Meet Your Customers’ Needs with These 5 Phone Etiquette Tips

An unhappy customer calls into the office.  What do you do? Instead of allowing fear to rear its ugly head, meet their needs effectively with these 5 phone etiquette tips.

No matter what your line of work, you have probably come into contact with a customer who was unsatisfied with a product or service you offered. Some of us have been the unsatisfied customer on the other end. While some conversations with an unhappy customer are amicable, others are more hostile and can send your customer service professional persona on the defensive team!

Put on a smile

You might’ve just ended a call with someone who was unhappy and maybe even offensive; don’t allow that energy into your next conversation. Instead, take a moment to take a breather and put on a smile. Our receptionists at our call center at On Point keep a small mirror in view so they can spot-check the scale of their smile.  A caller can sense when you are smiling vs scrunching your eyebrows.

Be quick to listen and slow to rush

Listen twice, connect, help. 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.  Even if you have heard the problem before, listen intently.  You may learn something new!

Show them that you care

The goal is to empathize with the caller and reaffirm them that your organization is still 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. Take the time to relate and connect with them too. You might’ve experienced the same issue in the past. Let them know that you understand how they feel and reassure them that you are doing what it takes to ensure that they have the best experience with your organization.  (EMPATHY could also be viewed as a verb)


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 impression. 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.  Our blog is full of customer appreciation posts chock-full of ideas on client appreciation.

Use the right 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 (i.e.: Mr. / Ms.), and include a sincere ‘thank you’.

Over 300 companies outsource their receptionist and customer service calls to On Point Executive Center.  If you do not want to answer your own calls or your staff is not equip to handle the service, consider outsourcing it to us. 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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