Call Handling Dos and Don’ts

Young man working in a call center.

The best part about a call handling service is the fact that there are actual human beings on the other end. Customers have grown tired of calling an office and having to navigate a series of automated commands to get their message through. With a professional call handling service, any organization can improve customer service from the get-go.

But simply having a person answering the phone calls of a business or practice is only one step in the right direction. After all, inbound call handling is not as simple as saying “hello” when a customer calls through. Good call handling means knowing how to deal with angry customers, for example, or be able to show empathy when required.

These are only a couple examples of inbound call handling. But again, it gets trickier. When business gets busier, for example, and calls come more rapidly, it can be difficult for receptionists to remain calm, or to continue to show adequate levels of support or answer questions when they are tired.

Professional call handling services are trained for customer satisfaction. They adhere to dos and don’ts that are intended to make the customer experience a pleasant one, regardless of the reason for the call.

Simply put, it shouldn’t matter why a customer is calling. Whether they have a problem, want to ask a question, are scheduling an appointment, or any other reason, a professional call handling service will ensure the customer is satisfied by the end of the call.

To further demonstrate the importance of partnering with a professional call handling service, here are some of the common dos and don’ts that any organization can expect.

Young woman speaking with a customer on a headset.

The Dos

First, we break down some of the dos when it comes to inbound call handling. This is by no means a complete list, just a couple of things that should always be top of mind.

Staying Calm

If you have ever answered a call from a difficult customer, you understand that staying calm is not always easy. Sometimes customers are calling to complain about a product or service, or perhaps they are calling because they are angry for one reason or another.

And to be clear, just because a customer is angry doesn’t necessarily mean they are angry with your organization. They might be having a bad day and are simply taking their frustration out on you, or rather, whoever is on the phone. Whatever the reason, handling angry customers in a call center is part of the deal.

Professional answering service providers are trained to stay calm and listen to a customer, regardless of their tone or concern. Sometimes a customer might just want to vent, but ending the conversion having resolved the issue is the main priority.

Showing Empathy

You never know what a customer is going through, and so it is important not to make judgments or assumptions. Showing empathy is a major skill for professional answering service providers. But showing empathy doesn’t mean overly trying to understand where a customer is coming from. Usually, it just means listening to what they say.

A customer knows when you’re actually listening. They can tell when someone on the other end of the phone is just going through the motions (forwarding their calls or taking a message, etc.) as opposed to actually hearing the request. Proper call handling means actually listening to what customers have to say, not just trying to execute the request.

And this is the case regardless of how busy the call center might be. Handling escalated calls shouldn’t be any different than handling one or two. A receptionist should listen and hear a customer fully, regardless of how many calls are coming through. After all, the call center has more than one receptionist, which means handling escalated calls can be the same as handling a few.

The Don’ts

While there are additional tips and skills that call handling professionals to adhere to, there are some definite behaviors that they avoid as well. Here are a couple of don’ts when it comes to call handling services.

Engaging in Arguments

As mentioned, there are certainly times when a customer can be difficult or even combative on a call. Staying calm is always the appropriate response. Engaging in an argument, or returning an aggressive tone, is not professional, regardless of what the customer is saying.

There are always ways to calm a customer down, or ease the conversation and address their needs without returning their aggressive tone. And of course, this is easier said than done, but that is precisely what call handling service professionals are trained to do.

Dismissing Requests

There are certainly times when a customer can find information elsewhere, such as a website, and yet they are calling to ask anyway. Just because a question or request seems unnecessary doesn’t mean an answering provider should be dismissive.

The old saying “there is no such thing as a dumb question” is absolutely true when it comes to dealing with customers and providing excellent customer service. A trained answering service provider will hear any customer’s request with compassion and provide the help that is being asked for.

A customer needs to know they can call your business or practice at any time, with any type of question or concern. If they feel like their request is going to be dismissed then they are likely not to call in the future, and perhaps even take their business elsewhere.

Call or Schedule an Appointment today!

There is no excuse for not having top-notch customer service, and that begins with handling your incoming calls with professionalism. Partnering with a call answering service provider can help you focus on the important aspects of your business while staying confident that your phone operations are taken care of, and your customers are satisfied every time they reach out.

Call or schedule an appointment with the professionals at Answering Service care today, and take your customer service to the next level.

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