All of us have felt that chill go up our spines when we realize that we have to call the customer service department for support or answers. Wouldn’t it be great if we could pick up the phone and know that we would have a friendly conversation with the person on the other end?
Here are five tips for customer service representatives that can transform calls from good to great.
Answer the phone with a smile
It may sound corny and funny, but it works. When people smile they have a natural tone that is inviting and friendly. I know that when I call an 800 number I can’t stand it when people answering the phones sound like they hate their jobs. I immediately think that they really don’t care about helping me. Answering the phone with a smile can change the whole dynamic of the call from the get-go.
Use the customer’s first name
Have you ever spoken to a customer service representative who used your first name throughout the call? How’d it make you feel? Here at Zappos we have found that we can create a more personal emotional connection by using the customer’s first name. Typically friends and family members don’t call each other Sir, Mrs. Mr. etc., so when we call our customers by their first names it has the potential to create a temporary friendship over the phone.
Fill the dead air
Dead air can kill any chance of making a connection or even a good experience with a customer. It is so awkward, and when dead air happens nobody quite knows what to say. The customer is patiently waiting for an answer or a response while the team member is typing away. This is an opportunity to have friendly conversations with customers. Just asking someone how his/her day is going or how the weather is can take the call from good to great and give the customer that warm and fuzzy feeling knowing that the rep they are speaking with actually cares about the situation.
One of the things that I cannot stand is when a customer service rep says, “hold please” and places me on hold before I have the opportunity to say anything. By asking the customer’s permission to place the call on hold, we help the customer feel in control of the call, and the majority of customers will be happy to oblige. Then, to take it to the next level, thank the customer for waiting upon returning to the call.
Offer additional assistance
A great way to end a call is to offer additional assistance. By offering additional assistance, reps allow the customer to end the call. Additionally, this gives the customer the chance to address any other issues. Plus, it’s a nice thing to do!
All in all, the best way to take calls from good to great is to be courteous and polite.