Effective communication is vital for any business that seeks to dominate its industry. The ability to reach customers on the phone provides an opportunity to interact with them faster and offer personalized service. For this reason, many businesses are investing in proper call handling techniques for the benefit of their clients.
What is call handling?
Call handling is the overall management of phone calls in an organization from when a call comes in and when placing an outbound call. The management of inbound and outgoing calls can make the difference between gaining or losing a customer.
The aspects involved in handling calls include answering every call, how the call is responded to, and how information is relayed to customers. Management of call traffic, routing of calls, blocking calls, and resolving issues arising from calls is also part of the handling process.
What is the importance of call handling?
The interaction between company representatives and clients is usually an ongoing cycle and must be handled professionally at all times. Depending on the organization and its needs, call handling can take numerous forms. If you decide to invest in a professional call handler, here are some benefits you will enjoy.
- Maintaining a good first impression
Organizations that respond to customer calls promptly and offer relevant solutions often have a good reputation. Proper handling of calls makes customers have a good impression of a business which can also translate into a sale. Many customers feel valued when their call is picked up quickly and are likely to make subsequent calls to the company.
- Increase in answered calls
When calls are answered on time, it leads to better lead generation, and fewer missed opportunities. Better handling of calls often results in more being answered in good time and responses provided as expected. Also, the more calls are responded to, the better the sales and satisfied customers.
- Less pressure on the in-house team
Management of inbound and outbound calls results in most customer issues handled before they reach the in-house team. Good handling often takes off pressure from the rest of the unit, allowing them to be more productive. Additionally, when customers can reach a representative when they need to, the reputation of the organization and its employees remains positive.
- Better management of issues
Most customers reach out to companies to seek information or complain about a service or product. In case of complaints, a call handling professional can resolve the issue before it escalates further. Most concerns raised by customers often need a listening ear and responses that offer a solution.
- Increase in satisfied customers
Skilled call handlers often leave a positive impact on customers at all times. When customers feel their issues are resolved whenever they reach out, they are likely to do so more and share their experience with others. A satisfied customer is easier to convert to a sale over time.
- Rise in sales
Happy customers are likely to come back for a product or service from a company that treats them well over the phone. Therefore, speaking to customers professionally on inbound calls is likely to result in a commitment. Referrals are also a by-product of good handling of calls resulting in better sales of a company.
How do you handle customer service calls?
Call handlers with relevant skills are an asset to a business and can help it excel. Some of the skills that you need when in charge of customer service calls include:
- Maintaining a positive tone
Customers that hear a cheerful voice on the other side of the phone are likely to respond positively. Using positive language reduces the chance of conflict while talking to clients. Always steer the conversation from negative to positive and focus on a solution that leaves the customer satisfied.
- Providing bespoke services
Besides sounding confident on the phone, ensure that the customer feels special by offering personalized services. Ask for their name and use it at different intervals of the conversation. Let the conversation flow easily so that the customer feels your authenticity and interest in what they have to say.
- Retaining control of the conversation
Although the call is to provide information to a client and get them to commit, a call handler must keep control of the conversation. Ensure you always lead the call by giving relevant details and answering questions while maintaining a good impression.
- Clarifying customer concerns
Asking questions is a positive sign for call handlers as it may mean the customer is interested in learning more about the product or service. Ensure your answers are satisfactory, and move on with the conversation only when the customer is satisfied.
How do you end a call professionally?
Ending a call after speaking to a customer should be done professionally, leaving the other person with a good impression of your company. To ensure that your customer feels satisfied after a conversation, you can use the following steps.
- Prepare an “end a call” script
Ending a call may seem like an arduous task when you have no idea where to start or what to say. It is crucial to think about what you will say in advance and have it written down. You might not use the exact words to finish every call, but it will a good guide when handling calls.
- Hold on for a “pause”
When the business part of the call is complete, it is vital to wind it down in a way that the customer feels valued. The best way to do so is by waiting for a pause in the conversation and then guiding it towards completion. At the pause moment, you can thank the customer for their time and ask if they have any questions. Answer their questions, if any, or complete the call if they have none.
- Give alternative contacts
Always mention that you are available through other communication channels as part of ending the call. Share your e-mail address or contact of an assistant that they can talk to when needed further.
Generally, call handling is a skill worth investing in for the benefit of customers and the organization.