Telephone Skills & Customer Service
On Thursday, February 25th I attended a Telephone Skills and Customer Service workshop led by Eileen Shenker. Eileen has been in the business of customer service for over 30 years and offered some great tips on telephone and customer courtesy. The bottom line, “It’s the little things that add up to the big things!”
Every morning take at least one minute and ask yourself “how am I feeling?” Write down your answer. If you need an attitude adjustment…do it! Do this to help you move on and have a great day. “In one minute, you can change your attitude and in that minute, change your day!” Eileen Shenker.
Customer service should be your goal at work. How do you make the customer feel valued, important and special? This acronym might help:
F R I E N D S.
F – Friendly. You can bring friendly energy to a conversation by calling people by their name. Calling people by name is the core of everything! Being called by name makes everyone feel valued.
R – Responsive. Don’t just react to someone, respond! Instead of “the best way I can help you is…” try “I’m sorry I can’t help you, however there is someone here who can.”
I – Interested. Ask questions!! This makes the other person feel important and helps you show interest in that person.
E – Enthusiastic. The old saying “If you act enthusiastic then you’ll BE enthusiastic!” is true! Your enthusiasm can be contagious.
N – Natural. Be your best self or be the best version of you.
D – Detailed. Follow-up!! Don’t let things slip through the cracks.
S – SMILE! Personalize your work space. Everyone works better in a comfortable setting. Put a small mirror on your wall or desk so you always know what face you are wearing.
Tips to be a better LISTENER:
Make being a good listener a priority.
Get into your “Adult” posture: plant your feet firmly on the ground with open arms and stay alert. This posture is proven to help you handle all the crazy things that come at you through your day.
Focus your attention – – limit distractions.
Don’t interrupt! Be careful about putting words in someone’s mouth.
According to TARP: (Technical Assistance Research Programs – A customer satisfaction research and consulting firm, Arlington, VA and London, UK.)
Studies have shown that companies hear from 96% of unhappy customers. These 96% tell 9 – 20 people how terrible you are! These are called “Walk & Talk” customers. These customers are bad for business.
Only 4% of the unhappy customers complain directly back to your business. They only complain to you because they like you and want to continue the client/business relationship. If you can resolve the complaint quickly, 54% to 70% of the ‘complainers’ will continue doing business with you. These customers are called “Stay & Pay” customers. These customers are obviously good for business.
If the ‘Stay & Pay’ customer’s complaints are resolved quickly, 95% will do business with you again. Not only that, they will refer us to 5 more people by telling them about their problem and how you were able to handle the issue to their satisfaction. Customers who complain and feel their problem was resolved to their satisfaction turn into your MOST LOYAL customers!
Tips on the Phone:
Always us a warm welcome
Be proud of your company name.
Create human connections by using your own name. Stop speaking after your name. People are more likely to give you their name after you have said yours.
If you are a switchboard operator, don’t use your name. Just say “Thank you for calling (your company name). How may I direct your call?” People value time over money so drop the “how may I help you.” If you do this you can get them on their way faster and they won’t waste their time spelling everything to you and then had to do it all over again to the next person they talk to.
When putting a customer on HOLD, always give them a choice. For example “Are you able to hold or would you like for me to take a message?”
When transferring a call, ask “And your name please” rather than “What’s your name?” Instead of “What is this call in regards to?” try “May I please give some background info?
Use: “I would be happy to connect your call.”
If multiple calls are coming in: “Company name, I will be right back with you.”
It is very important to get rid of time wasters.
It is also very important to always return calls promptly.
Rather than “I’ll have him call you,” use “I’ll make sure he/she gets the message.”
“He/She is in a meeting…” instead of “He’s all tied up!”
“I hope this information is useful. I found the workshop very helpful and I am going to apply what I learned to helping clients and answering the phone.” Olivia Biswell, Reception/Legal Assistant