Working as a customer service representative can be one of the most difficult jobs around, but it can also become a rewarding career or a well-rounded means of developing strong telephone and professional skills you can apply to a wide range of fields.

Regardless of how you intend to invest your telephone skills down the line, one thing is clear: phone etiquette is central to your success at your customer service job.

Top Etiquette Tips for Customer Service Workers

No matter what type of telephone customer service you’re doing, the goals are basically the same. You want to field the customer’s concern as quickly and accurately as possible, but without seemingly like an unfeeling robot.

These tips should help you find the balance between the two extremes:

#1. Remember to say “please” and “thank you.” It might feel old-fashioned, but customers still appreciate it when a business shows appreciation for their business in big and little ways.

As a customer service representative, you’re an extension of your company, so don’t forget the “pleases” and “thank yous.” They’ll also help you defuse difficult discussions by inserting a note of civility into the conversation.

#2. Don’t transfer a call without informing the caller. It’s one thing to cold transfer a call to an extension without waiting for the extension to answer, it’s quite another to not inform the caller that you’re going to transfer them.

Imagine how frustrated or confused the caller could become when they realize they’ve been transferred to someone new without even being told! When possible, give the caller the name of the party to whom you’re transferring them, as well as the extension number or direct telephone number in case they’re disconnected.

#3. Handle what you can yourself, but don’t overdo it. Give your callers the attention and information they need and deserve, but know your limits. Sometimes, you may need to pass on the caller to another department or a team member who can better help. One of the great benefits of working as part of a larger customer service team is that you help and support each other, and no one person needs to do it all alone. 

Phone etiquette is one of those skills that can take you far in the world of business and can leave you stranded if you lack it, no matter what other training you may have. Everyone, from the entry level receptionist to the highest paid CEO has to be able to speak on the phone with a certain professionalism that starts with good phone etiquette. Learning this skill at a customer service job gives you lots of opportunity to practice and get excellent feedback from telephone professionals who can help you hone your skills.

If you are looking for more information on becoming a customer service representative, be sure to visit our Answering Service Job Opportunities page.