Telephone skills training is a key area for customer service training in call centers.
Unfortunately, while a lot of time is spent in induction training for call center agents or customer service agents on the computer systems (which help the efficiency of the call center operation), the call handling skills of people talking to customers are often overlooked.
Telephone manner is the thing that the customer hears. It is much more than having a pleasant voice; although pace, tone, pitch, and volume will all have an impact on the customer and their perception of how helpful the customer service agent is.
We strongly recommend using call recording equipment to help people understand the scenarios they have to deal with, while also experiencing what they sound like to the customer. It is this practice that will help your people develop the competence they need to handle calls and customers effectively.
If you are looking to include telephone or call handling skills in your customer service training you should consider the following areas:-
• greeting the customer and building rapport
• understanding customer requirements, quickly and thoroughly through good questioning skills
• listening carefully to the customer even when looking at account histories or computer screens
• Being able to explain your solution to their query or problem in a way that helps the caller
• closing the call
• controlling the call
• connecting with the customer especially when the customer is experiencing problems
• dealing effectively with unhappy or angry customers
• being able to deal quickly and efficiently with regular queries and calls, but spending time thoroughly understanding the out of the ordinary enquiries or a complaint.
If your people are dealing regularly with angry customers there may often be something which they are doing that triggers the response in the customer. If anyone in your team gets more than their fair share of angry customers they need to consider what they do to trigger the customers anger. There is a useful Go To Guide you can find here for dealing with and preventing customers from becoming angry.
Telephone skills can increase the efficiency of your operation, but it is in the customer relationship where call center agents skills and manners will really make the difference.