Have you answered your fair share of customer support calls over the years? If so, you’ve learned a lot about customer service and how important it is to conduct yourself when answering a support call. While the following list is molded by experiences in the enterprise software industry, most of the tips here are applicable to any customer support call. I hope you can glean some tips from it for your own business.
1. Be Enthusiastic About the Call
People respond positively to enthusiasm, especially when it’s about them. Set a positive and cheerful tone for the call by answering with a smile and acting genuinely excited to hear the caller’s voice.
2. Have Note-Taking Tools Ready
Always have a pad of paper in front of you and at least three pens. This allows you to jot down notes as the call is happening. This is especially important if the caller is referencing specific examples or records in their system that need further investigation. Don’t make the caller wait for you to find a pen or something to write on. It gives the appearance that you’re unprepared to help them.
3. Stop Multitasking
This one is huge and many of us struggle with this every day. Make a conscious effort to stop doing whatever it is you were doing before the phone rang. Stop typing that email, or reading that article, or working on that other customer’s request. People can tell when you’re distracted and people can tell when they have your undivided attention. Focus in on the phone call and give your customer assurance they’re being taken care of.
4. Be Human
There’s no perfect way to act during a support call. The best advice is to be yourself and go with the flow. While you want to project yourself as a competent professional, don't be so professional that you come across as unapproachable. Take the time to get to know your customers and build rapport with them. This can lead to a long-term relationship.
5. Escalate the Right Way
There will always be times when a call needs to be escalated; the key is to escalate the call without leaving your customer feeling abandoned. You can escalate a call by conferencing in the other party (most likely a senior support team member) and explaining the issue/request to him while the customer is on the line with you. Stay on the line until the call is resolved. This allows you to interject or fill in a missing hole when needed. It also lets you finish the call with your customer, which is important since you're the one they reached out to in the first place.
6. Mute Your Computer Speakers
Today we use a lot of different communication tools, like email, Instant Messaging, and SMS. That doesn’t mean you should be making loud dinging noises in the background of your support call. They’re distracting to the customer and they give the impression you’re doing something else.
BONUS TIP: Get Yourself Some Software
A great software system to handle support tickets and general Customer Relationship Management (CRM) needs is a must. It can automate processes, send notifications, track support levels, and provide valuable metrics. It's difficult to imagine doing customer support calls without an application.
You work hard to attract new customers and don't want to have your efforts wasted or lost because of poor customer service. Evaluate your call center service procedures to see if there are areas that could be improved.
Stayed tuned for next week's blog for 6 additional tips to improve your customer support calls. For additional information on Call Center Management, call 713-680-2247 or request a demo.