Ideal communication, whether internal or external, can be key to businesses being successful. Clear communication allows for better efficiency in other practices and allows for more focus to be used in other areas of the business’s interests. People underestimate how dependent the business itself can be on its own call-center; it’s the first line of contact the outside customer-base has with the company. The public can then develop its own initial opinion about the company as a whole as a result of their own experience with the call-center. Therefore, it’s imperative that each company’s call-center or answering service follow some guidelines when working:
1. It’s important to be thorough on the phone, whether speaking to someone from outside the company or another coworker. Vague messages or little-to-no introduction for call transfers can set up scenarios for wasted time and effort. Make sure to figure out exactly why the person you are talking to has called in the first place, whether it’s for specific information or a certain person. If you’re unable complete someone’s request when they call be sure to get all of their information to ensure they are helped fully later on. Get their name, contact information, what they called for, and the best time and manner for them to be contacted in return.
2. Maintain a certain level of composure on the phone, no matter who you’re speaking with; professionalism and politeness can go a long way. As stated above, the call-center can be the first line of contact between the public and the business itself, allowing for the callers to base their initial opinion of the company at large with their call-center experiences. So, if you are engaged with the customer and make them believe you want to help them, the better an opinion they can come to about the company. Of course this can work out in another way; when irate customers call they are usually seeking out a way to settle a grievance that they have with the company, and so nothing they say should be taken personally, and you should control the knee-jerk reaction you may have to replying in a like manner. The same will be true when speaking with other members of the company.
3. Help whoever you’re speaking with to the best of your own ability. It’s important to resist the urge to pass off the call in question at the first sign of difficulty and do the best you can to help the person your speaking with. More often than not, customers have questions about the company itself, so it’s best for you to keep basic knowledge about the company on hand when speaking with a customer. However, if the person you’re speaking with has a specific need, like needing to speak with a certain business associate or definitive information about their personal account, then you should do the best you can to transfer them to a place where they can be helped in a timely manner. But of course, you should remain polite throughout the process, even if you’re unable to help the customer to meet their needs.
If you follow these guidelines somewhat, making additions or modifications depending on your own workplace needs, then you should be successful in your business communications. You just need to remember that the best results in the workplace will come from an appropriate balance of the three, to some degree. You also need to remember that it’s less about dealing with the situation and more about wanting to help it sincerely. As stated before, a caller will be far more receptive to someone who is polite, professional and who actually seems to want to help them.
Neal Lacey spends his professional time working for www.unitedcallcenter.com where he is a virtual receptionist and live order taker. During his spare time he enjoys writing and sharing his telemarketing expertise with others.