Tips for Great Customer Service Over the Phone / Effective Ways to Connect with Your Customers
Why is Customer Service Important in Business?
There are intelligent reasons why businesses spend the time and expense in building customer service departments. One of the biggest reasons is these departments directly connect businesses to existing customers – their most profitable business segment. Existing customers are ten times more valuable than when they made their first order. And when contact with that customer on the phone is strong, he or she won’t forget it and may increase their business. Even if your customers shop elsewhere, they are more likely to return, as well as tell their friends. Good customer service skills go a long way to profits.
For these reasons, providing excellent customer service is key. When customers contact your customer service desk, they shouldn’t feel they are talking to an average Joe on the phone. Your teams should be well spoken and be constantly interacting with customers in order to maintain good relationships with your customers and create a deeper connection with your brand.
Here are some methods and tools to ensure it.
What is Great Customer Service?
Excellent customer service is when you and your customer service team adopt the best industry-wide and internal practices to meet and exceed customer expectations while seeding relationships. It’s about being prompt and attentive as well as understanding your customers and their needs.
A good chunk of it involves a key service trait: etiquette.
What is Phone Etiquette, and Why is It Important?
Phone etiquette is an integral part of customer service training. Put simply, it means using good manners while you talk to customers on the phone. It encompasses how you and members of your service team greet customers during a conversation, how calls are ended, the overall tone and friendliness of voice when you interact, the words you choose, approaching issues tactfully, and listening deeply.
It also means speaking in a language that connects with your customers but also represents your company. If your teams speak with customers with slang, colloquialisms, and other similar language, it comes off as less professional, creating barriers toward additional business with your customers.
Good etiquette not only provides a good first impression of your business, but it also shows professionalism, establishes trust, and shows your appreciation for loyalty by treating customers with importance, respect, and care. These are traits your customers won’t forget.
Here are 5 Ways to Provide Excellent Customer Service Over the Phone
1. Engage in Active Listening
Active listening by you and your service teams is more than listening attentively. It is asking questions, repeating them back to ensure their issues are understood correctly, taking notes when needed, and reinforcing your understanding of the issues.
The process of listening and verifying are crucial to good service and should be a standard customer service skill. It helps you and your teams better problem-solve while showing you care about servicing the customers well.
2. Engage in Empathy
In customer service training, the importance of empathy can’t be understated. By putting yourself in their shoes, you and your teams connect with your customers in a deeper way and, in turn, understand their needs better. You learn what their priorities are, the challenges they face, and what solutions to provide. The more you understand how they work and what they need, the better and faster you can problem-solve issues. You can also deliver knowledgeable feedback to company management to help the business position itself better to meet those needs – even profitably.
You and your customer service teams are on the front lines, and your feedback is valuable for business growth. The more connected you are to your how customers think and what they need, the better you can deliver on those needs and improve results company-wide.
3. Smile When You Talk to Customers
Excellent customer service also means acting like your customers are right in front of you – and this includes smiling. Why? Because even when you talk on the phone, they can hear your smile, and friendliness goes a long way in a customer’s positive perception of your company while showing your appreciation for their call and business. Having an engaging human connection helps separate the business from the personal, showing your company has a human side that cares about their issues.
4. Be Available
You and your customer service teams should be there for customers as needed, and don’t make them wait. Prolonged waits only frustrate customers. If you have to dig for answers, reconnect with them while they hold, so they know they aren’t forgotten. If you need to contact them again with answers, ensure that you do.
5. Be Honest
Like in any relationship, honesty is important. It shows that you care about the customer and are interested in providing excellent customer service. It also shows that your company hires quality employees.
There is also an underlying truth: people can smell dishonesty. Once they do, broken trust is hard to repair. Be truthful during a conversation and, when you can, be generous with your answers. It establishes trust and shows you are there to help.
For certain reasons, you may not be able to reveal everything, but being as forthright as possible is important. And if you don’t know the answer, don’t pretend you do. Contact them a second time if needed. It is much better to follow up with the customer on a second call with the correct information, and he or she will be impressed when you do it.
Implement a World-Class Customer Service Solution
Your customer service team is on the front lines of customer engagement, and being able to service customers promptly and professionally ensures customer satisfaction and continued growth from your most profitable business segment: your existing customers.
Traditionally, having adequate tools on hand wasn’t always easy. Adding phone lines and intaking and handling multiple calls was costly and logistically cumbersome. And with limited ways to communicate, more customers had no choice but to wait their turn in line.
Here is where Voice-over-Internet Technology (VoIP) has become a huge benefit. VoIP is an online communications platform that uses a broadband internet connection rather than traditional phone lines. By being online, it enables your teams to have ultra-clear calls with customers that sound like they are right in the room, evoking a highly professional atmosphere to address concerns. And by being digital-based, call routing and providing service to customers is easier than ever before. And these are just a few of the benefits.
Others include include:
· Mobile App Capability: Your customer service teams can assist customers anywhere your team members are. This is a huge benefit as more remote workforces take shape due to COVID-19. You can now service customers 24 hours a day by hiring representatives in other time zones at minimal overhead.
· Phone Call Recording: Keep track of conversations and analyze customer issues more effectively than simple note taking. You also gain clarity on your team’s service performance. And since all data is in the cloud, you can easily set the limit to the amount of data you want to be stored without it affecting the size of your internal storage systems.
· Call Parking: This system allows you to put a customer on hold in the cloud so another representative can take the call. It is extremely useful for customer service teams, allowing members to forward customers to the correct departments, specialists, and managers to better address issues without requiring the customer to do this his or herself.
· Auto Attendant: This feature provides easy and accurate call routing for faster and improved service without restriction on the number of calls at one time.
· Voicemail Transcriptions: This feature enables customer service teams to read voicemails anywhere they are in a way that is more convenient for them at the time. This is particularly useful when a service representative has downtime during a customer call, improving their multi-tasking ability.
· Video Conferencing: Further clarify customer issues through video calling, whether it be with one person or a team of individuals. You can have innumerable video calls, avoiding the issue of your team members waiting in line for conference space.
· VoIP-Enabled Phones: Your customer service teams can use devices designed like traditional phones but with all of VoIP’s advanced features, allowing for easy onboarding to this new digital platform in a format your teams are used to.
These benefits enable you to oversee your teams better and ensure your customers get improved service while exercising your teams’ customer service skills to maximum effectiveness.
Here at Think VoIP Services, we know what it takes to have an effective customer service platform because we aid customer service teams regularly. We provide strong and reliable VoIP-enabled phones and computer software that provide more versatility in communicating with customers and other service team members at a lower cost than traditional landline phone systems. Since VoIP is digitally-based, you can add or reduce the size of your system as needed and easily take advantage of new communication methods as they hit the market. All data is fully protected in the cloud. And our first-class customer service ensures your phone systems are running properly. We can work in-person or remotely.To learn more about how Think VoIP Services can help, contact us here.