It’s a challenge – meeting the needs of each caller, while simultaneously helping them to feel like a winner and not a wrong number. You just never know when you answer the phone what the person on the other end is going through, has gone through, or is attempting to get through.
IF you’re fortunate (and it’s a big “if”), most calls are brief, pleasant, and – most importantly – productive. In the customer service industry, however, there will undoubtedly, eventually, be that cantankerous caller who upends your day. Take heart: there are effective means of making it through those encounters. Some customers may also be bewildered, and just trying to find some answers – although perhaps not always most directly or effectively.
When faced with a hopelessly confused caller, the following tips will help you provide the best service possible:
- Be attentive: Employ those active listening skills, always, whether you’re allowing a caller to simply blow off steam or serving as a patient and understanding sounding board while they collect and restructure their thoughts.
- Be helpful: Sometimes, customers are calling to vent. Sometimes they’re looking for clarity. And other times they just have no clue what it is they want or need. Regardless, the person manning the phone lines must be at turns humble, genuine, and prepared to find a solution. This is easier said than done, of course, but some handy tools can help you get to the heart of the matter, faster, and helps you to avoid talking down to a customer in any way. Consider these tips:
- Be ready to provide gentle redirects when the conversation veers off-topic.
- Acknowledge your customer’s expertise. Giving their ego a boost not only helps to create a bond between you, but it makes them more receptive to the help you have to offer.
- Use closed-ended (“yes” or “no”) questions with particularly confused customers to avoid tangents and irrelevant detours.
- Before dolling out advice or suggested solutions, be sure to clarify your understanding of the situation and each point that was raised during a brief recap with a customer.
- Be present: Customers who reach voicemail can feel like they’re not a priority and become antsy. Customers who reach an automated system that misunderstands verbal cues and asks callers to repeatedly press buttons, can feel like their time is being wasted and quickly become angry. Having your customers reach a personable and knowledgeable human being can go a long way into making your callers feel like more than just a (wrong) number.
When you outsource your phone-related tasks to a quality answering service, you never have to worry about being present. Your answering service ensures that every caller reaches a competent and knowledgeable representative for your company. It also saves you the stress and resources associated with confused callers, allowing you to focus more on your company’s mission. Call us today at 800-606-3273 and find out how our team can provide clarity for your customers.