During a phone contact, everything but facial expressions will become the vehicle in forming an impression of your company. The tone of voice, the choice of words, the warmth or lack of it, all of this plays into the brief relationship the customer will have with your company through your service center. Here are four ways your agents can help smooth the contact:
#1 Quickly determine the mood of the customer in order to relate in a way that will not inflame what may already be a stressful encounter. Be sympathetic. Do not try to be funny.
#2 Be an expert in the customer’s problem. At no time should customers feel that the company is not completely competent. If you truly do not know the answer, then by all means, tell the customer that a transfer is being made, but do not make the her repeat herself to even one other contact within the company. Learn to live log while speaking with the customer or otherwise quickly enter the information into the system for review by the next contact before transferring the customer.
#3 Translate the information the customer needs into language he can understand. Do your best to match your responses to the knowledge level of the customer. It can be tricky. Technically astute customers don’t want things “dumbed down” but less technically inclined customers don’t want to feel stupid because they don’t understand at the higher level. It’s a fine line that takes practice to walk.
#4 No matter how the customer sounds, respond in a professional manner. Do not allow your voice to show agitation during the contact. Breathe deeply, count silently to 10, or physically respond but make certain your voice remains calm. Certainly you do not have to allow abuse but a diplomatic end to the contact is preferable to the alternative.
These are all things that require practice and training. Make sure your agents have everything they need to make customer contacts successful. Make customers confident that your company knows what it is doing.