We're often under pressure to quickly get through customer service calls. Call control techniques are skills that can help you serve customers efficiently. This video highlights how to use these techniques in a way that feels friendly to your customer. Tips include keeping your responses short, listening carefully, and talking slowly.
- There are many times when we're under pressure to get through calls quickly. We might have a large queue of customers waiting on hold or perhaps your company expects you to keep the average length of a call below a certain amount of time. In this video, I'm going to share some techniques you can use to keep the call moving forward without making your customer feel rushed. The first tip is to keep it short. Short, concise questions and information help the call move faster. They're also easier for customers to understand and remember.
And you can still keep it short while being friendly. For example, let's say you're making small talk with a customer, and they mention that they'll be traveling to your town. It's a great move to recommend a favorite restaurant or activity. This may seem counterintuitive, but another call control technique is to listen to your customer without interruption. Customer service reps sometimes feel an urge to cut a customer off if they're pressed for time. That's not very friendly, and it could make the call take longer if you misunderstand them.
Listening without interruption can allow you to absorb the entire message without missing a critical detail. It will also make the customer feel more valued than if you cut them off. Good listening usually means fewer misunderstandings and less back and forth to clarify issues. That ultimately results in a shorter call. Of course, there are times when a customer shares so much information that it's necessary to redirect the conversation back to solving the customer's issue. You can do this while still being friendly by politely acknowledging what the customer is telling you and then redirecting the conversation to focus on solving the customer's issue.
- Wow, it sounds like you had a great vacation. Now can I get your customer number so I can look at your account? - Another technique is what I call "Don't take the bait." Sometimes, a customer can bring up a topic that you're really passionate about. You might be tempted to engage in a long conversation, but a better move is to quickly acknowledge the topic and keep the call moving. Let's say your customer mentions an upcoming sporting event that features your favorite team. A friendly comment acknowledging your passion is great.
It creates a personal connection with the customer and helps break the ice. On the other hand, a 10-minute conversation about your team's players and strategies might prevent you from wrapping up the call and serving another waiting customer. Finally, it's a good idea to talk slowly when sharing information such as an order confirmation number. Talking slowly makes it easier for your customer to hear and understand you which makes it less likely that you'll have to repeat the information. If possible, you can also offer to send a follow-up email with critical information so the customer doesn't have to write it down.
- Your confirmation number is three four two nine one six. I'll send you an email with that confirmation number so you'll have it handy. - I encourage you to practice some of these techniques with customers you serve. Before you do, I want to give you one last piece of advice. I've always found that call control techniques work best when you work with your customer and not against them. What I mean by this is, I focus on saving the customer time and effort rather than just getting them quickly off the phone.
By focusing on helping your customer, you'll likely find that you can move through calls quickly while still making your customers feel great.
- Developing the perfect phone greeting
- Filling dead air
- Managing holds and transfers
- Expressing empathy
- De-escalating angry callers