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Five tips for excellent telephone customer service

Now, more than ever, a patient tone and a gentle manner are needed when you communicate over the telephone. The world has seen so much change over the last few years, with a pandemic to deal with, economic instability, shocking worldwide events and the higher cost of living have all left people feeling more stressed and on edge than ever before. On the downside, this almost definitely means that customer service providers are going to feel the full force of it. It can be hard to rise above a stressed customer and keep providing excellent service, especially when you might be feeling just as stressed as the customers you are helping. So how do you keep providing the best possible customer service? The answer is simple. Follow these easy tips below and you’ll have it nailed in no time. 

Listen actively to your customer or client

Always be attentive and listen to your customers well. Take in the information they give you so that you can not only demonstrate a better understanding of their needs, but also figure out how best you can help them. It also makes the customer feel more comfortable and reassured, as they know you are listening to their concerns. There is nothing worse for a customer than feeling ignored. 

Be courteous and go the extra mile

It’s very important to remain polite and kind at all times, even when it feels difficult. Using simple phrases like “please” and “thank you” will create a positive environment for the customer. Where possible, go the extra mile – this could be trying to get them a better deal or to speed processes up – so that they leave with the best possible experience and will be ready to give a glowing recommendation. 

Use plain language and explain

Remain professional, but try to avoid technical terms and specific jargon, as not everyone will necessarily understand specialist language. Where needed, always take the time to explain a situation, so that the customer can fully grasp the situation or what exactly they are agreeing to. On the other hand, don’t be condescending with explanations either, keep them a plain and simple part of the customer-service process. 

Don’t be afraid to refer up

If you get very stuck, that is what your supervisor is for. Never be afraid to refer a customer or client to someone you feel is better equipped to answer the question at hand. After all, you want the customer to have a positive experience and ensure their question is answered quickly. There is no shame in deferring to someone who is better versed on the topic. This shows your willingness to please as well as to learn. 

Always summarise the situation

Before you start to solve an issue, summarise the conversation about it first. Repetition helps you to process a better solution. It also gives the customer the chance to add anything that you or they might have missed. Not only that, but it demonstrates active listening and creates a strong mutual understanding between you both that will result in a better call. 

It’s the little things that matter. They are what will make or break a good customer-service call. But as long as you remember these five simple tips, you’re sure to experience a great conversation – one that benefits not only you, but also your customer – boosting their mood and ensuring they leave the call as satisfied as possible.

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