Phone Management Tips for Property Managers

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Phone Management Tips for Property Managers

February 20, 2018 Blog by admin

Property management requires a lot of focus, plenty of patience, and tonnes of time. If you want to be a great landlord, you need to be available to your tenants around the clock. If you can do these without the use of a call centre, you’re a property management superhero. However, if you’re simply a regular guy or gal, these tips will help make your job a lot easier.

Use a call centre

This is probably the biggest and best tip for property managers. Not only can you get your tenants’ calls answered around the clock, you can also have emergency issues dealt with immediately. Using a call centre also makes it easier to organize your messages so you can prioritize them. This can actually help make you more productive and save you time during your busy day.

Utilize the call centre for scheduling

Scheduling appointments for property viewings doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. Let the call centre manage your scheduling for these and other appointments such as scheduled property maintenance or meetings with contractors. You can advise the call centre of your availability and then leave the rest up to them, allowing you to get on with other business matters.

Give your tenants the service they deserve

By making yourself more available to your tenants, you provide a higher level of customer service. Instead of relying on a handful of staff to field calls, offer assistance, and answer questions, you can have an entire call centre’s staff that’s trained to provide excellent assistance every time. Not only does this allow you to meet your tenants’ needs, it also allows you to exceed their expectations when it comes to the service the receive.

Let your tenants know they can call any time

Sure, your tenants will call in the middle of the night for a burst water pipe, but if they put off non-emergency issues indefinitely, small problems can get worse fast. Remind your tenants that they can call and speak with a friendly voice any time, day or night, to get those little problems dealt with before they become larger nightmares.

For more tips on using a call centre with your business, visit Answer 365 today.

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Integrating Phone Service with Other Aspects of Customer Service

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Integrating Phone Service with Other Aspects of Customer Service

February 13, 2018 Blog by admin

If your business is looking to integrate telephone customer service with its current customer service options, you may need to consider a few things. Here are some tips to keep in mind when integrating phone service with other aspects of your customer service.

People want options

Your customers may want to speak directly to live person, 24 hours a day. Or, they may want to be able to use a self-service system instead. Ideally, you’ll offer both, but in a way that makes it clear that the automated system is simply one option. It’s frustrating to call a customer service telephone number only to be pushed towards a self-serve or automated option immediately. If you offer automation or self service via the phone, make it easy to skip straight to a live person, too.

Integration is important

While it’s important that your customers can reach a live person at any time, they may only choose to do so after they’ve emailed or left a message via social media. For many customers, a phone call is seen as a ‘last resort’, so make sure that when your customers reach the service rep, they don’t have to repeat describing their problem once again.

Try to ensure that your telephone customer service reps can access any communication linked to that customer by using customer service integration tools for a seamless customer service experience. This means that no matter how your customer contacts you, the representative currently handling the call can see all previous interactions with that customer. It will allow you to offer better service more efficiently.

Understand the importance of good telephone service

Telephone service requires skills that other types of customer service do not. Customers are more likely to express their anger freely over the phone, protected by the invisible barrier the phone offers. Telephone customer service reps require great social skills, patience, and flexibility, especially if they need to use integrated services such as social media or email to resolve the customer’s issues. Make sure your telephone customer service staff are trained to meet all the needs of your customers at every call.

For more tips on telephone customer service, contact Answer 365 today.

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How the Oil and Gas Industry can Benefit from Call Centre Services

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How the Oil and Gas Industry can Benefit from Call Centre Services

February 06, 2018 Blog by admin

While many businesses can benefit from call centre services, those in the oil and gas industry can particularly benefit from the services that call centre provide. Here are just some of the ways in which using a call centre can benefit businesses in the oil and gas industry.

Round the clock emergency response services

Potentially hazardous materials such as oil and gas pass through many hands during their production, handling, and transportation. If an emergency arises at any point in the process, it’s of the utmost importance that it’s dealt with swiftly. Call centres offer round the clock emergency response services so that employees aren’t left to deal with unforeseen emergencies on their own.

Because of the strict nature of the industry, it’s extra important that calls related to emergencies are well documented and all details are recorded. A call centre can do this efficiently and reliably, so you won’t have to worry about keeping up with this documentation yourself.

Check in services for solo workers

The oil and gas industry requires many workers to work in a ‘work alone’ situation where there are no other staff members working with them. These employees can ‘check in’ with a call centre at every job and have immediate access to telephone support should problems arise. Call centres can also analyze problematic situations and offer unbiased solutions when these situations occur.

Great customer service any time

Of course, any business can benefit from excellent customer service, especially when customers demand access at any time of the day or night. Whether customers need to speak to someone about an oil or gas emergency in the middle of the night, or if they need to have someone explain their billing or services during business hours, a call centre can do this for your business. You can continue to focus on the day to day tasks associated with your business while your customers’ service needs are met reliably and in a timely manner.

If you’re in the oil and gas industry and want to know more about how a call centre can help you, visit Answer 365 today.

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Tips for Dealing with Unhappy Customers on the Phone

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Tips for Dealing with Unhappy Customers on the Phone

January 23, 2018 Blog by admin

Customer service can be a stressful work environment. Even though answering customer service telephone calls may be seen as less stressful than dealing with customers face to face, it can still be a very stressful work environment, especially when your caller is unhappy. Fortunately, there are some ways you can take some of the stress out of dealing with angry callers. Here are some tips for dealing with unhappy customers on the telephone.

Don’t take it personally

Your angry caller isn’t angry at you, per se, but may be angry at your business or even just the situation. That doesn’t mean they won’t take their anger out on you, but try not to take it personally. Sometimes, an angry caller just needs to vent.

Try listening without replying. Let the customer say their piece, then respond with a helpful solution. Don’t interrupt the customer to offer the solution, though. Let them be heard, let them get their complaint out, then you can offer a solution when they’ve had their say.

Smile

It may sound cliche, but smiling when you speak makes your voice naturally more upbeat. It also relaxes your face and can ‘trick’ your brain into feeling more relaxed, even when a customer is barking down the phone at you. Try answering all your calls with a smile and a cheery tone. You may just diffuse an angry customer this way. At the very least, you’ll be able to keep your cool when your customer’s temper is hot.

Use your customer’s name

Using your customer’s name can be a powerful way to connect with them. First, it shows that you care enough to know who you’re speaking to during the call. Second, it help establishes a rapport with your customer. It lets them know that you are sincere in your desire to help them. If you simply refer to every caller as ‘sir or madam’ you risk coming across as insincere and clinical. Yield the power of your customer’s name wisely and it can help diffuse a tense situation.

For more tips on how to handle angry or difficult customers on the phone, visit the Answer 365 blog regularly.

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Set the Tone for a Good Conversation with Great Phone Answering

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Set the Tone for a Good Conversation with Great Phone Answering

January 16, 2018 Blog by admin

Great greetings set the tone for your customer relationships. It takes more than a simple ‘hello’ to establish a great customer bond. Here are some tips to help you set the tone for great conversations with your customers on the telephone.

Start with the basics

Always start a call by greeting the caller politely, identifying yourself and your business, and asking how you can help. This simple setup helps you get to the point of your customer’s call quickly so you can offer assistance in a speedy manner.

Answer with a smile

Smiling not only helps you look (and feel) cheerful, it also helps your voice sound more cheerful. Keep a small mirror at your desk and practice smiling when you answer every call. You’ll quickly see the difference a smile can make to your overall tone. This can be contagious, making your customers happier, too.

Don’t keep anything in your mouth except for your words

It can be tempting to keep snacks or a drink at your desk, but it’s a bad idea. The last things you want customers to hear is chewing or lip smacking. They want a professional response to their issue, so keep it professional and save the snacks for break times. The same goes for gum--no matter how quiet you think you are, the telephone can amplify even small noises. Skip the gum and keep your mouth clear for communication.

Answer promptly

Don’t keep your customers waiting any longer than you absolutely have to. It sets a poor precedent and implies that your customer’s time is of little value to you. The same goes for using the ‘hold’ function. Don’t keep your customers on hold any longer than necessary.

Know the chain of connection

If you receive a call about something that you don’t know about, you should know who you can transfer your customer to in order to get them the help they need. If you don’t know who can help, or if you have to look something up, offer to call the customer back. Just be sure that you do so promptly, when you say you will, so you aren’t wasting your customer’s time.

Visit Answer 365 often for more great tips on growing your customer service relationships.

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Customer Service Tips for the New Year

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Customer Service Tips for the New Year

January 09, 2018 Blog by admin

A New Year means new opportunities for great customer service. If one of your resolutions for the New Year involves boosting your company’s customer service, you might find these tips invaluable. Here are some great customer service tips for the New Year.

Brush up on skills training

After the rush of the holiday season, why not take advantage of the ‘quieter’ time in January and engage your customer service team in some skills training? Whether you brush up on old skills or learn some great new techniques, making time for skills training will always benefit you and your customers.

Go back to basics

Review your basic customer service policies and make sure your staff is practicing the important techniques, such as using your customer’s name, remaining polite at all times, and practicing active listening techniques. These basics are considered ‘basic’ for a reason--you can’t have great customer service without them.

Review your employee’s morale

Customer service can be a demanding field. Burnout happens far too easily and if you overlook low morale among your customer service reps, you could be setting yourself up for trouble. January’s a great time to take stock of how your employees feel about their jobs and address any issues they might be having. Remember, happy, appreciated employees will provide much better service than angry, resentful ones, so keep an eye on your employee morale.

Look for new ways to provide excellent customer service

Whether you need to add more customer service staff or offer additional ways for your customers to get help, January’s a great time to ramp up your customer service. Designate a team to handle your customer service inquiries via social media. Hire an after hours answering service to provide live help to your customers. It’s easy to find ways to offer more service to your customers all year long.

Reward excellence

January’s a great time to reward your customer service team for excellent service. Review your employee performance and offer gentle criticism if improvement is needed, but don’t forget to reward them for the previous year’s hard work. Starting the year on a positive note is a great way to set the tone for the months to come.

For more great tips on offering excellent customer service all year long, visit Answer 365 today.

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Benefits of Call Centres to the HVAC Industry

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Benefits of Call Centres to the HVAC Industry

January 02, 2018 Blog by admin

If you’re in the HVAC industry, you probably know the importance of great customer service. And because the HVAC industry isn’t your typical 9 to 5 workplace, you might struggle to provide excellent customer service to your clients. Fortunately, a call centre can remedy this for your business. Here’s what a call centre can offer your HVAC business and your customers.

24 hour availability

Do your HVAC technicians take service calls? Do they take them any time, day or night? Even with a fairly large staff of technicians taking calls, you’re bound to have times when there’s simply no one available to take a customer’s call. This is where a call centre can be invaluable to your business--they are available around the clock, so they can take messages and schedule call outs while you and your service technicians are fast asleep.

Call centres provide around the clock service to your customers so you can focus on solving the problems with their heating and air conditioning. This means they can take calls day or night and either schedule or dispatch a technician immediately, allowing you to better serve your clients.

Screening and designating priority cases

A call centre can help you screen the customer calls you get so you can prioritize the emergencies and offer speedier service to those customers who need you most. At the same time, you’ll be able to establish new customer relationships with those callers who want to engage your services. New customers won’t have to wait until you’re free to ask questions about your services, since the call centre representatives can answer questions for you.

Customize your service level

Whether you need round the clock answering services, bilingual representatives, or an answering service that also acts as a remote reception service, you can tailor the service level to meet the needs of your business and its customers. This allows you to run your business the way you want with the support you need to keep your customers satisfied.

For more questions about using a call centre for your HVAC business, contact the helpful staff at Answer 365 today.

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Tips for Providing Great Holiday Customer Support

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Tips for Providing Great Holiday Customer Support

December 22, 2017 Blog by admin

Customer service is even more important during the busy holiday season. The stress of the season can turn your usually friendly customers into raging balls of stress, but fortunately, there are some things you can do to make their experience a better one. Here are some tips for providing great holiday customer support to your customers.

Be patient

The stress of the holiday season can turn even the nicest customers into Grinches, so be patient when your typically cheerful customers seem a little irritable than usual. Take the time to really listen to their concerns and address them as best you can. You can become their ‘holiday hero’ if you can solve their problems quickly and easily, so make sure you’re actively listening when they speak.

Sometimes, your customers just need to vent. Their actual problem may not be that big, but if you take the time to make the customer feel understood, they’ll remember that long after the holiday rush is done.

Make yourself available

Many businesses face the dilemma of allowing staff to take time off during the holiday season or keeping a full staff in order to keep up with an increased demand in customer service. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be an ‘either or’ situation--thanks to things like call centres and live chat services you can still provide great customer service even when your employees are taking their much-deserved days off.

If you don’t plan on using these tools to boost your customer service during the busy holiday season, make sure you let your customers know if there is likely to be a delay in your ability to help them. Keep the lines of communication open to make the season less stressful for both you and your customers.

Stay customer-focused

It’s easy to lose sight of the importance of great customer service during the stressful holiday season, but if you remain customer-focused and allow your customer service reps go above and beyond for your customers, you’ll keep that holiday spirit going strong long after the holidays are over.

Visit Answer 365 today for more great tips on creating a great customer experience during the holidays and beyond.

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Spice Up Your Holiday Voicemail with These Tips

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Spice Up Your Holiday Voicemail with These Tips

December 18, 2017 Blog by admin

It’s inevitable that you won’t be able to get to every single call that comes in during the holidays. This is why your telephone voicemail is such an important tool. You can let your customers know exactly when they can expect to reach you and how they can leave a message so you can help them at a later time. Don’t just rely on your typical voicemail message during the holidays--use these tips to spice up your holiday voicemail greetings.

Have fun, but know your audience

A dry, boring voicemail message is no fun, but sometimes it’s more appropriate to err on the side of restraint. If your business is a very conservative or serious one (where humour might not be appropriate), just stick to an upbeat greeting and an invitation to leave a message. Begin or end the message with a simple holiday greeting so your customers know that you do update your voicemail message (which will also tell them that you check your messages!).

You can lighten up your message with holiday jokes or puns if your business atmosphere is more relaxed. You can even blame the elves and their jolly, fat boss in his red suit for the fact that you’re not able to come to the phone, but be sure to let your customers know when they can reach you.

State the facts

Don’t forget to mention if you will be unavailable during any specific times. You can leave an alternative phone number, if appropriate, or invite your customers to call back later. Make sure you let them know when you’ll be responding to messages. If you won’t be responding until after the holidays, let them know and offer another way for them to get assistance, if possible. If you have a website, you can repeat this message there or offer other ways for them to get help, either through self-service methods or via a chat bot or call centre.

Keep it short and simple

The holidays are a busy time. Your customers don’t want to spend ages listening to your voicemail-self cracking jokes or giving a heartfelt speech about the holidays. Keep your message short and sweet so your customers will stay sweet, too!

For more great customer service tips, visit Answer 365 today.

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Relieve Stress by Having a Telephone Answering Service Over the Holidays

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Relieve Stress by Having a Telephone Answering Service Over the Holidays

December 11, 2017 Blog by admin

The stockings are hung by the chimney with care, your holiday to do list is almost complete, but your holiday stress is through the roof. If your business is busy, busy, busy during the holidays, it can be hard to catch your breath, let alone enjoy the joy of the season. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution that can help keep you and your customer service employees sane. Here’s why you should use a telephone answering service over the holidays.

You’ll keep your customers happy

If you can’t keep up with the demands of customer service during the holidays, your business will suffer. Your customers are bound to get irate and upset if they can’t get help when they need it, so make sure you always have enough staff to help them by using a telephone answering service. This will mean that no call will go unanswered, even if the telephone service doesn’t actually handle the customer service themselves. Just make sure you or your employees follow up with each call promptly, or you could still have angry customers.

You’ll keep your staff less-stressed

If your employees suddenly have to handle excessive telephone calls coming in--on top of their regular workload--they’re bound to become unhappy little elves. Ease the stress by using a telephone answering service to pick up slack or to cover while you host an amazing office party for your hard-working employees. This will help keep your employee morale high during what’s likely one of the busiest times of the year for your business.

You’ll worry less about missed calls

If you’re worried that you might be missing important calls, or even that you’re not providing your customers with enough access to you and your business, a telephone answering service can be the peace of mind you need. Instead of coming into work to find dozens (or more) of messages from annoyed customers, you can find detailed records of what your customers actually need. You may find that the answering service has actually taken care of whatever the customer wanted to begin with. This means less stress for everyone and less worry for you.

For more information on how a telephone answering service can help your business during the holiday season or any other time, visit Answer 365 today.

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