PROFESSIONAL TELEPHONE MANNERS
1. GREETING. Answer the call promptly and say your appropriate greeting.
1. Thank you for calling (name of company). This is (your name) speaking. How may I help you?
2. Thank you for calling (name of company). My name is (your name). How may I help you?
3. Thank you for calling (name of company). My name is (your name). And your zip code is?
4. Thank you for calling (name of company). My name is (your name). I’m glad you called. And your first name is?
The four components of greeting include:
2. Company name
3. Introducing oneself
A call center agent should answer the telephone with a maximum of two rings.
Answering the call promptly will show you are glad that they called.
2. BUILDING RAPPORT. Means setting a comfortable communication line between you and your customer where you want to establish trust. This will develop your awareness on the importance of building rapport in order to have long-term customers.
Customer Trusts You
Customer Trusts the Company
Customer Trusts the Product
3. TURN ON YOUR TELEPHONE PERSONALITY. Always project friendliness regardless of how you feel. This will allow you to act appropriately when dealing with customers when not in the best mood.
4. ACTIVELY LISTEN. Give customers your undivided attention and listen to your customer’s specific needs. Do not interrupt your customer when talking.
5. EMPATHIZE WITH YOUR CUSTOMER’S QUESTIONS, SITUATIONS, AND PROBLEMS. Empathizing doesn’t mean you have to take the sides with your customer. You just need to put yourself in the position of the customer to understand the situation they are into. This will teach you learn how to become sensitive about customer’s situations and problems.
Phrases that would show that you empathize with your customer’s concern:
I certainly understand how you feel.
If I were in your situation, I would feel the same way to.
I apologize for the inconvenience.
6. THINK POSITIVELY. OFFER HELP. SUGGEST SOLUTIONS. This starts with positive attitude. A positive attitude on “we-can-do-it” character is always an asset. A positive attitude is your ability to THINK, ACT, REACT and SPEAK in a purely positive way. Other term for problem solver is SOLUTION PROVIDER.
7. PERSONALIZE YOUR TRANSACTIONS. Use your customer’s name. Ask permission if you can call your customer by his/her first name. You may also use Miss or Mrs. or Mr. and the last name and not the first name. Example: Miss Johnson, Mr. Smith, Mrs. Bush and not Miss Noemi, Mr. Gideon or Mrs. Rebecca.
8. KEEP CONTROL OF THE CALL. Each call should be goal oriented. Ask specific questions to prevent the customer from rambling and getting confused. This lets you finish on time and this would avoid confusing your customer during the call.
9. CONFIRM ESSENTIAL INFORMATION. Verify important information such as credit card number, name that appears on the credit card or spelling of street name. Use phonetics. This will assure you that you got the correct information.
Give American names/words that correspond to the English alphabet that could be used as Phonetics.
A – Adam B – Bob C – Cathy D – David E – Edward F – Frank
10. ATTEMPT TO COMPLETE THE CALL WHILE THE CUSTOMER IS STILL ON THE LINE TO AVOID CALL BACKS. We actually do not want to do call backs since this is an extra job on the part of the call center agent plus extra expense for the company.
COMPLETE THE ORDER ENTRY CALL FLOW IN 15 MINUTES!
1. Call Opening
2. Ask Necessary Information
a. Billing Address
b. Customer’s Information
d. Mode of Payment
e. Credit Card/Checking Account information
3. Give Shopping Options.
4. Give Total Amount
5. Give order Number, Customer Service Contact Number
6. Do The Closing
11. PUTTING CUSTOMER ON HOLD PROCEDURE. During transactions, whether you like it or not, there are still some things that you just can’t answer. But don’t just leave your customers hanging. Ask your customer if it is ok for you to put the call on hold. You may want to seek for your supervisor’s assistance. Never keep a customer on hold for more than a minute. Remember to thank the customer for staying on the line. You should learn courtesy practices during transactions.
PHONE MANNERISMS AND STYLES
1. LANGUAGE - Do not use slang words and fillers like um, yeah, nah, say what, come again. You should sound conversational but you have to keep your professional style.
2. PITCH - The pitch of your voice communicates your confidence level and your age.
3. COURTESY RITUALS – Say please, thank you, may I. Address customers by their first name and title.
4. PROJECT PROFESSIONAL ATTITUDE – For every call, you are representing a very large corporation. Your customer do not see you as a Call Center Agent, for them you are the company itself.
5. PACE – Average pace of talking is approximately 180 words per minute. The suggestion is to follow your customer’s pace and phone style.
6. TONE – The tone of your voice tells the customer your mood: your level of enthusiasm, your attitude. Smiling when talking on the phone makes your voice sound friendly. Remember that 86% of the message customers receive on the phone comes from the tone of your voice.
THE CALL FLOW
Goal: Learn what to say and how to say the phrases being used in the call center. With mastery and constant practice, you are expected to sound spontaneous, conversational, and relaxed.
Note: Call Center Agents should be aware of phraseologies to be used per client they represent.
1. CALL OPENING:
Thank you for calling (name of company). This is (your name) speaking. How may I help you?
Thank you for calling (name of company). My name is (your name). How may I help you?
Thank you for calling (name of company). My name is (your name). And your zip code is?
Thank you for calling (name of company). My name is (your name). I’m glad you called. And your first name is?
2. ASK FOR NECESSARY INFORMATION
A. ASK FOR MODE OF PAYMENT:
Would you be placing this order through a credit card?
How are you going to pay for your orders today, through check or credit card?
Will you be using a credit card to pay for the item?
B. ASK FOR THE ORDER:
May I have the first item code of your order today?
And the item number is?
How many for that item?
How many will you need?
May I have the product description?
What color are you looking for?
Let me check if that one is available.
How do you want your item to be personalized?
And your next order please?
In what size and color?
C. ASK FOR BILLING INFORMATION:
May I have the name as it appears on the credit card?
And the zip code of your billing address is?
How about the rest of the billing address as it appears on the credit card statement?
What is your bank’s name?
In which city is this branch located?
Do you bank in the same city you are in?
D. ASK FOR CUSTOMER’S CONTACT INFORMATION
May I have your telephone number starting with the area code please?
Is your daytime phone number the same as your night phone number?
And your e-mail address is?
Do you have an e-mail address that you would like to share with us?
E. ASK FOR CREDIT CARD INFORMATION
Which credit card will you be using today?
As of the moment, we are accepting major credit cards which are Visa, Master and American Express. Do you have any of the credit cards that I just mentioned?
May I have your credit card number please?
And the credit card number is?
How about the expiration date?
Just to verify, your credit card number is… (read in 4 digit increments.)
How about the last four digits of your Credit Card Verification Value or CVV? (It can be found at the back of the card above the signature line).
3. SHIPPING INFORMATION
You will receive your items within the next ___ business days.
The fastest option we have right now is ___ business days with an addition of $___.
We can rush your shipment for only an addition of $___. And you will receive your items within ___ business days.
May I rush your shipment?
Standard delivery takes ___ business days.
4. GIVE TOTAL
The total amount of your order today including the shipping and handling is $___.
The total value of your order today is $___.
The total amount of your order is $___. This already includes your shipping and handling.
5. GIVE ORDER NUMBER
Kindly take note of your order number. That is …
Do you have a pen and paper ready? Kindly take note of your order number. That is …
Please write down your order number. That is…
Would you like to take note of your order number?
6. DO THE CLOSING
Thank you for calling! Have a great day!
Thank you for shopping with us!
Thank you for ordering. Bye!
Is there anything else I could help you with?
Have a nice day!
We hope to hear from you again!
Thank you for doing business with us! Enjoy you catalogue!
ASSIGNMENT: Pair the students and let them practice doing the transaction using the order entry call flow and the call center phraseologies. Do constructive criticisms.
Goal: Awareness on the positive and negative effects of script reading. Develop students not to sound scripted but spontaneous and upbeat, not mechanical or robotic.
Effects of Script Reading
The call center agents are the most empowered people in the company. On every call they are making or unmaking your business. Every call center agent needs specific instructions on how to begin, conduct, and end each call that is where scripts come in.
Script reading provides degree of: management, control, and consistency.
Word-for-word scripting is turn-off for customers.
Customer hears difficulty in responding to things not anticipated in script.
Leaves little opportunity for people to be adaptive or flexible to responses.
CALL CENTER PHRASEOLOGY:
This will develop your awareness on the phrases not to be used during transaction and the rationale behind each.
1. It’s our company policy
2. What seems to be the problem?
3. I can’t…
4. We don’t…
5. What do you expect me to do?
6. What was that again?
7. I’ve done all I can.
8. That’s not my job.
9. Our computers are down.
10. We have a technical problem.
11. I’m sorry?
12. They don’t pay me enough.
13. If you keep on doing this, I will hang up.
14. You’re not the only one with this concern.
15. I’m busy right now.
16. Sorry, I can’t help you.
17. I’m afraid that is not possible.
TRY THESE INSTEAD:
1. Although we can’t offer that, we do offer alternatives which you might want to try.
2. Since I don’t have the answer to that, would you be willing to hold while I find that for you?
3. As of the moment, we are not offering that but we have this…
4. In order to be fair to everyone, I suggest that you take advantage of this…
What to say when…
1. … the line is choppy or something is wrong with the line?
Hello! I am sorry but I can’t hear you. If you can hear me please hung up and try to dial the number again. And the number is (give out the number). Thank you for calling (name of company). Enjoy the rest of the day.
2. … appreciating customer?
That’s a great choice!
3. … offering assistance?
Will there be anything else I could help you with?
4. … asking something about the catalog?
Do you have a catalog with you?
5. … asking the customer to repeat the information?
Kindly say that again a little louder this time.
6. … customer asks for personal information?
We are in no liberty to give out personal information other than our first name.
7. … you don’t know the answer?
I do not have the specifics regarding that but I can find out for you if you don’t mind holding for just a moment.
8. … customer asks for the weather?
I couldn’t see from where I am seated.
9. …customer asks if you used the item before?
Absolutely! It’s one of the best in the market.
10. …customer is complaining about a wrong delivery?
Have you tried calling the customer service department for this concern?
11. … customer is asking for the supervisor?
Before I pass this call to my supervisor, may I know first your concern because probably I could help you out. If you still want to speak with the supervisor afterwards, I would gladly transfer this call to him.
12. …customer doesn’t want to use credit card as a mode of payment?
We are accepting major credit cards as of the moment, which are Visa, Master and American
Express. Do you have any of the credit cards that I just mentioned?