5 Powerful Customer Service Phone Tips
- March 28, 2020
- Posted by: Morgan Ayres
- Category: Cafe, Grocery, Restaurant, Retail
5 Powerful Customer Service Phone Tips
Although the majority of business is now done online, there is still significant benefit to training your team well on customer connections on the phone. The phone is one of the most personal customer service channels. In some ways the phone can be more challenging than in-person connections.
Implement these proven techniques for your team and see your customer service scores rise.
1. Close your eyes to connect over the phone
When we’re listening to someone face to face, politeness forces us to focus our eyes on the other person. However, on the phone we lack visual feedback and non-verbal cues. This, combined with a world of distractions at your fingertips, makes wandering thoughts and other distractions, a real danger. We tend to over-estimate our multi-tasking skills, so we think we can push in a quick email check and soon lose focus of our most important task -connecting with the customer on the phone.
Worse, when you lose track during a phone conversation, you cannot replay or re-read the conversation. Our first tip for customer service team members is to have them close their eyes when they are on the phone. This limits your senses to focus and really listen to the customer, without getting distracted. Focusing this way can help understand tone and your brain in really understanding how best to provide a great experience for the customer.
Tip #1: Close your eyes to focus fully on what the other person is saying.
2. Stand up during calls and move around
Sitting down, especially for eight hours, can be de-motivating. One of the best tips for handling important phone calls is to stand up and walk around. On your feet you are naturally more energetic and confident. The energy created from walking around increases your heart rate and blood flow, allowing you to be more focused on the call and customer.
Tip #2: Stand up to sound more energetic on the phone.
3. The Smile Impact
Smiling is a universal language in any culture around the world. Smiling over and through the phone can help your voice and customer-service sound friendlier. Your voice sounds different when you smile. A welcoming and energetic, not-rushed voice answering a phone can make a good interaction great. Sound and become more friendly over the phone with a simple smile!
Tip #3: Smile to get a warm and welcoming voice
4. Make it personal
Getting to know your customers by name is elevating customer service to the next level. If used effectively you can create a life-long customer and connection. When a customer says their name and knows yours it creates a personal bond. Doing this can put the customer at ease and make the customer more relaxed and friendly themselves. Ensure your team knows when and how to use a customers name in a genuine way, used without a relationship can come across as less authentic.
Tip #4: Elevate your connections by getting to know your customers by name, and using it appropriately.
5. Well-structured explaining
The lack of visual feedback or chance to reread what was said makes phone call customer service hard to assess. One way to ensure your team is explaining things with great service is to teach and train ‘structured explaining.’ When having your team repeat back for understanding, have them enunciate so that the customer clearly hears what the employee is saying.
Customers are busy and distracted and are not always listening. Providing clear structure when repeating back or providing information, can really help make it easier. A phone number for instance is 7 digits for a reason, to break it up into a 3 and a 4-digit number groups to more easily understand.
Also, providing a response paraphrased in a WHAT/WHY/HOW way – ie. what happened, why it made the customer upset, and how they would like to be compensated – really works when handling a complaint. Structure your approach and have your customer leave satisfied.
Sometimes, new or junior employees may need a script. It helps them slow down and stick to covering all information and meeting all customer service expectations. Written scrips can sometimes sound generate and inauthentic, so have your team incorporate some tips from above to ensure it still sounds authentic.
Tip #5: Enunciate and speak with structure to increase customer satisfaction and understanding.
These tips if incorporated into your team and included in your training programs can elevate your customer connections and satisfaction over the phone! Call us today to learn more about our Secret Shopper program to help you audit and provide feedback on customer-service in your business.