Today’s businesses rely heavily on telecommunications. They operate call centers with numerous customer service agents and rely on their multi-line office phone systems to handle vendor and client interactions.
This increases the importance of telephone system maintenance for their internal phone system. While many companies still use landline telephones in the guise of traditional PBX systems, many also turn to hosted phone service, a voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) system that uses a collection of VOIP lines to create a system similar in nature to traditional PBX.
VOIP: How do office phones work?
The advantage to VOIP lines is that you can have one set up online without having personnel from the telecom company visit your office. You simply click a couple of links on the website of the telecom provider to create a new phone number. You can use the phone number immediately using a computer app or using a VOIP handset. This lets you scale your business phone system on an as-needed basis.
How to get a business phone line via VOIP?
You must choose a provider, such as Google Voice. You register and contract with the company for a multi-line system. These differ from personal phone lines since they are intended to be purchased as a bank of phone numbers. Once you have purchased the business subscription, you can add lines to it as you need. Most subscription plans provided a range of the number of lines available, so you may need to increase your subscription level as your business grows. If you decide to break your business into divisions and have each administer its own telecom budget, you can reduce your plan, too.
Although a lot of businesses rely on their online presence and video conferencing equipment in order to reach their customers nowadays, voice and data network services, including phone customer service, is still just as important and relevant as ever. In fact, many customers still prefer to speak with a live customer service agent instead of communicating via email, chat, or any other form of digital communication.
As such, it’s common for businesses both large and small to invest large amounts of money and time in customer service phone etiquette training. Considering that customer agents are often the first point of contact when a customers tries to contact a business, and since you only get once chance to make a first impression, it’s wise to make sure customer service agents know the ins and outs of excellent customer service. Doing so is a highly effective and popular way of earning customer trust which in turn leads to greater customer retention.
Did you know that a single negative customer experience with a call center representative is all it takes for a company’s reputation to be tarnished, even if it’s a single negative review posted online? This is especially for smaller businesses, where well meaning staff that aren’t familiar with the culture of phone customer service may unintentionally offend or upset a customer. Small businesses can’t afford one negative review online, though larger companies may be able to recover from this.
But regardless of the size of a company, excellent customer service when using business telephone systems is extremely important when it comes growth and revenue generation. This is especially true when it comes to technical support services over the phone, where customer service agents often have to deal with frustrated and irate customers. If customer service agents using business telephone systems are properly trained and know to to handle these calls appropriately, customers are more likely to keep coming back and spending money!
Here are just a few simple and easy customer service etiquette tips for customer service agents using business telephone systems and voice data systems.
Get up close and personal with the programming or software of business telephone systems
Customer service agents can deliver better and more efficient customer service solutions when they’re properly trained and familiar with the customer relationship management software used in many business telephone systems. Having a firm grasp and understanding of these systems allows the customer service agent to easily focus all of their precious attention on the most important task at hand; connecting with and validating the needs of the customer. Furthermore when a customer service agent is well trained on these systems and has complete confidence using them, they can better notate the call which in turn leads to better customer service experiences for the customer in the future.
Body language still matters even though customers can’t see you
What a customer doesn’t see or know can still hurt them when it comes to a customer service agent’s facial expression and body posture. While it may seem hard or difficult to believe, it makes perfect sense that body posture would be such an important part of phone customer service etiquette when you think about it. Remember that energy doesn’t lie, and a customer can still hear, feel and sense a customer service agent’s facial expression or how they’re sitting. If a customer service agent is slouched or sitting with they’re feet up, they’re more likely to sound bored, dismissive, and uninterested. Whereas if a customer service agent is sitting upright and with good posture, they’re more than likely to sound attentive and ready to assist the customer in anyway.
Never, ever interrupt a customer — for any reason
This is perhaps one of — if not the single — the most etiquette rule when it comes to delivering excellent customer service via voice and data systems. This is especially true when it comes to customer call centers that are focused on customer support or technical support, where the majority of calls are likely to be customer complaints. As hard as it might be at times, it’s important to allow the customer to explain the entire issue at hand rather than constantly interrupting them.