The average person spends 3 hours and roughly 43 minutes on their phone every day. If you’re like most people, chances are you’ve spent half of your adult life on a phone. This also means you know how to make and receive phone calls.
In this day and era, almost anyone can make and receive a phone call but only a small portion are aware of how to give great customer care over the phone. Here we’re talking about the first word you say up until you hang up.
For most business owners it’s important to consider how we communicate over the phone. How you speak to someone could bring in millions of dollars for you or leave you with nothing at all.
Here are ways on how to give great customer care over the phone.
· Answer calls
For some reason, picking up calls may not be possible say you’re in a meeting or a tight situation. However, during other times, you may not be busy at all but still refuse to take your calls. It seems harmless but doesn’t go unnoticed. That customer in the background will take note that their calls aren’t being taken. Especially if they manage to get through three times and no one attends to them.
As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to answer the phone. Think of it as the same situation as when a customer is standing right in front of you. A phone call ignored is like ignoring a customer whose right in front of you.
· Outsourcing services
Facilities management companies can provide you with customer service agents to help improve your customer service needs. They have well-trained agents who can provide the best customer care services coupled with time management skills, great listening skills, and problem-solving skills.
· Speak as an individual
It’s very common to hear several company service agents refer to themselves as “we” however research has shown that this doesn’t help, at all. Company representatives who referred to themselves as “I” “me” or “my” were seen to be acting on behalf of the customers than those who used “we” or “our”. Saying “How can I help you.” instead of “How can we help you,” are some examples.
· Engage the customer
A good way to understand what the person is talking about or asking is to engage them. The conversation doesn’t have to be one-sided. Rather stick to asking appropriate questions and allow for the other person to give their answer. Also, don’t be so pushy or harsh, it may scare the customers away.
Still, on customer engagement, try to mimic the language of the person you’re talking to. It makes you appear as a trustworthy and likable person. Say when a customer asks, “Will my machine arrives tomorrow?” reply and say, “Yes, your machine will arrive tomorrow”. This will make it easy for a customer to relate to you.
· Be courteous
It doesn’t cost much to say, “thank you or please or excuse me and even saying have a nice day” to your customers. Phrases such as these, create room for them to come back. Let alone, they’ll share the news about how great you people are and this will keep them coming back not just for the product but for the customer service experience as well.
· Be an active listener
Great customer care of the phone has a lot to do with being an active listener. After answering the same things over and over again, most service agents become self-satisfied in their roles and they stop listening. Now here’s a thing about listening. You can’t see each other but a customer will tell when you aren’t paying attention. Take it that every customer is unique and special even if they are asking the same question over and over again. Actively respond to each customer after listening and provide solutions to their problems the first time they are raised.
· Don’t keep customers waiting
Unless your aim is to test a customer’s patience, do not make them wait! Nobody likes to wait. When customers call in they expect instant results, like a person answering their query or giving them a service they want. Here are some reasons as to why customers hate waiting or in simple terms putting them on “hold”
· They have other things to do
We forget that customers aren’t just customers. They are people like anyone else with responsibilities that require their attention.
· Wait times feel like an eternity
For the most time, a wait time could be less than a minute, however, for a customer, it could feel like an eternity
· Feel like their airtime is being wasted
Customers call in to access a product or service. When their expectations aren’t met, they end up feeling as though their expectations haven’t been met.
· Acknowledge your customer throughout the call
This statement goes beyond merely mentioning the customer’s name, which you should do. What this means is that you should take note of a customer’s comments and respond to them about what they earlier on said. And, when responding, do it empathetically to show them that you’re concerned. In case they are calling in for “thank you” reasons, offer them your gratitude.
· Apologies do matter
In more ways than one, you’ll most likely be blamed for a problem that isn’t yours at all. Sometimes it’s the customer’s problem nevertheless if you want to extend good customer care service, you’re going to have to embrace apologizing. It’s as simple as apologizing for inconveniences, delays, and really anything that the customer wasn’t satisfied with. Your empathetic act is what will solve the dispute fast.
To sum this up…
Providing great customer service over the phone is something that’s often overlooked and undermined. However, it’s such a powerful communication tool for the growth of your business. How you communicate to customers over the phone matters so much. The secret is to getting it right is by practicing the points mentioned and your customers will not just relate to your business but their communications will be understood and problems solved.