Answering the phone is serious business. What’s on the other end of your phone line?

Excellent customer service is about meeting your customer where they’re at. But sometimes this can be a bit nerve wracking for customer service representatives, as not all customers will be in a great mood when they call. Ultimately, your customer facing an issue just wants to have that issue resolved, so if you stick to the guidelines below, you should be on your way to a happy customer service experience!

Pick Up the Phone Like a Pro

Being inviting from the start of each customer interaction will set the tone for the entire call. Create a professional and personal greeting that introduces you or your customer service representative, and the company as a whole. Then, jump right into asking how you can be of help in an easygoing manner. Doing this demonstrates a happy willingness to help the customer resolve the issue at hand. Be sure to speak clearly and with confidence!

Use Common Language

While it can be fun to “talk shop” with your co-workers, it’s best to avoid using technical terms or jargon when addressing customer issues. It’s entirely possible that the customer is already confused or frustrated about the situation at hand, so you don’t want to make things worse. Instead, use common terminology that can be understood by anyone at any level of knowledge. Not only does this help your customer feel like they’re getting clear answers from you, but it also demonstrates your own understanding of their issue.

Be Enthusiastic Throughout the Call 

Remain positive and enjoy the conversation with your customer. Demonstrating gentle eagerness to be helpful will create a great deal of comfort for both of you, and the customer will have an easier time explaining their issue in necessary detail. 

Be Personable

Just like anyone else, customers want to feel acknowledged by another human being. After all, they may have already gone through the rigamarole of an automated system before they connected with you. Ask the customer for their name at the beginning of the call, and address them by it as you go along. Ask them how their day is going, and even share positively about yours if it comes up. The more accommodating you can be for solution-oriented empathy, the better.

Clarify For Deep Understanding

As you develop rapport with the customer, be sure you have crystal clarity on their issue. Customers may not know exactly how to describe what’s going on, so it’s important to ask questions that dive deeper. 

  •  How long has the problem been going on?
  •  What is it doing or not doing?
  •  What does the error message say?
  •  What steps has the customer tried to fix the problem?

Questions like these help you comprehend the exact nature of the problem, so you don’t have to spend any time finding useless information or completing troubleshooting steps that don’t apply or don’t work.