Just about everyone who has every taken a handful of business-related calls agrees on one thing: customers generally aren’t calling to thank you for doing such a great job. More often than not, clients, patrons, and/or customers call business telephone lines with problems, concerns, or sometimes even complaints. For that reason, it becomes the job of customer service, technical support, and/or live receptionist answering services to diffuse anger and put out the fuse. And that relies on good telephone etiquette. Here are a few essentials when taking and handling calls, especially when customers aren’t exactly happy.
Don’t Interrupt Customers… Ever!
In 2012, the telecommunications industry earned approximately $2.1 trillion. One of the most important parts of working in any call handling service or live operator answering service is to give the customer a voice. Nearly all customers are calling because they have something to say. Make sure they are able to get through it — and all of it — before you continue. If you accidentally interrupt the customer, apologize and politely ask them to go on.
Use The Hold Button With Discretion
Yes, using the hold button too much can get you into trouble. Everyone knows that being put on hold for too long can be frustrating. Staying on the line when you are largely being silent, however, can be just as bad for business. Customers may hear things you don’t want them to — any mutterings, coworkers’ conversations, or even coworkers doing things like eating their lunches at their desk. If you need a moment to work things out, take it and put the customer on hold as politely as possible.
Make It Personal
Always thank customers for calling. Use customers’ names, and — whenever possible — thank them for using your product or service. During the holidays, ask your employees to say, “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas.” Although these greetings can be controversial from time-to-time, studies show that they are largely appreciated in most instances.
As many as 61% of Americans prefer to call for customer service. Talk to one of the 1,107 24 hour answering services, small business answering services, or live receptionist answering services about being as accessible and helpful to customers as possible.
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