The customer calls and you answer. She starts rambling on, you wait with bated breath. The clock is ticking and the window is closing. A few seconds is all you’ve got to keep her hooked to the phone. If this sounds like a description of a typical day in your professional life, read on.
Customer service is the backbone of any company’s reputation. The most important role falls on your shoulders,the customer service representative. Slanders are commonplace in your daily chats and you have to play it cool in order to labor through the day. With odds heavily stacked against you, here are ways which can help you wriggle out of tough situations.
Get ahead of them, from the word go
On a given day, Callers of every hue and shape come knocking on your door. The multitude of emotions they exhibit can typically be distilled to a few fundamental ones. much like the animated Inside Out movie. This sort of gradation helps in deciphering the intended path of the conversation and also keeps you firmly behind the wheel, so to speak. This not only saves a lot of time and but also stamps out those nasty conversations during the live answering sessions.
Personalize their experience
Donald Draper, from the Mad Men TV series, is likely to take you more seriously if you address him as Don and not Mr.Draper. Using first names means taking a stand. Yes, it’s a gamble, but one that is proven to pay off in your field. Not only will it help in bridging the gap, but also calms the caller and buys you some time. They are also more likely to listen to you if you add that teeny-weeny bit of personal touch to the call.
Lend them your ears
When you are confronted by a bully, allow him to let his steam off. If you jump right in, it might only serve to escalate the tension. When the customer has regained his composure, take guard. Now, the ball is in your court and you can decisively set the tone for the rest of the dialogue. Maintaining a level headed attitude will also have a soothing effect on the other person and can ultimately subdue the initial hostility.
Don’t cede too much ground
In trying to pacify griping customers who are in desperate need of a virtual receptionist, don’t make promises you can’t keep. Most customers, including yours truly, will try to look for maximum gains from the chat and their demands become proportional to the length of the exchange. In such situations, be firm and don’t think twice before toeing the company’s line. It’s always sensible to keep the customer at an arm’s length and not let him stray too far into the territory.
End on a High
Despite your fervent efforts, sometimes things might not go as well as you had planned. In such situations, it is best to have a contingency plan drawn out. This is to be used only as a last-gasp measure. When a customer is left unhappy at the end of a call, it will be catastrophic for the company. The disgruntled customer is more than likely to whine in public and destroy your image. This last step is a drastic attempt to prevent such an embarrassment. If successfully executed, it can potentially undo the damages, if any, caused earlier.
These are some of the many ways in which our service reps are trained. If you’re running a business that requires a 24/7 live answering service and love our approach, don’t pause to ponder. You know you’re making the right choice.