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How To Handle Inbound Calls

Aug 17, 2007
Handling inbound calls is integral to maintaining the relationship with the customer and building your reputation for customer service. It is also a good opportunity to build upon the existing relationship and refer new products or upgrades. It is a good time to suggest products or services to them because clients are usually calling because they have a need. Most of the time the customer is calling with a question or seeking a solution. It is very important for the business relationship to be friendly and instill confidence. It is important to have the customer's information accessible whether it is on a computer database or in a file. Security is also important.

Use Proper Etiquette
Greet the individual with your name and the company they have reached. Thank them for calling and ask for their name. Thank them again using their name and ask how they can be helped. Avoid using slang, since it can offend. Also avoid weak language such as if, maybe, or I'm not sure.

Up sell
Keep in mind that you know your business better than anyone and it is your responsibility to work with your client and benefit them with your information. Tell them about products they don't have and always try to get add ons when you sell.

Problem Resolution
Listen carefully to what the customer has to say and when you speak back do so slowly. Don't be too quick with the customer or they may feel rushed. Pinpoint the problem using information from your business as well as the comments of the individual. Keeping a clear record of past experiences the company has had with the client is always a good idea. Take notes and put them into the computer. Keep profiles of all your customers in order to better serve them. This shall help you to ask revealing question. If there is conflict or anger do not escalate the situation. Instead diffuse the situation with a friendly tone and, if the customer is behaving inappropriately it may be time to weigh their relationship with the time that is being spent to build that relationship. You may have to terminate the relationship in order to save your time if the customer can offer nothing to your business.

Key For Associates
Always take notes on key points. IF you become overwhelmed get some information from an associate with more expertise. Put them in contact with the more knowledgeable associate. If necessary, ask if you can call them back with a solution. Let the small things go. You must provide a service and build a long lasting relationship. Inbound calls will help people decide if they want to continue to do business with you. Often service is one of the only things setting two companies apart.
About the Author
David Gass is President of Business Credit Services, Inc. His company publishes a free weekly e-newsletter on Small Business Consulting at their web site http://www.smallbusinessconsulting.com.
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