This is the 7-point call strategy I use when my work is to improve the telephone customer experience in a call center.
The lead-in, step 1, gets calls started on a positive note. Steps 2-6 are how to handle the body of the call in a friendly and warm way. The final step, end with a fond farewell, ensures you end calls positively.
If these 7 steps help you in any way, well that makes my day. –Myra
1. Open with a lead-in
“Good morning. Customer Care. This is Penny. How may I help you today?” (with a 🙂 in your voice)
A short video on the how and why of the “lead-in”
2. Convey empathy and/or acknowledge emotions when appropriate
- “I can understand how frustrating it is when your rental car breaks down.”
- “I realize how complicated it is to …..”
- “I cannot imagine how upsetting it is to …..”
- “I know how confusing it must be when …..”
Short videos on how to acknowledge a customer’s emotion:
Why You Must Acknowledge a Customer’s Anger Part 1 of 2
Why You Must Acknowledge a Customer’s Anger Part 2 of 2
3. Yield to Callers (Don’t interrupt or over talk customers)
- Allow customers to finish sentences
- If you accidentally interrupt a caller, apologize
- Even when you know within a second or two that the call will need to be transferred, allow the caller to finish their statement before making the transfer
I talk about the “Yielding” technique in this video.
4. Bridge into questioning
- “In order to determine what happened, I will need to ask you some questions.”
- “Do you mind if I ask you some questions so we can figure out what has happened?”
- “So I can assist you, may I ask you a few questions?”
5. Speak in complete sentences
Be friendly and conversational and always use a complete sentence:
- “May I have your zip code please?” – Not: “Zip code?”
- “Can I get your last name?” – Not: “Name?”
Here’s a short video on the importance of speaking in complete sentences that you can share with your employees.
6. Ask “Is there anything else?”
- “Ms. Williams, may I help you with anything else?”
- “May I help you with anything else, Mr. Smith?”
- “Do you have any additional questions, Mrs. Jones?”
- “Is there anything else I can help you with today, Mr. Davis?”
- “Ms. Brown, how else may I help you today?”
7. End with a fond farewell (include some form of thanks)
- “Thanks so much for calling us today Julie.”
- “I enjoyed talking with you Terasita. I hope you enjoy your new duffle bag.”
- “Well, if there’s nothing else, all that’s left is for me to wish you a great afternoon! Thank you for calling us today Tammy.”
Was This Helpful?
I’m asking you because my newsletter offers ideas like this all the time. If you’re not yet subscribed, sign up here.
For more help in how to talk to customers, check out:
Customer Service Onsite Training Workshops – Fully Customized, Engaging, Fun Customer Service Training for your team
Customer Service eLearning– 10 courses to improve the way your employees talk to customers over the phone and email
Watch this short video to learn more about our customer service eLearning.