How To Improve Customer Service

Serving The Customer

With Proper Telephone Etiquette

There is nothing more frustrating to a consumer than speaking with a representative who isn’t knowledgeable, pleasant or customer-centric.  Customer service training that focuses on style, demeanor and knowledge can significantly improve a business’s performance.  If your company has been looking for ways on how to improve customer service, training in proper and effective Telephone Etiquette can give you the boost you need to meet your goals.

The principles for good telephone etiquette are simple.  For some employees, certain positive behaviors come naturally. For others, they may not.  Having consistent customer service delivery through speech, style, tone and product knowledge provides a strong selling capacity for any business.

Telephone Etiquette Principles 

  • Your voice should smile: Presenting a positive demeanor to the customer can provide untold sales opportunities, soften displeasure if the caller is unhappy and increase potential for repeat business.  While it may be hard to ‘smile’ at times after a long day on the phone, remain as bright and positive throughout the day as when you began.
  • Efficiency: This can occur in two ways.  First, by answering the phone by the third ring, you are providing efficient customer service.  Second, if you need to put a customer on hold, do so for only 30 seconds or less.  If your task requires longer than 30 seconds, ask the caller if you can call them back once you have gotten the information they have requested.
  • Be Knowledgeable: Solid customer service training always reinforces the necessity to know what a representative is talking about.  Become well-versed in product, service or technical support tools so that you can adequately address the customers questions or concerns.  If necessary, keep reference books or information sheets at your desk to be prepared if a question arises you are less equipped to handle.  Note:  if you are new on the job, always advise your caller of this fact.  Tell them you appreciate their patience.
  • Remain Calm: We’ve all been customers and will continue to be.  If you should get an angry customer, remain calm and do not take it personally.  Let the caller vent, explain their dilemma/displeasure but turn the dialogue towards a solution.  If you remain calm, your customer will likely follow-suit, cool down and begin focusing on a positive outcome.
  • Remain Customer-Centric: Do not engage in side conversations with co-workers while on a call.  Also, do not eat, drink or chew gum while on a call.  It can be irritating to the calling to hear mouth sounds or distracted conversations from others around you.  The customer is the purpose for your having the job you have.  Your attention should always be focused on them.
  • Resolutions: It is important to know language that resolves problems.  Using statements such as “I’m hearing you say…” and the like, lets the customer know they are being heard.  Find ways to satisfy their request.  If unable to do so within the context of one phone call, take adequate notes and inform them you will get back to them with a solution.

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