Telephone etiquette at workplace and CRM processes that can help you be the best at customer service
Salesperson’s tone of voice and pitch on the telephone will set the tone of how friendly your business is. If you are not dealing with customers face to face, the essence of dealing with people politely and efficiently can only mean one thing: telephone etiquette!!
Tiny little things, such as: how long it takes for you to answer your telephone and how you communicate with your customer can be your first and last impression. Make sure all employees are trained to have a consistent way of greeting throughout the company, as customers really like consistency. The way employees answer the telephone will set the tone of the customer regarding the level of service he or she can expect. Answering the phone promptly and politely, will make the conversation go smooth. But, if the person answering the phone is blocked and dosn’t answer the phone promptly, expect the conversation to go accordingly. Answering the call in the right way can give a positive first impression.
There are four basic rules for telephone etiquette
- The telephone should be answered within 3 rings
- The caller should be greeted nicely
- Give your and company’s name of an answering the telephone
- Ask the customer how I may help you
Who so ever answers the call should first greet the caller and this should be a starting point of the conversation and it should sound friendly. Tone of your voice should be friendly and polite, as people can tell a lot and make judgements. Always begin with good morning or good evening because the customer is waiting to be greeted in a friendly manner. Do not use Hi or Hello, which is very informal and mostly used with friends and family.
With conscious practice, make it a habit to smile when you answer the telephone, as the customer can tell you if you are a friendly sales person.
Ask the customer ‘how may I help you’
Saying ‘how may I help you’ shows that you and your company are ready to assist your customer in anything he or she needs. Another important point is to record the customer’s name in the beginning of the conversation, and use a few times during the conversation. At the end of the conversation, thank the customer by name for calling.
The correct way of answering the telephone using all four basic rules of telephone etiquette is as follows ‘Good morning, sales department this is Darshan, how may I help you’.
Telephone Etiquette can be incorporated, as a part of the training process, during enrolment of a new employee. It should be a primary skillset of the Frontline staff as the customers’ first impression of the company starts with them.
Putting a customer on hold
It is a common situation to check for some details while updating the customer and putting them on hold will help you avoid confusion and stress.
Make sure to ask the customer if they would mind holding on a minute and wait for a response before putting them on hold. Inform them of the reason why they are being put on hold like you have to check the records/ status on the CRM or you are already attending another customer. Inform them how long they will be on hold. This will set the correct expectation with the customer and they will not get frustrated due to the length of the hold. In the end, thank the customer for holding.
In case your customer is not ready to hold for the specified period, record their telephone number in your CRM and call them as soon as possible. This way you can take care of business in front of you and then call them back, as you can give that customer your full attention. But never ever forget to call back. In case you are a person with lot of tasks in hand and tend to forget, you could always set an event/ activity in your CRM and let the system remind you through a notification that the customer is waiting for your response and update.
Documenting the Conversation:
After every call, the conversation along with the result has to be documented for the purpose of continuity and understanding the customer and the account. Sales persons have to create relevant records in the CRM to build the data.
If the phone was answered by other employees of the organization, an activity has to be created and assigned to the concerned sales person, so that the opportunity does not go unnoticed.
Integrating your CRM with your Custommer Service is the best option for running a smooth business. There will be continuity in the flow of activities and every one can easily understand the case and scenario by just accessing the record.