Phone etiquette is crucial for any business regardless if you’re dealing with a new client or a frustrated customer. Good telephone skills are essential if you want to make a lasting impression. The way you handle customers can be the deciding factor that leads to making a sale or losing one.
Unfortunately, not everyone feels comfortable talking on the phone. It can feel very awkward and some might even have deep-rooted fear of speaking over the phone.
For any business, it is important to prevent your customer or lead from hanging up the phone with negative feelings about how your conversation went. Here are some business etiquette tips you can apply to enhance your communication skills over the phone.
Make sure you listen
Hearing is different from listening. Listening to your customer should be your biggest priority. Take your time to really listen to whomever you’re talking to. Understand what they are saying so you can effectively assist them and attend to on what they really need.
Avoid speaking too fast. Be attentive and listen intently to show your customer you genuinely care.
It can be difficult to pull off a conversation on the phone as you can’t see their lips moving. Enunciate clearly to ensure your client can hear and understand you.
If your customer is experiencing poor network connection, take the initiative to clarify periodically and ask them if they can hear you. Never assume that you message was heard loud and clear.
Try to answer all of their questions
As much as possible, try to answer all of your customer’s questions. But of course, it can’t be avoided that that there will be times when you don’t have the answer.
Avoid saying that you don’t know the answer but rather tell your client that you will clarify and find the right answer and will be calling them back once you’ve confirmed.
Businesses with established customer support team usually keep a knowledge base or a repository of questions and answers to make it easier to find solution for customer inquiries.
Reassure that no stones are left unturned in your conversation. Ask questions to the caller and gather as much information about their inquiry. Always ask if you can help with anything else though it seems like the conversation is over.
Avoid sales talk
If there’s one thing customers hate, it is when sales agents are becoming very pushy with the products and services they offer. Being too salesy can scare your potential customers. Add some personality to the conversation.
Make a personal connection with the caller and make them feel at ease when speaking with you. Don’t just tell them what they want to hear. Deliver a great customer experience at all times.
Keep your focus on your clients. Studies reveal that the number one highest source of income for many businesses are returning customers. Since they already love your product, they are most likely to buy from you again.
This is why you have to be consistent in delivering quality customer experience.
Take your customer service to the next level by investing in call recording tools that allow you to review your past conversations. This will help you polish your staff’s communication skills and win over both new and repeat customers every time.
Read more on the top 5 communication barriers that hinder business growth and what you can do about it.
Maria Espie Vidal-Vinas writes for TimeDoctor.com, a software designed for tracking hours and optimizing productivity for remote workers and remote teams.