How to answer a customer service call?
Learning to answer calls in the call center is a delicate art. And it is that, the quality of a call will depend on whether the reputation of a business is maintained or falls. Remember that most of the calls for attention are clients who have been in the business for a long time , so it is very important to reinforce their treatment.
Your customer loyalty strategies also depend on how well you serve your customers. For this reason, the agents must already have studied their attention speech that allows them to safeguard any situation that may arise. This avoids possible crises or friction with customers.
It is understood that there is pressure towards the agents. Therefore, it is important that they can develop soft skills . In this way, the emotional wear will not be so shocking. However, this does not prevent you from actively listening to how your service agents feel.
Interacting in real time with your customers can be stressful, as the pressure to say everything right, represent the company, and have all the answers can make agents nervous. So here are some tips that will show you exactly how to answer customer service calls like a pro.
But first, review the points that will be touched on in the article.
- 1) How to improve the customer experience in call centers?
- 1.1) 1. Know your client
- 1.2) 2. Pay attention to the customer journey
- 1.3) 3. Develop emotional connections with customers
- 1.4) 4. Ask for feedback from your customers and listen to them
- 2) Why is it important to answer the phone professionally?
- 3) How to answer a customer service call?
- 3.1) 1. Quick response
- 3.2) 2. Offer a greeting
- 3.3) 3. Talk with a smile
- 3.4) 4. Be clear
- 3.5) 5. Avoid jargon
- 3.6) 6. Be positive
- 3.7) 7. Ask before putting someone on hold
- 3.8) 8. Take messages accurately
- 3.9) 9. Know how to transfer and to whom to transfer
- 3.10) 10. Close on a positive note
- 4) How not to answer a customer service call
- 4.1) Do not interrupt your client
- 4.2) Do not underestimate the client’s problems
- 4.3) Do not give incorrect information
- 4.4) Don’t forget to use your resources
How to improve the customer experience in call centers?
1. Know your customer
Your team probably already knows a lot about your customers, including demographics and expectations. Therefore, use software hosted in the cloud that allows you to have the exact information of the clients before answering a call . Thus, the resolution of the problem will be in less time.
2. Pay attention to the customer journey
A customer at different stages of the sales cycle will interact with the customer service team in different ways. If you want to know how to improve the customer experience in your call center, then you need to engage with your customers effectively at every stage of the conversion funnel .
3. Develop emotional connections with customers
The importance of emotional CX cannot be overstated. Customers want to interact with and buy from brands that share their values , care about what they want, and understand who they are. This requires your call center team to develop emotional intelligence for connection with callers.
4. Ask for feedback from your customers and listen to them
Customers want to know that you are listening to their wants and needs. The best way to do this is to ask them for their feedback and open a dialogue about what they like and don’t like about your brand , call center, and customer service representatives.
Why is it important to answer the phone professionally?
Even in this digital age, the phone remains a primary communication device for many organizations , including businesses, healthcare institutions, schools, and more. The way agents answer the phone often forms a customer’s first impression of the organization.
If you answer the phone in a professional manner, the caller may be more motivated to keep your business. They can also feel welcome to ask questions, find solutions, and offer loyalty to your organization .
Therefore, it is crucial that all employees in an organization are properly trained in professional telephone answering and etiquette practices. By answering the phone correctly, you show the caller that you respect them and care about what they mean.
How to answer a customer service call?
Many factors lead to a successful and professional phone call. While the customer service techniques used throughout a call may differ depending on the company you work for and who you’re speaking with, answering the phone professionally is often standard practice.
1. Quick response
It is polite to pick up the phone quickly to avoid waiting callers. Out of respect for the caller’s time, try to answer any call on the third ring or send it to voicemail if you’re not available rather than letting it continue to ring. In this way, you can help customers in a timely manner.
2. Offer a greeting
While the standard greeting “Hello?” is common and sometimes suited to professional situations, it is possible to offer a more specialized greeting when answering the phone. For example, you can state the name of the business, introduce yourself by name, and ask how you could help the caller on the line.
3. Talk with a smile
Oddly enough, the tone often changes noticeably when he smiles while speaking. Monitoring tone throughout a call can be a challenging task, especially if you’re multitasking, as is often the case if you’re a front desk agent or customer service provider.
Therefore, try to smile when you greet the caller. Using this trick can help you maintain a professional, friendly, and positive tone throughout the phone answering process.
4. Be clear
Enunciating words clearly helps agents to be perceived efficiently and professionally. On the phone, you may have to contend with poor cell service, background noise, and muffled voices.
These factors can sometimes lead to unclear calls. If you speak slowly and clearly, it will be easier for callers to hear what you say the first time so you don’t have to repeat it. This helps reduce resolution time.
5. Avoid jargon
In order for callers to understand you, avoid using jargon and words that can only be understood within a company sector. Instead of using casual phrases like “great” and “no problem” on the phone with customers, switch to more professional ones like “great” and “you’re welcome.”
6. Be positive
Keeping a positive and upbeat tone can help callers feel welcome and at ease. Try swapping out phrases like “I don’t know” for proactive alternatives like “Let me see if I can figure it out for you.”
If answering calls is part of your job, it’s probably your duty to help customers by properly answering questions and transferring them to different agents or departments. Make sure you take this duty seriously and treat callers with kindness and respect.
7. Ask before putting someone on hold
If your call center is busy or understaffed, customers may experience long wait times before their call reaches an agent. This is especially true and can be avoided by using automated systems and menus.
Therefore, it is important to respect the caller’s time from the beginning. One way to do this is by asking the person before putting them on hold. Explain why you need to do it and thank them when they accept it. This is a simple addition that can be made possible with the implementation of an IVR.
When you’re about to hang up with a caller, try to end the conversation on a positive note.
8. Take messages accurately
If your call center doesn’t use a voicemail system, you may receive messages for agents or superiors periodically. When you do, make sure your messages are accurate and include all call details.
This can help your agents pick up where a case left off, seamlessly with a caller without the need for them to repeat information. In general, taking accurate messages can improve operations with your customers, or within your business.
9. Know how to transfer and to whom to transfer
Phone systems can be a challenge to use the right way. Therefore, you’ll want to practice using all the features of your business phone system before attempting to answer calls.
The transfer feature is especially important to use correctly , as you will likely need to use it on a daily basis when transferring calls to colleagues who are better suited to help customers with their needs.
Knowing how to use this feature correctly, as well as keeping an up-to-date list of colleagues and responsibilities, will help ensure calls are routed to the right person.
10. Close on a positive note
When you’re about to hang up with a caller, try to end the conversation on a positive note. You can do this by thanking them or wishing them well.
This can motivate customers to feel positively about your business and make them feel more comfortable calling in the future to address other requests, questions, or issues.
How not to answer a customer service call
Don’t interrupt your client
Who likes to be interrupted? Not you, and certainly not the client. It’s impossible to overstate the importance of being patient and allowing your customers to fully express their issues or concerns over the phone, even when you can already anticipate what they have to say.
Interrupting people while they are talking communicates that you are not interested in what they have to say, aside from being rude and annoying. Plus, if you give them your full attention, you’ll have time to take notes and understand the topic at hand.
Don’t underestimate customer problems
Never let your customer feel like their concerns are insignificant. Even if he knows the problem can be easily fixed, reflect the same level of concern you are showing him. Remember that they have taken the time to contact you because they feel the need to ask for help.
If there is a sense of urgency in the tone, do your best to sympathize with them. Reassure your customers and make them feel recognized. If you don’t bother instead, they’ll start to wonder if you care to help at all.
Do not give wrong information
Avoid giving incomplete information to end the call. Even if you need extra time to find the correct answer, take it. Tricking the customer out of the phone will lower your FCR (First Call Resolution), but it will also lower overall customer satisfaction (CSAT) and create distrust in your company.
In addition to this, when the customer makes a new call, which they will do if they have been given the wrong information, another team member or agent will have to make up for this experience. And you certainly don’t want this to happen.
Don’t forget to use your resources
Your mute and hold buttons are your best friends. The environment can become noisy and distracting, especially if you are in a call center or office where multiple people are having conversations. Use the mute button to prevent your caller from listening to this chat.
You learned step by step how to answer a customer service call. Start applying these tips and share it with your entire care team so that together you can set the same goals. I know they will make it!