The Keys and Best Practice Tips For Optimal Phone Support

Customer service involves many channels beyond phone: web, chat, email, and social media are all important channels for your users. Still, phone support is often the first channel a customer turns to get their problem resolved.

Successful phone support requires subtle social skills to understand to get an often time irate customer to a resolution point. It’s an art that can be taught. It’s about having the mindset that you will do whatever it takes to get your customer’s problem solved.

Based on our experience, here are some best practice tips to make sure you are providing optimal support:

1. A smile makes a world of difference. A warm and friendly voice can disarm an irritated customer. It’s much harder to be mad at someone that’s warm and personable than it is with an anonymous person that you’ll never talk to again. Simply putting a smile on your face can transform your voice into a welcoming voice to earn your customer’s trust.

2. Mirror the caller. It’s important to match the caller’s tone and emotion. Of course, if a user is yelling at you, don’t yell back, but match their intensity and as you build a rapport it’s important to bring the intensity down.

3. Acknowledge the customer’s concerns. It’s important to listen to their concerns and acknowledge their pain prior to moving to a resolution. Let the customer vent if needed. An angry customer might not be able to listen to what an agent has to say. Once the customer’s pain has been acknowledged, then you can move the conversation towards resolution of that problem.

4. Summarize your customer’s problem. It’s important to demonstrate that you understand your customer’s problem. Once your customer has had the chance to communicate their problem, provide the user with a summarization of what they have told you. They will feel comforted to know that you are listening to their problems.

5. Be careful of putting a user on hold. Ever have a problem that you wanted to get resolved immediately and the agent responsible for resolving that problem suddenly puts you on hold? It can seem like you are being completely ignored or passed on to another agent. When putting a customer on hold, be sure to ask for the customer’s permission first. When you get permission it is important to wait no longer than two minutes to get back on the call. If it’s going to take more than two minutes to resolve the issue, ask for a number where the customer can be called back at.

6. Follow Up. Look at your conversation as series of interactions that are getting that customer to a resolution point. After your call, schedule a time to follow up with the client. Your customer will have more positive associations with your brand and is more likely to recommend your company.

7. Log Your Calls. Nothing makes your customer more irate than calling into your call support center and having to re-explain their situation. Be sure to log calls into your support software or CRM during the call. It might take more a little more time processing those calls, but it will make for a more seamless experience in the long run.

Providing optimal phone support means showing empathy for your customers and having the soft skills to instill confidence. It can take some time to develop those skills, but doing so can lead to long lasting relationship with your customer and referrals from your customers. Good support has the greatest return on investment as your customers keep coming back and recommend your product.

Vonjour’s business phone solution provides businesses with tools to more swiftly and intelligently respond to their customer’s support needs. Vonjour’s desktop version will be available August 15th. It includes the first ever free enterprise virtual phone service. The system includes toll free and local phone numbers, unlimited extensions and call groups, a virtual receptionist and auto attendant, advanced call routing, faxing, conferencing, and analytics.

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