Learn the proper way to place callers on hold in a retail environment while delivering world-class customer service to in-person customers at the same time.
- Imagine you're working on an exceptionally busy day. You have a line of customers waiting for your attention, and you're feeling the pressure to serve 'em. All of a sudden it happens. The one thing you were hoping wouldn't, the phone rings. What do you do? Do you stop in the middle of waiting on your customer and pick up the phone? Or do you ignore it and let it ring? To start, it's important to recognize that you or your coworkers must answer the phone every time it rings, even when you're busy.
That phone call could be a customer calling, management, an emergency responder. You never know. So, let's discuss phone etiquette and how to deliver excellent customer service in three easy steps. Step one, when you hear the phone ring, immediately acknowledge the customer who's currently in front of you. Make eye contact. Smile at them so you confirm that you'll continue to help them. If you're waiting on a customer when the phone rings, continue the transaction as you answer the phone.
This is a bit of multitasking, but once you do it often enough, you'll get the hang of it. If the phone is in a different part of the store, tell the customer you're working with, "Excuse me, I have to answer the phone, "but I'll be right back with you in just a moment." When you return, say to the customer, "Thank you for waiting." And then continue to help them. If the person seems upset, say, "I apologize for the interruption. "Please forgive me. "I'm going to take care of you right now." If your customer sees that you're working on the floor alone, or you're super busy, most of them will be understanding.
Next is step two. When you answer the phone, greet the customer in a warm and friendly way and ask permission to put them on hold. Your greeting may sound like this. "Thank you for choosing, your company name, "My name's David. "What's your's? "Hi, Jane, can I place you on a brief hold? "Thank you." Most customers will be okay with you putting them on hold. If the customer says no, and asks you a question, you can answer it if it's brief. If not, listen to their request, and when they're finished, simply say, "Thank you, I'll be right back with you." Then put them on hold and tend to your in-person customer.
Last, step three. When you return to the caller on hold, thank the customer for holding and ask an open-ended question. It may sound like this. "Thank you for holding. "How can I provide you with excellent "customer service today?" If the customer's already made a request before you put them on hold, simply pick up in the call where you left off. Even though you're on the phone, always remember to smile and make sure that the customer feels heard, understood, and cared for.
In this course, learn techniques to deal with upset customers, and show empathy with active listening. Instructor and customer service expert David Brownlee—the author of Rock Star Customer Service—also provides etiquette tips to ensure quality service at every point of interaction: from the moment customers walk in the door to keeping them happy while they're on hold.
- Why it matters to deliver good service
- Creating a positive attitude
- Delivering a good first impression
- Dealing with upset customers
- How to listen
- Retail etiquette, including phone etiquette