciate your effort and they will make the decision to do business with you because they know that phoning won’t be a hassle.
Customer Service Tips
Here are some tips for making sure that your company delivers excellent customer service over the phone:
- Train your employees to sit up straight and smile while they are talking on the phone to customers. Although the customer on the line cannot see them, their body language and their facial expressions will come through in the way that they talk.
- Reduce the wait time that customers spend on hold. Even if it means hiring another employee to answer phones, it is worth it to avoid the poor impression that long wait times gives.
- Craft a phone greeting which is not too cheesy or promotional, but immediately identifies the company name, the representative’s name, and their department and asks the customer how they can help.
- Talk to your staff about the importance of listening. Above all, if the customer has an issue they will want to feel like they are being listened to and that their point of view is being acknowledged. If not, they will become increasingly more frustrated.
- Try to limit hold times and silences as much as possible and make sure that your representatives explain what they are doing before a silence or putting them on hold. When they come back to the phone they should thank them for waiting and apologize for the inconvenience.
- If a customer calls in over a negative experience make sure that they are met with a calm, peaceful and positive response.
Customers call in to a company for a reason, usually to resolve an issue, clarify confusion, request something or receive further information. Every time a customer calls you it is an opportunity to improve your company and create a satisfying conclusion for that customer which will make them want to do business with you again.
When customers call in to your 0845 numbers, do you provide them with good customer service or do you leave them feeling more angry and frustrated than before?