Winning Customers Over the PhoneBy: Lydia Ramsey
Do you sometimes wonder where your customers have gone? In a study by the International Customer Research Institute, individuals gave the following reasons for becoming "non-repeat" customers:
Smile when you answer the phone. Even if your hair is on fire or the last caller chewed you out, pause for a moment to put a smile on your face and in your voice. Believe it or not, people can hear you smiling through the phone.
Answer the phone on the first ring, certainly no later than the third ring. If people have to wait through rings four and five, they begin to think that you have closed for the day, gone out of business or just don't care. We live in a world that expects instant gratification. Be sure you meet your customers' expectations.
Ask permission before you put someone on hold. You may have multiple lines ringing and a line of people standing at your desk, but wait to hear the caller's response. It is that person's choice to hold or not. Try not to turn this move into a power play. When you come back on the line, thank the person for holding. If you have to ask the caller to continue to hold, offer to take a number and return the call.
Transferring calls should be done with care. Before you connect the caller to someone else's extension, make sure that person is in and able to help. There is nothing more frustrating than being transferred over and over again and having to retell the same story to a multitude of different people before finding the right one.
Before you send the call to co-worker, give the caller that person's name and number in case there is a disconnect. Better yet, tell the caller who you are and how to reach you if there is a problem. You will have an extremely satisfied customer.
Always make an offer of help. It may not be your department, your issue or your job, but if it is the customer's problem, you need to show concern. Never tell the caller " 'I don't know'" or "I can't help you." The best response to a problem is a genuine "Let me see what I can do or who I can find to help you."
You will win customers and influence people every time when you use good phone skills.
© copyright 2005, Lydia Ramsey. All rights reserved.
Books by Lydia Ramsey
(You are viewing the U.S. bookstore. Click here to view the Canadian store.)
|Other Articles by Lydia Ramsey|
The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. MarcommWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. MarcomWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.