We all have to use the phone to talk to our bank, broadband provider, support service etc. How many of us do it with a glad heart? When you have a good experience it’s easy to deconstruct why. Here we collect the common sense top 10 ways to improve your telephone handling:
- Make it easy to locate the number. Label the number clearly if there is a choice and don’t hide it away in the third level menu of your web site.
- Answer the phone quickly, goodwill evaporates as the phone continues to ring out.
- DON’T have it answered by a machine. Period. IVR, Interactive Voice Response is a curse that is all about cost reduction and nothing about the customer experience.
- Waiting music should be avoided. There is no such thing as good waiting music, because you’re WAITING.
- Have a clear line with good volume. Make sure the person has a good clear strong speaking voice. Many overseas call centres fail on this point. Just ask anybody over 70 if they like dealing with an overseas call centre.
- The person must not speak too quickly especially at the beginning of the call.
- Avoid over scripting, screen prompts can be just as bad.
- Deal with the call effectively and as quickly as possible.
- Design the process and train the people sufficiently to handle as many calls on the first bounce (the call doesn’t have to be transferred). This is most significant factor in getting a positive customer reaction. ‘I made the call and the first person I spoke to dealt with it really well’
- Allow your call centre people to be human; gve them the space and time to express their personality.
This list doesn’t look difficult is but it is very rare to find. Take a bow First Direct for inspiring this article – an organisation that really gets it.