Your first contact with a customer is often over the telephone as they call to get more information about the store or your products. This is your opportunity to discover and meet a customer’s needs and build a relationship that can help your business grow.
Important Telephone Etiquette Information
It’s amazing how well a smile (or a bored or stressed expression) transmits across the phone lines. It’s almost as if the person on the other end of the line can literally see the expression on your face. I recommend putting a small mirror by the phone to remind your staff to smile when they answer the phone.
Answer With Both Your Business Name and Your Name
“Thanks for calling Kid to Kid. This is Shauna.” That ensures the customer that they’ve called the right place and starts building the relationship.
Avoid Slang and Expressions That Are Too Familiar
You’re not speaking to your “hun” and products aren’t “awesome and cool”. It’s difficult for a customer to develop trust and confidence in someone who speaks like an uneducated teenager and doesn’t use proper English.
Speak Clearly and Articulate Your Words
If they can’t understand you, what’s the point of the conversation?
The Customer In Front of You Takes Priority
If you must pick up the phone when you’re working with another customer, ask permission to answer the call. Tell the caller that you’re with a customer, and ask if you can call back. Get their contact information, and let them know approximately when you’ll get back with them. If you’ll be finished in less than a minute, ask if they’d mind holding – and then don’t forget to pick it back up.
If You Don’t Know, Offer To Find Out
It’s not unusual to get a request for information that you don’t know off the top of your head. Find someone who can provide the answers they’re seeking. If you need to take their number and call back with the information that’s fine. They’ll be impressed at your efforts to meet their needs
Finish Up Strong
Ask if there’s anything else you can do to help them, and thank them for calling.
Remember that the telephone is another important customer service tool to make your interaction with customers special and memorable.