Why do we need training to talk to people?
The number of people who do not have a structured approach to making and taking successful calls – their lack of basic skills required to answer the phone is surprising. This includes making sales calls or assisting someone who needs information.
They forget the basics of
- What message needs communicating
- Who we need to communicate with
- The reasons why a call is being made
- Am I building rapport by reading the callers behaviour and mood properly?
- What behaviour I am displaying and is it designed to create trust?
- Am I spending more time listening than talking?
These basics can be learnt and practised quickly, even in the busiest offices.
Using a set of rules on how to answer the phone, demonstrates that you’re taking them seriously and are therefore building trust and rapport early on whilst displaying professionalism.
These simple things make the caller feel you are handling their query intelligently;
- State the name of the company slowly so the caller knows they have the right number
- Greet them and state your name
- Ask ‘how may I help you today’?
Yes, it’s common sense yet we still hear flippant or throwaway remarks which hardly explain anything to the caller. “Hello, John speaking” doesn’t really cut it.
A structured approach saves time in the long run
Let’s say you need to transfer a call.
There is a polite set-method in our course which will ensure you offer the very best customer service, will save time in the long run and show the customer that you’re interested in him and his business.
With correct listening skills you know how the person will respond by asking if you need to place him or her on hold. How you handle angry people will tell them lots about your confidence and assertiveness: it should be neutral but engaged.
Asking the reason for the call means that you can prepare the third party and comes across as efficient and professional. As a receptionist or call centre agent, you may have to deal with 3rd parties regularly and this is a polite filter.
The basics of telephone skills such as the careful spelling of words, place names and taking telephone numbers for call-back are crucial, especially when dealing with people from different cultures.
Practise enquiring about the caller while you are transferring them. Allow something they’ve said or the tone of their voice to impact you. The degree depends on the rapport you have managed to build with them, but it keeps your interest so that you don’t leave them dangling “on hold” or forget their name (two of the worst errors to make.)
How it looks on both sides of the telephone
Always make sure you ultimately do the right things to minimise misunderstandings and reduce conflict. Forbes lists the 5 best things to do. And knowing that you handled them correctly goes a long way to building your confidence. You are the main ‘face’ of the company, and the first impression the customer gets.