Category: 20 WOW Telephone Techniques

Five Things You Can Do About the Telephone Experience Problem

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When I listen to phone calls ahead of training for contact centers, medical practices, and customer service departments, I spot five glaring problems in almost every company I work with. The Big Five Are: 1) Blunt, slang-like approach to asking questions, 2) Overtalking customers in an attempt to move the interaction forward, 3) No acknowledgment of the customer’s pain point, 4) Not listening, and 5) Missed rapport opportunities by not pacing.

Today I’m giving you quick fixes for the significant five issues I always see with my clients. You can use these solutions for a short 15-minute team training or in your coaching meetings.

1. Speak In Complete Sentences

Merely going from “Last name?” to “May I have your last name, please?” instantly makes interactions sound friendlier.

The Only Vocal Tone Your Employees Should Be Using With Customers

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There are pretty much three voice tones you can use with customers.

1. Authoritative

This is the tone you’d use when disciplining a child or if you’re a police officer working to assert your authority. Rarely, if ever, would you use this tone with a customer. Having said this, you might have to speak authoritatively if a customer crosses the line and is profane or disrespectful.

The Authoritative Tone Can Come Across:

10 Takeaways Your Employees Get From My Telephone Skills Online Training

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Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did. But, people will never forget how you made them feel.” That point right there – people will never forget how you made them feel – is why we created this course.

This training is about never having your customers hang up with negative feelings about how you talked to them. Here are 10 Takeaways Your Employees Get From My Telephone Skills Training.

 

  1. Three keys for how to make the most of the first six seconds of a phone call
  2. How to bridge into questions, so you sound friendly and helpful
  3. The art of yielding, so you don’t accidentally over-talk your customers
  4. Discover why speaking in complete sentences improves the perception of friendliness and helps you build rapport
  5. Exactly how to gracefully handle dead airspace, so you avoid that awkward uncomfortableness on the phone

When Employees Make Assumptions, It Hurts Your Business. Here’s How to Fix That.

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Recently, I went to buy a replacement charging cable for my laptop. I found a salesperson and told him what I needed. I should also mention that when I approached the employee, he was fully engaged with his cellphone. I felt like I interrupted him.

Looking annoyed, he turned around and grabbed a cable off the shelf and handed it to me. It didn’t look like what I had before, so I asked, “Are you sure this is the cable for my laptop?”  He said, “That’s it.”

I got the cable home, and it didn’t fit.

This employee heard parts of what I said and then just filled in the gaps with assumptions. He assumed he knew what I needed without asking me any follow-up questions.

His assumptions led to me being frustrated, and I had to make a second trip into the store. His assumption led to me having a very poor customer experience.

In my customer service workshops, I teach your employees how not to make assumptions, and I explain this concept in an unforgettable way. I show this short video called “The Cookie Thief.”

Try These 2 Things To Foster Rapport Over the Phone with Customers

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For all of my customer service workshops, I like to arrive at least 45 minutes before we start so I can meet and talk to the people who’ll be spending several hours with me.

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In the past, I’d just hang out in the back of the room, and I’d approach the front only after I was introduced.

But I’ve found that talking to workshop participants before the training starts helps me to connect with my audience before I speak my first word. It makes me more real to the audience, and more likable, and the training goes so much better after this rapport-building.

Just as taking the time to build rapport before my workshops makes a big difference, when you establish rapport with customers, the perception of the interaction is so much more positive.

We have a short video in my customer service eLearning suite that shows you how to use two super-easy techniques to build rapport over the phone. If you, or someone you know, can use a little help with rapport over the phone, watch this short movie now.

This One Tip Will Instantly Make You Sound Friendlier On the Phone With Customers

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One of the easiest ways to make your conversations with customers more conversational, and friendly, is to speak in complete sentences.

It is so familiar to hear interactions like this:

Last name? First name? Zip code?

It’s undoubtedly efficient to ask customers questions in this manner. However, it’s not the friendliest approach. In this article, I’ll talk to you about instantly improving your ability to connect with customers and sound friendly by just speaking in complete sentences.

Yes, speaking in complete sentences will take a few more seconds, but it’s so worth it, because of how the conversation will flow, and how you’ll be perceived, by your customers.

When you have to ask your customer questions, I want you to do two things:

This is How to Move Calls to Closure

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In a series of events, people remember the first thing, and the last thing, more than anything else. That’s why the way you open a call, and the way you end a call, is so meaningful.

Your call closing must do two things.

You need to share any next steps with your customer; and then, you need to end with a fond farewell. In this article, you’ll learn how to assertively bring calls to closure, and end with a fond farewell.

1. Start the call closure process by giving the customer any next steps.

Sharing next steps lets the customer know the call is almost over, and, this helps you to close the call quickly.

If you have next steps, just, share them. “Alright, Deon. I have processed your return. We’ll go ahead and ship the blue Nike Elite socks, and you should have those within 4-7 business days. You can check the status of your return by logging into our website.”

2. And, then you need to end with a fond farewell.

After you’ve shared any next steps, you move right into the final closure. End with the same energy and friendliness you had when you started the call. Nice farewells include:

Training for All Who Serve Customers: How to Talk to Customers: Friendliness, Tone & Connection

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What if the biggest problem with your customer experience was the way your employees spoke with customers? Are your employees ever perceived as indifferent, cold or uncaring? If you called up your own company, mystery shopping as a customer, would you cringe just a little bit at what you heard? If your customer interactions are less than ideal, how would you change them?

How Your Employees Talk to Customers is Everything

How they say ‘no’ when no truly is the only option, the way they explain something the customer doesn’t want to hear, tone, empathy, knowing what to say to the customer who just wants to speak to a supervisor – These are delicate interactions that can make or break your customer experience. Do your employees know how to respond with diplomacy, tact and a caring attitude in situations like these?

Have Your Employees Sit With Me for 60 Minutes. I’ll Help Them.