Have you ever struggled with communicating information over the phone? This movie will introduce you to visual communication techniques that can help you effectively communicate complex topics over the phone. Topics include identifying a visual reference, guiding the customer, and following up via email with relevant information.
- One of the biggest disadvantages of serving customers over the phone is you can't show them anything to help them communicate. Let's say you have a billing question and I need your account number to access your account. If we're face-to-face you can just hand me your bill so I can enter your account number directly into my computer system. It's a little trickier when you and your customer can't see each other. - You can find your account number on your bill. It's on your bill. Oh, I don't know, just look for a bunch of numbers where it says account number.
- You can imagine how the customer might quickly get annoyed with searching for their account number. I know I've been in that situation and chances are you have too. The key to overcoming this barrier is to use visual techniques to communicate over the phone. Here's how that customer service rep could make things easier for her customer by using a visual reference to help the customer find their account number. - Do you have your bill right in front of you? Look in the top right-hand corner, right under the logo, you should see something that says account number.
Yes, that's the one. Would you read those numbers to me please? - Notice the visual references the rep used this time. She verified the customer's looking at their bill. She directed the customer to the appropriate place on the page, the top right-hand corner. She used the logo as a visual reference to make the account number easier to find. Using visual communication techniques like this can make things much easier for your customer and avoid a lot of frustration.
Let's look at how you can do this. Step one is to identify a Visual Reference. This should be something that a customer is likely to be able to look along with you. Examples might include: a bill, a website, or even an email that was sent to your customer. It's often helpful to gather a few references ahead of time. For instance, you might get a lot of billing questions so you might want to get a copy of a customer's bill so you know the layout. It's much easier to use visual references if you and your customer are looking at the same thing.
Step two is to Guide the Customer. Here, you want to be careful to give clear step-by-step instructions. Make sure you have a visual reference each time. Listen again to how the customer service rep uses step-by-step visual references to guide her customer. - [Customer Service Rep] Do you have your bill right in front of you? Okay, look in the top right-hand corner, right under the logo, you should see something that says account number.
Yes, that's the one. Would you read those numbers to me, please? (typing) - I'd like to give you one last tip here. Sometimes, your customer doesn't have access to a visual reference. Let's say you want to give your customer a set of instructions for using your product but the instructions aren't easy to find on your website. If possible, it's helpful to send the customer a visual via email. For instance, you can give email the instructions or a link to the instructions and then wait for the customer to access it so the two of you could look at them together.
Okay, now it's your turn. I encourage you to gather some visual examples you're likely to use with a customer like bills, websites, and instructions. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the layout so you know how to direct your customer to various pieces of information. Try to find opportunities to use these visual references with your customers whenever possible to make communication ever clearer.
- Developing the perfect phone greeting
- Filling dead air
- Managing holds and transfers
- Expressing empathy
- De-escalating angry callers