27 January 2014

Top 10 Tips for Effective Phone Communication

Phone communication is something of an art. Without nonverbal body language to help facilitate communication, phone calls require entirely upon tone of voice and information conveyed. The following tips are meant to help you help your customer service team master the art of phone communication.

1. Be Consistent
Have a unified front for answering the phone. Customers appreciate it. It’s a good idea to always have employees answer the phone following a basic script, such as, ‘Thank you for calling AW Plumbing. How may I help you today?’.

2. Be Prompt
When it comes to phone communication, it’s important to quickly answer calls and not leave customers ringing. When you answer calls promptly, you send the message that you’re a prompt service that values the time of your customers.

3. Be Upfront
If you need to put a customer on hold, be sure to communicate wait times and reasons for them with your customers. Be sure to ask your customer if they are willing to wait; don’t just assume they will.

4. Be Clear
Clear communication is key. Be sure your employees speak clearly, annunciate well and are easily understood. A great way to check is to give your business a call.

5. Be Sure to Listen
Listening is half the battle when it comes to phone communication. Phone agents should be ready to listen, with paper and pen readily accessible at all times.

6. Be Friendly
A friendly voice sets a customer at ease. Be sure your phone agents convey a friendly tone to your callers.

7. Be Respectful
Regardless of the subject matter, it’s crucial that the phone call stays respectful at all times. Help your employees come up with strategies for diffusing and not encouraging disgruntled customers.

8. Be Cheerful
Your phone agents should sound happy to be at work and happy to answer the phone. Nothing puts a customer off quite like a miserable voice on the other end of the line.

9. Be Thorough
It’s important to not rush customers off the phone before an issue is resolved. Before a call is ended, have your phone agents ask your customers if they’ve gotten the answer to their question or if they need more assistance.

10. Be Brief
Customer service agents should be as brief as possible in explaining something to a customer. A long story, or personal details, can confuse or throw a customer off. Be sure your customer service agents stay focused and on point.