When a customer calls your live answering service, whether they are happy, enraged, or just curious, they have the floor. While the customer service agent can set the tone of the conversation, guide the effort and lead the caller to the proper solution that they desire in an efficient way, the focus should always be on what can be done to make the situation better, and that can start with giving the customer credit and taking the time to listen to his or her queries.
If you're employing an outbound call center staffed with real human beings, than this is the advantage you can brag about. A recent Forbes article by Adrian Swinscoe discussed the way in which automated systems are attempting to provide this relationship, and how they simply can't present the same level of quality, in his view.
"Ideally, proactive customer service is really all about reaching out to the customer to solve their problem, or answer their question, before they even know they have one," he said.
The amount of ways a customer can find out important information with which to arm themselves before calling you or hear from the experiences have increased so much that its probable they will have done lots of research before picking up the phone.
But even if they don't, the human answering service needs to stay both courteous and tactful, and this can be observed in the way that they give the customer credit and defer to them in their interactions without losing complete control of the situation. It's the kind of respect you can't program.