5 phone etiquette tips for enhanced customer service

Everyone who has worked in customer service has at one point had to deal with a disappointed client or customer. These conversations are often strained, as the other party is obviously unhappy with some element of the product or service, putting your customer service professional immediately on the defensive. 

Below, you'll find some helpful tips for defusing these situations, while maintaining a professional demeanor and addressing the clients concerns:

  1. Smile. Before even picking up the phone, take a moment to smile. The caller will be able to hear the difference in your voice, and it could potentially alleviate some of their frustration from your first words. 
  2. Don't rush to reach a solution. Even if a caller is experiencing a common problem, allow them to fully articulate their issues. Take time to acknowledge the dilemma and their frustrations before refocusing the conversation on the solution. Callers want to feel like their opinions are important to your organization, and part of giving them that impression is actively listening. 
  3. Show concern. The goal is to show the caller that your organization is worth doing business with. If they have already experienced issues, then it is critical to illustrate that your organization does not take their disappointment lightly, and are taking steps to address the issue. 
  4. Provide a positive surprise. Studies by psychologist Norbert Schwartz have revealed that when it comes to showing customer appreciation, it is largely the gesture, not the amount, that makes an impress. Look for an opportunity to surprise the caller with a free trial, sample or other special offering. This can be especially effective in disarming an upset caller. 
  5. Be aware of your tone.  Five people can verbalize the same statement, and 5 different messages can be heard.  VP of On Point, Mark Gillman trains the staff to always choose a respectful tone, address the caller by their surname early in the conversation (ie: Mr. / Ms.), and include a sincere 'thank you'.

At On Point Executive Center, our virtual assistant services are provided by experienced professional that are trained on how to best handle trouble calls. Our on-site staff is capable of making your appointments, providing information about your organization, taking sales orders and fielding customer inquiries, all for significantly less than the cost of a full-time hire. 

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