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Telephone Customer Service Training

Jun 11, 2008
Telephone customer service training is probably the most challenging form of customer service because you do not have the luxury of body language to express yourself. You have to rely on other things than just a smile to show the customer that you are happy to be there.

We all have imagined the operator on the other end of the phone doing her nails when she claims to be processing our order. Or the call-taker who is supposed to be getting a supervisor to hear your complaint, but in actuality, is laughing with his buddy in the next cubicle about the annoying lady on line 3.

Without being able to actually see what is going on, most customers will assume the worst. That is why it falls on the employee on the phone to make the customer believe with just their voice that telephone customer service is their top priority. And the way to assure long-term customers is by making customer service training your priority.

Shaking hands

The first way to do this is to start with a clear greeting. Set the tone for the conversation right up front. The greeting is your verbal handshake.

Let customers know right from the start that you take pride in your job and telephone customer service by giving a clear and cheerful greeting, which includes your name. By including your name you have just told your customer that you are so confident with the service you offer, that you want them to spread the good word about you. You have also let them know that if there is a problem, you will follow through with a solution.

Hearing a Smile

Next, always smile while speaking (customers can hear the difference, trust me). This is imperative in your customer service training. If you need a reminder then place a note next to the computer screen or a mirror on the wall.

Whatever you have to do, it is imperative that your customer knows that you enjoy talking with them and do not find it a hardship in any way. So practice smiling while on the phone with everyone in your life either at work or at home and right away you will notice a difference in the way they treat you!

Chew, chew, chew...

Third, never,ever,ever eat or chew gum while on the phone. Ever. This is a sure fire way to let your customers know that you do not value them. It is the same as blowing a bubble in their face as they talk, or chewing with your mouth open at the table. Not only is it unprofessional it is just plain rude.

Alright team, listen up!

Lastly, always listen to them. The same way they are not able to read your body language you are not able to read theirs. You do not have the ability to look at them, so you must really listen.

This is your way of providing good eye contact. And not the kind of listening where your thinking about what you will say as soon as they stop talking. The kind of listening where they really know that they have been heard.

Avoid multi tasking while on the phone like reading, or typing on the computer, or sorting through unrelated paperwork. Just focus on your customer and really listen to their needs. Being a good listener is an art form, and once proficient at it, you are able to address customers issues with ease and effectiveness.

A Clear and Professional Goodbye

Once you are able to accomplish all of the above areas, close with a strong goodbye. It is important to send them off with a positive feeling about you and your business. Be sure to include your name and let them know that any problems should be brought back to your attention. You can even offer them a direct number, if available.

Ask them if there is anything else you can do for them ... and mean it.

Telephone customer service training requires more focus and attention to detail but when you are able to master it you will find that you are better at all forms of service.

So put on a happy face and go answer that phone!
About the Author
Wendy Gillett is owner of www.ExtraordinaryCustomerService.com
A full service online membership site dedicated to customer service improvement.
Increase your profits and your Customer Experience Optimization
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