Tips for Improving your Phone Skills

phone representatives_improve your phone skillsMany people know how frustrating it can be to try talking to a phone representative. Sometimes, they do not even answer their phones, or if they do, they put the person on never-ending hold. Yet on other occasions, people are transferred several times before they reach someone, only to find that they do not understand the person or the representative is less than friendly.

If you are a phone representative, or in any other activity where you are required to interact with customers by phone, you must understand the importance of excellent phone skills.

Phone skills are just like any other forms of communication, and effective communication is essential to building long-term relationships with clients. With that said, the following tips can help change your phone skills from fair to excellent.

Offer a Friendly Greeting

First of all, you should always offer the caller an enthusiastic and friendly greeting. When you answer your phone, you should always thank the person for calling, state your name, state the name of your company, and ask the caller how you can help them. This will show that you truly care about their concerns or needs.

Never Immediately Put Callers on Hold

You should never immediately put callers on hold. This only frustrates them, and while some people will wait, others will simply hang up. If you are extremely busy, and you are forced to put them on hold, offer your greeting before nicely asking them if you can place them on hold. In this way, they are more apt to stay on the line and wait. Additionally, always make sure you apologize for the hold when you return to the call.

Repeat What the Caller Says

When you are talking to someone on the phone, after they have finished telling you the reason for their call, repeat their reason to them. This not only clarifies their reason for calling, but it shows callers that your are, indeed, listening. While you are listening to callers, offer encouraging phrases such as “I understand.” or “I see.”

Let Callers Know To Whom You are Transferring Them

If you need to transfer a caller, always let them know to whom you are transferring them. Wait until they are finished talking and tell them something like “Mr Brown in administration will be happy to assist you. Give me one minute while I transfer your call.” If the caller says thank you, always respond by saying “It is my pleasure.” If you, yourself, can handle the call, but you need additional information, politely ask the caller to wait a moment while you pull up their information.

Take a Deep Breath

It is a fact that some callers will be quite difficult to handle. If you are handling a difficult caller, the best thing for you to do is politely ask them to hold for a moment and take a deep breath before returning to the call. Never argue with callers or allow them to make you angry.

Personalize the Call

One of the best ways to make callers feel at ease is to personalize their phone call. Always find out the caller’s first name and use their name whenever it fits into the conversation. Other things that can help to personalize phone calls include saying things such as “I see you have been a valued customer of ours for 10 years.” or “I see you have always paid your bills on time.”

End the Call in a Pleasant Manner

The way you end the call is just as important as the call, itself. Always end the call in a pleasant and friendly manner. Keep in mind that your last impression often makes a big difference in lasting relationships with customers. When you end your calls in an upbeat manner, customers are more apt to become long-term clients.

A great thing to say when ending a call is something like “Thank you for calling Sue. If you have any other concerns, do not hesitate to call me back. Have a great day.”

When you follow these useful tips, you will see that strengthening your phone skills is much easier than you thought.

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