The phone provides customer service challenges that are not present via any other service channel. For example, you can't easily show a customer a picture or diagram to help you communicate more clearly. Identify some of these obstacles and determine whether they affect you. Learn about the unique challenges of phone service in this video.
- Serving customers over the phone presents some unique challenges. I'd like to share a few of those challenges with you to give you an idea of what to watch out for. One of the biggest challenges is you and your customer can't see each other's body language. This makes it hard to decode a customer's emotions, since we use our bodies to communicate how we're feeling. This could be a smile, open or closed posture, or even a look that says, I'm confused or I'm frustrated. Understanding our customer's emotions gives us clues about how they'd like to be served.
Let's try an example. I'm gonna play an audio clip of a customer conversation. See if you can identify the customer's emotions. - [Voiceover] Hi, can I help you? - [Voiceover] Yes, I had a question, is it 25% off of every-- - [Voiceover] Yes it is, you get 25% off the lowest price. - [Voiceover] Okay, but what I wanted to know is if you get 25% off-- - [Voiceover] Yes, you even get 25% off clearance items. - [Voiceover] That's not what I'm asking. When does the sale end? - [Voiceover] Oh, it's on until Sunday. - [Voiceover] Okay, that's good to know, I'll just keep looking if you don't mind. - [Voiceover] Okay. - So what did you hear? You might have noticed the employee was interrupting the customer and he was starting to get a little annoyed.
Now let's see what that scene looks like when you can see the customer's body language. - Hi, can I help you? - Yes, I had a question, is it 25% off of every-- - Yes it is, you get 25% off the lowest price. - Okay, but what I wanted to know is if you get 25% off-- - Yes, you even get 25% off clearance items. - That's not what I'm asking. When does the sale end? - Oh, it's on until Sunday. - Okay, that's good to know, I'll just keep looking if you don't mind. - Okay.
- You probably noticed the same basic problem you heard in the audio version. The customer got annoyed with being interrupted. But did you notice the customer's body language? He appeared to be more annoyed than he sounded when we could just hear the audio. The customer service rep should have apologized for interrupting rather than just walking away. Distractions can also prevent us from being fully present with our customers. Here's a scene that shows some common distractions that we face when serving customers over the phone.
- How may I help you? Okay. Uh-huh. Absolutely. Yes ma'am.
I'm so sorry about that. - We'll probably miss an important opportunity to serve if we can't tune out those distractions. Fatigue is another difficult challenge. We often work in fast-paced environments and that can really wear us down after a long day. It's generally easy to be upbeat and positive on your first call of the day.
- Thank you for calling customer service, this is Kristen, how may I help you? - But it's a lot tougher on your 50th call of the day. - Thank you for calling customer service, this is Kristen, how may I help you? - Okay, these are just a few of the challenges that are unique to serving customers over the phone. Throughout this course I'll give you techniques that can help you overcome these obstacles and may others. So if you're ready let's get started.
- Developing the perfect phone greeting
- Filling dead air
- Managing holds and transfers
- Expressing empathy
- De-escalating angry callers