In this technologically sound and ever- evolving world where web chat, emails and instant messaging is a growing trend, telephone service does seem like a bygone era. However, that isn’t the case… Irrespective of the channels you have for your customer to reach you, most of them still wish to speak over the telephone and to have a live and efficient conversation. This raises the bar a few notches higher for the agents; whether attending office calls, sales calls or even customer support calls. You as an agent have to make sure that the calls you attend/make sound friendly, professional, as well as productive.
Basics to follow when on a call:
1. Clarity: Speaking to an individual in person is very different from speaking to a caller over the phone. The difference? He/she can’t see you and can only hear you. Hence, it is crucial for you to speak with clarity, slow in pace yet in a cheerful and professional voice.
For instance: “Good morning Mrs. Green, How - may - I – help – you?”
2. Tone the tone: As a person, you might be a loud talker, however, when receiving/ making calls, pay heed to the tone you use. Keep it subtle yet loud enough to be heard. Always be attentive and try to keep your tendencies of being loud at bay.
3. Language barrier: It is vital for you to understand that when on a call, you are the face of the company. Therefore, the language you use is critical per call. Speak in simple English yet keeping your English communication skills at its ace best! Avoid using poor language, slang or even swear words for that matter.
For instance: “That’s great Mr. Dan. We hope you like the services extended to you!”
4. The name game: Ask the caller for his/her name, if you’re unaware about it. It is always good to address the caller by his/ her name and title.
For instance: Good morning Mr. Brown or Good morning Mrs. Fernandes.
5. Listen: Listening is a difficult task in general. Nevertheless, it is extremely crucial for you to listen to the caller and find out his/ her problem. Also, make sure to repeat the information you’ve gathered from the call. This is a verification technique that ensures the message you’ve obtained is accurate.
For instance: “Happy to help Mr. Pinto! Could you please describe the problem to me?”
6. Patience pays off: Many a times you come across callers that are agitated and loud. Listen to all they have to say before referring them to the appropriate person or solution. Hence, it is always important to sound happy on a call as that exudes positivity and gradually calms the caller down as well.
7. Ethics: There are times you might need to place the caller on hold, either to confirm something with your team leader or to get the caller to the concerned person. Try to keep the process smooth; ask the caller if you may place him/her on hold for a few seconds and then go ahead with the same. Also, make sure to keep the wait period as short as you can.
For instance: “Mrs. Sequeira, could you please hold on for a few moments while I transfer your call to my manager. He is the right person to solve your issue right away.”
8. Focus point: It is important for you to lay your concentration on the customer rather than attempting to multi- task, not giving your 100% anywhere.
Whether you’re an agent in the sales or customer service department, it is important for you to take your job seriously and handle every task professionally. You could also spend some time polishing and learning English online through the handful of English learning courses made available. Doing so will help you develop and improve your spoken English communication skills making attending/making calls a cake walk.
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- By Monika Agarwal