With more and more business being done over the telephone and the increasing use of 24 hour professional call centres to handle customer enquiries, knowing how to to have both face to face and effective phone communication skills is vitally important. To help you get your message across clearly, politely and efficiently recruitment experts Kelly Services highlight some common problems and provides some techniques to put them right. This fact sheet brings you essential know-how on the different ways you can polish up your communication.
We live in an era where the customer is king. Gone are the days when customers were thought of as an interruption or that answering their queries was doing them a favour. Nowadays good customer service provides an organisation with its competitive edge and customers expect to be dealt with professionally and competently. Whether you are involved with customers on the telephone or deal with them direct, the following common sense guidelines will help you to make the right impression and give your customers what they are looking for.
If you answer the telephone or if you greet visitors you need to beware of ruining professional images with comments that often give the wrong impression such as:
It is far easier and much more professional to say... "She's not available at the moment - may I get her to call you back etc."
Think about what is meant by good service. It involves many different qualities and will depend on the circumstances involved but whatever business you are in, there are a number of basic good practices which should be taken on board.
Improving your listening skills can make a huge difference to having effective phone communication skills - people need to know that you fully understand their case.
When you are recording or giving information remember that it must be precise and detailed.
It is vital to collect all the relevant information when you are taking messages for other people. The following checklist will help you to make sure you haven't forgotten anything.
When you are handling difficult situations it is important to keep calm and not let your emotions get the better of you. In many ways a complaint is an opportunity - the chance to show you can put things right. A customer whose complaint is successfully resolved will have a strong sense of loyalty.
If you are in the front line of communication then it is vital that you have a positive attitude because it is clearly reflected in both your voice and in the way you behave with others. Not only will a positive approach make you feel good it will also get a positive response from others.
A well known business guru was recently asked what the three most important factors were for a business to be successful. His reply was 'Communication, Communication and Communication.
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