Telephone Skills for Customer Service

Create a win to win situation

What you offer the caller may be different from what the caller wants or needs. At this point, it is important for you to compromise and create a win/win situation-one in which both you and the customer are satisfied. Think of it as an opportunity to show the customer what it is you can do in order to meet her needs. Provide an alternative in which she will be satisfied while you stick to what you know you can reasonably do as a service provider.

You can do this if you:

  • Manage objections
  • Learn the art of negotiation

Manage Objections

An objection occurs when the caller is opposed to the proposed plan of action. When you hear an objection, it is important to address it immediately.

Most of us do not like objections. We sometimes think that if objections are ignored they will go away. They will not. Objections require an immediate reply.

If you ignore objections or questions, callers will usually either stop you and repeat themselves or not say anything to you but still be dissatisfied because you ignored their concerns.

In order to manage objections, you should follow these steps:

  1. Listen to what the caller says
  2. Always provide an immediate response
  3. State the response in clear and positive terms
  4. Do not provide unnecessary information and conversation

Learn the Art of Negotiation

Suppose a customer objects to a delivery date. Or maybe the caller wants a brand that you don’t sell. In these instances you will have to negotiate. Negotiating involves recognizing the needs of the caller, comparing them against your organization’s ability to deliver what is required, and then reaching a solution that will satisfy both parties.

Negotiation is required when a request is made for service you cannot or do not offer. Successful negotiation does not mean offering a service your company cannot provide. Instead it means the ability to reach a compromise that is acceptable to both your organization and the caller.

In negotiating with a caller, keep these tips in mind:

1. Ask questions to determine the problem.
2. When you select a course of action, be direct and specific in your statements.

Remain positive and service-oriented.