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: Continue reading “This is How to Move Calls to Closure”

7 Things You Can Say to Demonstrate Empathy to Customers

How to Express Empathy

One of the skills we practice in my onsite customer service workshops is Empathy. Here are some of the exact phrases that I share in my training sessions for use in our role-plays – and in real life with customers.

Continue reading “7 Things You Can Say to Demonstrate Empathy to Customers”

The 2 Mistakes Your Front Desk Staff Cannot Make in the First 6 Seconds of a Phone Call with a Patient

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I took my son to the pediatrician yesterday afternoon for his annual checkup. The nurse did a quick vision test and then recommended I get my son to an optometrist. I was hoping my son would be the one person in our family who did not need corrective lenses.

In the car on the way home I called the eye doctor we’d used for my daughter a few months ago. Here’s how the call went.

Continue reading “The 2 Mistakes Your Front Desk Staff Cannot Make in the First 6 Seconds of a Phone Call with a Patient”

How to Politely Control Calls with the Chatty Cathy

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As you might know, one of the things I teach is how to control calls with customers. Precisely, how to deliver a warm customer experience while politely getting the long-winded customer to cut to the chase.

It just so happens I was on a call this morning with a chatty-Cathy. She was such a dear, and I honestly enjoyed talking with her. But I had another conference call scheduled to start in 7 minutes.

I teach call control. Now I needed to control a phone call. I saw this situation as a mini-test if you will. A test to help me keep my skills fresh.

So I used my favorite call control strategy:

Ask 3 closed-ended questions back-to-back.

When customers are long-winded, rambling or storytelling, they are likely stuck on the right side of the brain. The right side of the brain tends to use more of our creative, fantasy and philosophical sides, whereas the left side of the brain focuses more on facts, numbers and analytical thinking.

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As long as the customer is communicating from the right side of the brain, it will be difficult for you to control the call. You need to efficiently shift your customer from the right side of the brain to the left side of the brain.

An easy and very efficient way to help your customer make this shift is for you to ask your customer 3 closed-ended questions back to back.

Closed-ended questions are questions that can be answered in one word:

“Do you like pizza?” is a closed-ended question.

“What is your favorite kind of food?” is an open-ended question.

Closed-ended questions work because customers are limited to one word (or perhaps a series of numbers.) Asking closed-ended questions will give you some immediate control over the phone call, but to maintain that power, you must ask closed-ended questions that require your customer to go to the left brain to retrieve the answer.

That is, you need to ask questions that require your customer to use analytical thinking, to recall, or to look up something.

Here’s an example.

When I worked in the car rental industry, I had my staff launch three strategic closed-ended questions the moment they felt they were dealing with a long-winded caller. These are the questions my employees asked.

  1. What is your rental agreement number?
  2. Can you read me the location code located in the top right-hand corner of your agreement?
  3. Can you give me the exact dates of rental?

These questions never failed to get the long-winded caller to stop talking. They never failed because the questions are all closed-ended, relevant to helping the customer, and they all require the customer to use the left-brain to retrieve the answers.

  • Closed-ended questions can be answered in one word
  • Closed-ended questions put you in control
  • Closed-ended questions move the customer from the right brain to the left brain
  • Closed-ended questions keep your customers from rambling

When you are caught on a long call with a storyteller or rambler, ask 3-closed-ended questions back to back. Make sure the questions are closed-ended (answered in one word or series of numbers), relevant to helping the customer, and require the customer to use the left-brain. When you do, you’ll instantly be back in control of your phone calls.

In this video I discuss the Ask 3 Closed-Ended Questions Back to Back Technique. Share this video with your employees for a quick training on call control.

Now you can give your representatives even more great skills for delivering the best customer experience and for handling difficult customer situations. Sign up for my email list and learn specific tips, approaches, and phrases to help your employees help your customers.