Great Customer service is critical for achieving desired business results. When someone calls a business for the first time they are providing the perfect opportunity to make a lasting first impression.
Employees should use a telephone script and the phone should be answered the same way every time. This can be achieved by developing customer service standards and establishing employee goals that are tied to customer service objectives. Telephone training is critical to that first initial customer contact.
A Sample Telephone Script:
“Good morning (afternoon) thank you for calling ABC Business. This is Tiffany how may I help you?”
This script has four distinct parts that are important to the customer communication:
An upbeat opening (good morning) to the greeting sets a positive tone for the customer and communicates a level of professionalism.
2. Acknowleding Their Value
Thanking the customer (thank you) for calling communicates that you value their business.
3. Identifying Employee
Identifying yourself (this is Tiffany) when answering the phone personalizes the conversation for the customer and gives them a contact name and resource for future reference.
4. Offering Assistance
Asking the customer (may I help you) how they can be helped sends a message that the person answering the phone cares about meeting the needs of the customer.
Having scripted and detailed telephone training helps employees understand customer service expectations. Incorporating expectations into individual goals can be part of the global performance management system.
As with all customer service training, the training is only as good as the leaders who model the desired behaviors and the employees who are held accountable. Consistency in performance management is critical to achieving customer service desired results.
Telephone scripts can be modified depending on the time of year (seasonal greetings).
Other things to consider:
- The telephone greeting should not be excessively long. For example, “Good Monday morning, thank you so much for calling ABC Company. We are the number one company for widgets in the southeast, this is Tiffany the receptionist, how may I help you today?”
- Speaking with a smile on your face helps create a positive tone of voice.
- The person answering the phone should know how to find the answers to any questions asked of them.
- The reception area should have a manual that can help answer common questions or responses for common requests.
- Employee phone work should be monitored and employees should be coached during the training process. There are many monitoring systems that can help with this.
- Using professional phone skills should be a part of employee goals and incorporated into a strategic performance management system.
- Not everyone is good on the telephone, so monitoring phone skills can help ensure the organization is well represented.
Article was first published November 24, 2010.
photo by Sabrina Tang