Conversing with a potential or current customer on the phone can pose challenges that you might not have expected if your business is accustomed to face-to-face interactions.
During a talk over the phone, neither participant can see the other’s face – and this can result in muddled messages and misinterpreted meanings. However, you can handle calls more effectively if you keep the following pieces of advice in mind.
Show positivity as you speak
Showing a positive attitude as you chat can put the other person at ease. Clichéd though it may seem, that customer will even be able to hear you smiling, SkillsYouNeed.com says.
Deliver that smile right at the start of the conversation, too; this can help set the tone for the rest of the exchange. You can also help portray yourself as interested but natural if you remember to vary your inflexion during the conversation; otherwise, you might deliver an unenthusiastic monotone.
Preserve clarity in your speech
Of course, you will want the phone chat to be productive; however, you can’t expect to be able to get big results if whoever is on the other side can’t clearly understand your words.
For that reason, while on the phone, you should keep your speech clear and your words and phrases simple, with complex jargon kept to a minimum. Another good idea is to cut out such filler words as “um” and “like”, as these can compromise your ability to solve problems constructively.
Saint or sincerity? Both, of course
Don’t open a phone conversion with a scripted greeting; to the customer, it will likely come across as artificial and inauthentic. Instead, sincerity is the name of the game; however, upon answering a call, you should still cite your name and the company’s, as well as offer assistance.
Key to portraying an authentic air is providing genuine but positively-worded answers. Therefore, rather than say you can’t do something, tell the person what you actually can do and by what time.
Say their name, say their name
Once a customer has given you their name, don’t be afraid to use it… but, again, in a natural way. In other words, use it at obviously suitable times rather than stuff repeated mentions of it into the conversation. You could help yourself remember the individual’s name if you write it down in initials.
If you are unsure how to pronounce the name, ask them. They will likely appreciate it – and it could particularly help during cheap calls to Pakistan or other places with very foreign-sounding names.
Wrap up in a way satisfactory to the customer
Before hanging up, clarify that the customer understood everything you said – and ask if they need any further help. As explained in an Entrepreneur article, even if your company is growing quickly, you can’t confidently expect to retain customers if you don’t keep them happy with your company.
At Planet Numbers, we offer inexpensive calling services that can keep you happy, too, by helping your business rein in its expenditure on calls.