An extension to good customer service is the effective use of the phone. With email, texting and other electronic means of communication, it’s a tool than many business entrepreneurs overlook. Every time you make a customer service PHONE call you set yourself up for more sales and future business.
Here are 7 tips and techniques on making a great telephone connection:
1. SMILE A smile can be heard in your voice. Smiling can increase your confidence and make you feel successful which in turn is transmitted over the phone to your client.
2. SPEAK CLEARLY Some people have a tendency to speak quickly which results in having to repeat themselves when the person on the receiving end of the call couldn’t understand them! Annunciate your words. It will slow down the pace of the conversation so that you’re heard correctly the first time.
3. BE CONCISE If you can say it in 5 words instead of 10 – DO IT! Long drawn out conversations lose the purpose of your call and cost you time and business.
4. HAVE ENTHUSIASM You don’t have to be manic but your enthusiasm for your product/service should shine through your voice. The tone of your voice will tell your customer that they will want to hear what you have to say.
5. TALK IN POSITIVES When someone says “Thank-you”, say “You’re welcome”. Saying “It was nothing” or “No problem” implies that there was a problem to begin with!
6. PREPARE Make your list and check it twice. Don’t ‘wing it’! Consider writing out what it is you want to say (they’re called ‘scripts’) and then edit it until it is clear, concise and you are comfortable with it. Have material and information on hand so you’re not fumbling about while you’re on the phone.
7. EXIT GRACEFULLY Always thank your clients for their time. When the answer is ‘no’ to what you are offering, acknowledge their current status – ie: busy, not in the budget, don’t want your product/service right now. “Sara, thank you so much for making time to speak with me today. From our conversation, I understand that your budget that would include my training programs is complete for this year. May I call you in the (fall, spring) for next year? Wonderful! I look forward to speaking with you then.”
And the final word . . . speaking from experience, when you are a busy professional, follow up is integral to getting that sale. ALWAYS ask for a follow up date and time and then FOLLOW-UP!