The Ultimate Guide to Customer Service Phone Etiquette
When it comes to being a professional customer service representative on the phone, there are certain beliefs that, if held true, will provide a better customer experience. Believing that the customer is always right, or that you can actually hear a smile over the phone, are just a couple examples that come to mind. However, some days, while you are more than willing to do your job, you just might not feel like smiling. It is also difficult to hold onto the notion that the customer is always right when a customer is verbally abusive towards you, about something you have no control over. Still, customer service is about helping people, and there are some rules of etiquette that every customer service professional should follow to keep things running smoothly. Focus On the Customer There may be dozens of conversations happening around you, but you must focus on the customer you are talking to. If a co-worker is trying to ask you a question while you are talking to a customer, remember that your customer is the priority until the call is done. It is good customer service etiquette to avoid putting customers on hold in the middle of a call to talk to a co-worker, and it's never good to put customers on mute to talk to someone else in the room, unless it is directly related to your customer's needs. Remain Professional Remaining professional while on the phone is critical. You need to remember that, in a people business like customer service, politeness is extremely important. You never want to be rude to a customer and you certainly do not want to do anything that could be construed as impolite. If a customer blows his top, then you must remain calm. If the customer refuses to calm down, the best things you can do is acknowledge their anger and try to get them to talk about possible solutions by asking questions. But never cut a customer off and never hang up on a customer until you have done everything you can to turn their sentiment around while remaining as professional as possible. Never Interrupt the Customer What some customer service representatives do not realize is that interrupting an angry customer only makes the situation worse. By letting the customer finish expressing their frustrations, you will be surprised at how much easier it is to talk to them. It is also a best practice to repeat the important information to confirm that you have all of it correct. Know Your Job Never tell a customer that you are unsure if their issue is your job. As a customer service representative, the customer's concern is your concern. It may be true that the actual issue is one that needs to be addressed by a different person within the company, but you must be completely certain of what your responsibilities are so that you can talk to a customer with confidence. It is not only unprofessional to not know what your job is, but it is also a breach of customer service etiquette. Sometimes adhering to customer service etiquette means absorbing a tremendous amount of verbal abuse from customers. But for every upset customer you get, there are several who appreciate what you do. That is why maintaining excellent customer service etiquette at all times is critical in successfully representing your organization.