One of the biggest complaints companies receive is in regards to a customer’s experience when talking on the phone to a customer service representative. The ability to manage customers concerns and questions and provide helpful and positive solutions is a learned skill – and many will say that it is a lost art form. Consumer studies show that a warm, helpful and professional and friendly voice help build customer loyalty, improve their perception of your brand and help improve your business’ reputation.
Here are some tips to help improve your customer’s experience through providing a superior telephone answering service.
- Give a Proper Greeting: A professional, strong and friendly greeting is the customer’s first impression. The greeting should include a friendly hello, your company’s name and a helpful and positive statement that indicates you are ready and willing to help.
- Listen More, Talk Less: Customers hate to be interrupted and want to feel as if they are being listened to. Some consumer experts say that the listening may actually be more important than the talking. By actively listening, you are letting a customer know that you take their concerns seriously.
- Practice Empathy: One of the most important skills needed in a telephone answering service is the ability to empathize with a customer. Even if you cannot immediately provide a solution, explaining that you understand how frustrating the situation is – and you are working to find a solution – can help diffuse an upset customer.
- Avoid “Canned Responses”: Just repeating the same catch phrase or re-stating a company policy does little to help a customer feel listened to. Attempt to explain the reasoning behind what you are telling them, rather than just repeating the same thing over again.
- Offer Solutions and Alternatives: If you cannot do what a customer asks, let them know what you CAN do instead. There are usually many alternatives that a customer can be happy with.
- Show Your Appreciation: Never let a customer get off the phone without letting them know how appreciated they are. A sincere “thank you for your business” really goes a long way.
- Don’t be Afraid to go the Extra Mile: Customer loyalty isn’t something that just happens. It has to be earned. Take for example, a company like Zappos. They are known for friendly phone service and easy returns. Because of that, they’ve built a huge following of loyal customers – and much of that is based on their friendly phone answering service.
As a business owner, you know how important it is to provide excellent customer care over the phone, but it can be difficult to devote the time and resources to do it. That’s why many savvy and customer-minded business owners are turning to a telephone answering service. Answering services provide a business with a dedicated and highly-trained staff whose sole job is to answer your phones in a professional, helpful and courteous manner. To learn more about how an answering service company can help your business increase customer satisfaction and loyalty click here for a list of services and more information.