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Customer service is all about being patient, having thick skin, and demonstrating high levels of problem solving skills. It is your prime responsibility to deliver proper training to your customer service representatives in order to help them perform better and manage stress. If you invest your time and energy in building a great customer service team, you will help the company save costs that it may incur from high turnovers and rehiring.
Customer service employees are trained to handle difficult situations in the most tactful way, but you need to understand that there’s always a limit to how much they can deliver under certain situations. You need to keep your teams motivated and provide your employees with the support they need to improve their service standard. Every customer expects a warm, welcoming voice that greets him on the other side of the line. Your customer service team knows this fact very well and it works hard to deliver the most pleasant experience to your clients. You should know that some calls may go unplanned and so you should encourage your employees to prepare for the worst situation.
You should know that some customers will still have complaints even after your customer service team puts a lot of effort to solve issues. Make sure that you prevent yourself from generating negative vibes that will make your team feel demotivated. You will have to be a matured person who understands that unplanned events do happen. While you continue enforcing the “customer is the king” philosophy, encourage your employees who have to undergo tough situations to de-stress in constructive ways. For example, you may ask them to hit the gym after their shift to get rid of the negative energies that may bother them for quite some time.
Encourage your employees to accept their mistakes and to be accountable. No matter what gets revealed during annual appraisal times, you should always make them realize that their work is valuable and that it is something that they should take pride on. Help your employees to rectify their mistakes and to grow as professionals. Your success depends on your team’s success and so you may want to make sure that you do your best to develop a team that does not only respect what it does, but it also understands the overall objective of the organization and recognizes the contributions of other teams. Be a mentor, guide your team on what they should do, and recognize employees who stand out.
Publish Date: September 30, 2016 5:00 AM
When your customer comes up with questions that require you to do some research or connect to another executive who probably has answers to those questions, you are left with no other alternative than to put your customer on-hold till you are able to get back to him with the information he needs. While this may act as an opportunity for you to provide your client with the information that he is looking for, it may produce negative consequences as well. Who would appreciate a seemingly endless period of silence? Chances are that your customer may get a feel of uncertainty and may develop a negative impression about you and your company. You may choose to handle this situation by saying “We will get back to you” and by assuring them again and again that you will definitely contact them at some point of time. While this may allow you to send a comforting message to your customers, you may still look for better options.
Try incorporating custom on-hold music into your answering service and you may succeed in giving your customer a better experience. While answering services work professionally to make sure that they address the callers’ queries as soon as they can, but sometimes, situations may demand them to request their customers to wait till their needs are being addressed. On-hold silence may be a cause of frustration for some of your customers especially if they are calling you for the first time and have no knowledge of how reliable you are and how effectively you can solve their problems. Your customers may wonder if they would hear from you again as time seems to flow slowly and dullness sets in. This may put you at a risk of losing your new customer accounts. And of course, it is not a good idea to test the patience of your loyal, existing customers at the same time.
The degree of your customer responsiveness is determined by the degree of your availability. As you select appropriate on-hold music for your customers, you may want to enhance your company’s reputation by adding sales messages or cross promotion messages to it. This translates to the fact that you remain available even during hold times. Who knows you may even get orders for your new products after your customers learn about your new offerings from your on-hold music and messages. You may even deliver answers to some of the frequently-asked questions through your custom-hold music and this may allow your customers to skip your queue and get back to their schedule. While generic on-hold music may generate a pleasing experience, custom on-hold music will help you control your callers’ experience. You will choose the music that you think your customers will enjoy, you will incorporate appropriate messages, and then you may change any element if you like.
To sum up, custom on-hold music can be used effectively to instill a positive call atmosphere and companies that employ answering services or virtual receptionists to generate sales or support customer service should definitely consider investing in it.
Publish Date: August 26, 2016 5:00 AM
Bad words spread more rapidly than good words. A customer who develops a negative impression about your company’s customer service standard is more likely to talk more about it compared to a customer who feels good about your service. However, if you still try to rectify a negative situation, your customers may forgive you and you may get another opportunity to serve them. With phone being one of the frequently-used media for client-communication, you may want to know how you can enrich your customer service standard over phone.
Good manners and politeness form the foundation of a strong customer service and this assumes greater importance when you talk to your customers over phone. Your customers can only feel your voice and they cannot see you when you talk over phone. So you should make sure that your language tone remains positive throughout your conversation, giving your customers a feel that you are listening to them and that you really care. Greeting your customers politely, revealing your name to them, and using ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ are ways to add personal touch to your interactions.
Your customers expect you to respond to their calls or address their queries as early as possible. Ideally, you should pick up a call before a third ring and respond to voicemail messages within 24 hours. Your customers call you because they have a problem that needs to be addressed and they think that you have a solution. So a prompt response from your side will make them feel relaxed as well as confident about your service.
Make sure that you use clear voicemail messages. Include an introduction and seek information from the caller and suggest a time when your callers can expect a call-back. You may conclude your message by directing your callers to your website and keeping them informed about special features, if any. Be cool, calm, and poised as you handle angry clients. Create a shield while letting your clients vent their anger and frustrations. Listen to them, offer them options, but do not make promises that you cannot fulfill. Stretching your limits does not work if you have unrealistic expectations to be fulfilled and if your company’s policies do not support such requests.
Publish Date: July 26, 2016 5:00 AM
Hello has been a powerful word ever since the telephone was discovered and used by people to connect for personal as well as professional matters. Today, when texting and emailing dominate the scene as the main modes of communication, phones still hold their importance with people still wanting to talk to each other to feel the personal touch. Your prospects and customers are more likely to trust you if you talk to them directly. Real voice is definitely more powerful than ‘digital voice’ and phone calls may generate desired outcomes if you are contacting a prospect for the first time. Simply put, you need to instill a personal touch in your communications if you are looking to convert prospects into paying customers.
Give your customers access to real human voice. People don’t appreciate if they are directed to the voicemail and most people will choose to hang up and they will never call you back again if they hear a recorded message for the first time. Your customers look for immediate gratification and if you are not able to give them that, you will lose business opportunities. If you think that you do not have adequate manpower to answer your phones in a professional manner, you may consider signing up for an answering service. This way, you will be able to introduce a human voice in your phone marketing activities which will help you position yourself as a trustworthy company in the market.
Customers appreciate prompt responses. When you hire a live answering service, your virtual receptionist will return calls to your prospects and customers on your behalf when you are away. Secondly, you may also use your cell phone to exchange messages with your customers while you manage other tasks. Simply put, prompt customer service is crucial to building a loyal customer base. Secondly, when you call your customers immediately, you are able to reach them before they contact your competitor. When you have a real person to answer your phone calls, your prospects may wait for a certain period of time to hear from you, but they may soon start contacting your competitors. In other ways, you need to return calls to your prospects promptly in order to maximize your sales probability.
Make sure that you keep an emergency contact in place so that your prospects and customers can reach you whenever they need to. Even a prospect who has been visiting your store or website without buying anything may become your customer if he is able to reach you during an emergency situation. You can handle emergency calls by hiring a virtual receptionist who will answer after-hours calls on your behalf. This way, you will be able to reach people whenever they need to contact you. In fact, your customers may rate your business on the basis of how you handle emergencies and once you prove to be “always available” and “trustworthy”, you may become the number one choice for your customers.
Publish Date: June 29, 2016 5:00 AM
The unexpected may happen any time and you should keep backup plans in place to ensure business continuity. With communication being the bridge to maintain constant contact with your customers and potential customers, you may want to invest in a live answering service that will remain functional even at a time when your business loses its normal flow due to nature’s unplanned turmoil. Live answering services have disaster recovery systems, such as redundant phone systems and back generators, and they operate from multiple locations, which allow them to answer calls promptly and to organize and retrieve your callers’ messages efficiently.
When you work with a live answering service provider that guarantees 99.9% uptime, you are able to establish an uninterrupted path of communication with your customers. Whether your business is affected by a hurricane-induced power outage or your schedule gets disrupted by a winter snow storm, your live answering service will always be in touch with your customers on a 24/7 basis. You may not know when a disaster strikes, but when it actually strikes, you should be ready with emergency response plans. Your answering service assistants will be trained to address critical scenarios and to ensure service continuity.
A reputed live answering service provider will provide you with custom industry plans, allowing you to address your unique scenario in an appropriate manner. Each emergency situation is different and hence, all emergency calls cannot be treated in the same way. Your approach to deal with an HVAC emergency will differ from your approach to deal with a medical emergency. Your live answering service should be able to address different emergencies differently with personalized business message management solutions that may include customized on-call rosters and scripts.
In today’s business landscape that is constantly subjected to volatility, you are expected to keep backup plans in place to respond to changes that may emerge suddenly to challenge your existence. With today’s businesses and communications being strongly based on advanced technologies, you cannot find any excuse for not deploying a workable backup and redundancy strategy that can be translated into real outcomes in times of need. A reliable answering service should have backup generators that can remain functional for months and provide uninterrupted power supply to support operations. Additionally, most answering service providers operate through multiple offices located in multiple locations which work to preserve service continuity in times of disaster. They also deploy sophisticated redundancy systems, allowing you to maintain contact with your customers at all times.
Publish Date: May 31, 2016 5:00 AM
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