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ARTICLESTelephone Manners

KNOWING YOUR TELEPHONE SYSTEM LEADS TO BETTER SERVICE

Something all employees should be aware of ……...

- Features the telephone system is equipped with

- The recorded messages stored

Do we adhere to them?

YOUR CALL IS IMPORTANT TO US, PLEASE HOLD AND WE WILL BE WITH YOU SHORTLY

Sounds efficient to hear such statements but let this not be heard 10 times in a span of 5-7 minutes. It then reflects a totally different and opposite picture of the company.

We need to mean what we say and for this we need to say what we mean. While a customer would be interested in your company history, service standards and product line, he does not wish to hear it more than once. There could not be a situation more infuriating than being kept on hold for eternity. If there is a problem or something that requires clarification, please get back to the customer frequently and regularly. Keep him abreast of the situation and what is being done to help him. Remember the customer cannot see you. Hence words have to be louder than actions.

Do not put him on hold and go to the other end of the office to check. If so, get his number, reiterate his requirements and assure him of a call back. Having said that please call back promptly. By keeping him on hold for too long you run the risk of losing him forever.

Today’s telephone and call centre technology help you with features where an instrument gives a call back every minute or 2 reminding you that there is a call on hold in your telephone. All you need to do is to pick that call, thank the customer for holding, apologize for the delay and explain to him as to what is being done to assist him.

Voice mail, Automatic Call Distributor, Voice Response Units, Automatic number identification all help service customers more efficiently and effectively. Today’s telephone technology helps in monitoring, gathering statistics and analyzing data to better serve customers.

PLEASE LEAVE YOUR NAME AND TELEPHONE NUMBER AND WE WILL GET BACK

This sounds very impressive and assuring to the customer but something that invariably does not happen. You leave your name and telephone number hoping for a call back. If you get a call back, it’s great. The company has moved a notch further in impressing the customer and securing his business. On the other hand if you do not get a call back or if there is a delay in call back then, you land with a very disgruntled and unhappy customer. Now it is going to take you twice the effort to impress him and you are still not sure of securing his business. "IT TAKES LESS TIME TO DO A JOB RIGHT, THAN TO EXPLAIN WHY YOU DID IT WRONG". So, if you want the customer to leave his name and telephone number then make sure you use it efficiently.

TELEPHONE FEATURES

Being aware of all features of your company’s telephone instrument only makes customer handling a pleasure. It makes you feel in command of the situation to ensure optimum efficiency while servicing the customer. It gives the opportunity to go the extra mile. Something in contrast to the mundane activity of handling regular calls.

Knowledge of telephone features helps you to take better care of your customers as you know how to retrieve messages, transfer a call, retrieve a transferred call, pick your colleagues telephone in his absence, how to use multi-conferencing features effectively, how to connect a customer’s call to a staff outside the office or how to use central paging features to name a few situations.

While technology helps to an extent, a positive attitude and customer focus eventually ensure superior customer service and business success.


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Gangadhar Krishna

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