Customer Experience News & Trends

Why you must be ready to answer the phone

Pick up the phone! The customer experience still hinges on your willingness and readiness to take their calls.

If you think self-service, email, online chat and mobile apps are about to take over for the more costly form of customer service — telephone help — think again.

They’re all effective channels, and customers are eager to use them. But the bottom line is that about 70% of contacts to companies for customer service help are still made on the phone, studies show.

And if you need more assurance that talking on the phone is still the most powerful way to build customer relationships, trust and sales, consider these findings:

  • 77% of online shoppers want live assistance to be available when they’re trying to make online purchases
  • 52% of those shoppers will reevaluate or abandon their carts because of a lack of live help, and
  • inbound calls are expected to grow to 70 billion by 2016.

They will ring

Customers are calling, and they will continue to call. One of the biggest differences is they’ll be calling from anywhere, thanks to mobile technology.

So regularly review these best-practice telephone customer service tips with all of your staff — even those who don’t regularly take calls — because you never know when a customer will call or when an emergency will strike, creating an all-hands-on-deck situation:

  • Breathe. A long, deep breath before answering a call will pump energy into the conversation.
  • Identify yourself. Tell the person on the other end of the phone your first and last name — even if you know each other well. It helps them identify you immediately and feel more comfortable talking to you right off the bat.
  • Relay sincerity. Maintain a gentle, professional tone for a kind chat and memorable experience.
  • Visualize the person. It will help keep you focused on listening to customers and getting things resolved immediately.
  • End it well. Customers will remember their last impression the most. Close on a positive note.

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