The five golden rules of call handling

Great customer service is at the centre of every brand.

Whether you’re a startup company or an established market leader, providing a good customer journey should be a vital part of operations. Every call your company receives is important, and every call centre staff member can deliver the call handling performance that puts your brand firmly ahead of its competitors.

It’s never too late to improve, and as leading call centre specialists we use a rigorous induction programme and ongoing training to keep quality standards consistently high. On the back of this we’ve developed these five golden rules of call handling, so your customer care staff can make the service they provide even better.

Answer promptly and professionally

Why it’s important

How you manage the calls you receive will define that all-important impression of the brand you represent.

Providing a prompt answering service is the first step to a great customer experience. Professionalism must be at the forefront of your mind throughout the call. Knowing the company and its policies is an integral aspect of resolving any issues your caller may be experiencing.

Putting it to use

To ensure prompt call answering, you may wish to set a specific number of rings your staff must answer by.

Preparation is also the key to successful call handling. Continuous training is a must, and your customer care staff should be clued up on not just the company and its policies but the latest offers and campaigns. Make sure staff members at all levels are kept in the loop.

Think about your tone of voice

Why it’s important

Call centres are busy environments, but projecting calm over the phone will ensure a consistent service across the board. As a result, your tone of voice shouldn’t be stressed or hurried.

Putting it to use

Adapting your tone of voice isn’t as easy as many think. However, it is worth working on to ensure a collected and professional approach.

Using call recording to review how your voice comes across to the customer is a great place to begin.

Listen, listen and listen some more

Why it’s important

Understanding your customer and their query is another rule that shouldn’t be bypassed, whether you’re taking calls from a dissatisfied customer or one that only has great things to say. By establishing the caller’s requirements as early as possible, you can direct the conversation towards a happy resolution for all involved.

Putting it to use

Many call centre operators qualify callers before going any further. Listening to a customer query and taking contact details to follow up means you can take the necessary steps towards the best resolution. If the query is something you can resolve in one call, listening and asking questions is the way to go.

Hold only as a last resort

Why it’s important

From your own experiences as a consumer, you’ll understand being put on hold is rather annoying.

While it’s sometimes necessary for customer care staff, hold should only be used as a last resort. Putting customers on hold can make them feel unwanted and doom the entire experience.

Putting it to use

If you do have to put a customer on hold, never do so for long. Instead, why not take the caller’s contact details, gather all the information you need, then return their call in a timely manner?

Giving good customer service is all about being prepared. But remember, there’s no shame in needing extra time and information to deal with a customer professionally and correctly.

Make every call count

Why it’s important

Every customer is important, whether you have a well-researched customer who’s ready to trade at the end of the line or an individual that hasn’t quite made up their mind. Making every buyer feel important will build the trust and loyalty even the best brands need to thrive.

Putting it to use

Put yourself in the caller’s shoes and make them feel valued and comfortable. Listen to their requirements and use this information to resolve their issue or develop the best possible route forward.

Our call centre operators are trained to focus on delivering the best service possible, and call on all these golden rules to ensure your customers leave completely satisfied.

To find out more about our range of call handling services, including our virtual receptionist packages, please contact us – we’d love to help.

Gemma Harding

As Head of Client Services Gemma is an expert in the call answering services industry.