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5 Helpful Tips to Improve Telephone Etiquette in Customer Service


Customer service is all about receiving calls from customers and attending to their queries and concerns in the best way possible. The success of customer service depends totally on the telephone etiquettes of the staff who receive these calls. This is why these staff members receive a good amount of training to come up with the best way of handling calls. However, not all of them may achieve success in customer engagement.

Customer Interaction Management is not a simple thing to do, as the customers are of different types and temperaments. The queries and concerns that you may have to handle are of a different nature. At the end of the call, customer satisfaction will be the main goal that you need to achieve. A warm, friendly, helpful and professional voice is one which attracts the customer loyalty in a contact center. If any of these qualities are missing, you will only be driving the customer to your competitor.

(Also read: How you can Manage and Improve Customer Service with Contact Center Software?)

Few tips to improve your telephone etiquette:

  • Greeting is the most important thing when receiving a call.

    Your greeting has to be audible and clear, while not being too loud. Your voice has to be friendly, warm and professional while answering the call. Your greeting should include the company name, department name (if applicable) and your name. Also, at the end of the greeting, you have to assure the caller by saying that you are ready to help. For example, your greeting could be something like “XYZ Company. This is Anne. How can I help you?” Also, make sure your tone is enthusiastic and positive while receiving the call. With contact center software integrated with CRM, an agent can greet the person with his name by making use of the CRM Screen Pop-up that has comprehensive information of the customer and creates a friendly impact at the beginning of the conversation itself.

  • The main thing in customer engagement is to listen carefully and actively.

    You need to pay special attention to the intent and the content. The opening statement of the customer will usually tell you both. Once you listen to the customer, it is very important to give an immediate response, which gives him/her the message that you listened to what was said. You may not have the answers to all the queries and concerns of all customers. Sometimes, it is quite possible that you may have to transfer the call to someone else, who may be the concerned person. In such times, you will have to tell the customer that you are transferring his/her call to another person, whose name you will have to give out.  While doing so, if you have to place the caller on hold, you will have to ask for permission in a polite manner. Putting customers on hold may end up in losing their business. When you return to the caller, you will have to remember to call the customer by his/her name, pause for a while to let the caller respond and then thank him/her for waiting before you give the information. With Call Conferencing feature, an agent can conference the call with another agent or supervisor, minimizing call transfers.

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  • It is important to get maximum information from the customer in order to attend to his queries and concerns.

    You need to probe in a subtle and simple way by asking questions like who, what, when, where and how.  You have to take care so that the customer doesn’t get irritated or annoyed by your style of probing. Make use of an integrated CRM platform to fill in the details gathered so that the customer is not asked the same questions if he calls again. When the same customer is connected, agent desktop populates an interface compiling all available info about the customer.

  • Customer’s interest is always the main priority in a contact center.

    If you have to put the caller on hold and in case, the customer doesn’t want to wait, you should offer to have the concerned person call him back at a convenient time. While doing so, your tone has to be empathetic. Any inconvenience to the customer has to be apologized for. After ending the call, make sure the concerned person calls the customer and solves the issue satisfactorily. Such actions will help in increasing the credibility of your company. By using a smart customer service software, one can easily schedule a “call back” so that the concerned agent gets a notification to call the customer back at his preferred time and by the same agent if available; or else the call will be routed to the next agent.

  • In case you cannot offer the correct solution to the customer, you must give him/her an alternative.

    Alternatives for solutions are a most important part of customer interaction management. If you are lucky, the customer may even accept your alternative. Nevertheless, before you end the call, always make sure you express gratitude to the customer for his patronage.

Good telephone etiquette may not be that helpful if you don’t have the right attitude to serve the customer. Sometimes, it is necessary to go that extra distance and extend yourself in order to make a lasting impression of your company.


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