Best customer call answering tips

Customer call answering is very important and can determine if you win a customer or not. The voice you use in communicating to a customer is important and significantly determines how effective the message reaches the customer. When you speak to someone with a distracting voice, which is nasal and shrill or whispery and weak, it is very unpleasant and can weaken the person’s message.

Customers often make judgments about you when they hear your voice. This may be unfair, but it happens. If you want to make sure your voice is confident and professional when answering a call, use the following tips:

* Speak loudly enough for customers to hear you clearly without straining. Whispering is unassertive and annoying. If customers often ask you to speak up or repeat yourself, you should turn up the volume of your voice.

* Unclog your speech by eliminating filler words. Words—or utterances—such as “Well,” “You know,” “Like,” “Uh” or “Um,” take the precision out of your sentences and make you sound uncertain. Play back your voice-mail message to see which of these space fillers you need to control.

* Reduce speaking errors. No one can be accurate all of the time, but most of us can make a greater effort to avoid grammatical errors, pronounce words properly and use words correctly. The best way to rid your speech of errors is to ask others—friends, co-workers or managers—to correct you when they hear mistakes. Let them know you encourage honest feedback so they won’t worry about hurting your feelings.

* Monitor your diction. If you speak to customers all day long, your enunciation may grow sloppy. Be especially careful about words that end in “ing.” Say “I’m going to” not “I’m gonna.”

* Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing. Relaxing will help lower your voice’s pitch so you won’t sound squeaky or shrill.

* Pause between sentences. Count one or two beats to make sure the customer is still following what you’re saying. That’s especially important if you have to repeat the same information throughout the day. You may be so familiar with what you have to say that you rush or run your words together.

* Try to soften a heavy accent a little so customers don’t spend all their time deciphering your speech. But don’t try to eliminate your accent altogether. You’ll sound stilted and uncomfortable.

* Never chew, eat or drink anything when speaking to customers. Even if you’re on the phone—and not face to face—customers can tell if you have something in your mouth.

* Improve your vocabulary. This last tip doesn’t have so much to do with the quality of your voice as the quality of your conversation. You can’t communicate clearly if you lack the vocabulary to speak your customers’ language.

When listening to customers, write down any unfamiliar words you hear. Look them up and try to integrate them into your own conversations.

Remember: You may be an intelligent, capable person. But if your call answering habits are off-putting, customers may never get to know the “real” you. Keep these tips in mind and people will pay attention to your message, not your voice.

Customer service managers should ensure their customer representatives are trained from time to time on call answering skills. Customer call answering should be effectively managed to increase customer loyalty.

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