The Power of Polite: 11 Phone Etiquette Tips for Contact Center Agents

Phone etiquette refers to a series of behavioral techniques, tone of voice, and manners that contact center agents should adhere to when communicating with customers over the phone

The Power of Polite 11 Phone Etiquette Tips for Contact Center Agents - CX Today News
Contact CentreInsights

Published: February 23, 2024

Anwesha Roy - UC Today

Anwesha Roy

Now, we know handling high call volumes daily isn’t easy – fortunately, there are some practical tips that can help:

1. Introduce yourself immediately

This helps to establish trust and lets the customer know that they are dealing with a real person who is there to help them. Introducing yourself also sets a professional tone for the conversation. It shows that you take your job seriously and are ready to assist them in any way possible. Remember, when introducing yourself, be confident but not arrogant.

2. Avoid putting customers on hold

We all know that being put on hold can be frustrating. So, always try to resolve the customer’s issue or answer their question without needing to transfer them or consult with a supervisor. This means you possess an exhaustive understanding of the products or services offered – and you can also effectively troubleshoot common problems.

3. Don’t Interrupt the customer

It can be tempting to jump in and offer a solution or ask a question before customers finish speaking, but this can come across as rude and make them feel unheard.

Instead, practice active listening and let them fully express their concerns or issues. Give them your full attention without interrupting, even if you think you know what they’re going to say next. This demonstrates respect for their time and shows that you value their inputs.

4. Communicate everything

Let customers know if they need to be placed on hold or transferred to another department. Informing them upfront keeps them engaged in the conversation. Provide accurate estimates of hold times or transfer wait times whenever possible. This helps manage expectations and allows the customer to decide whether they are willing to wait or prefer a callback at a later time.

And, consider periodically updating the customer on their status with a simple message like “Thank you for your patience; I’m still working on finding an answer.”

5. Ask for the customer’s permission

When you ask for permission, it also allows the customer to mentally prepare themselves for the brief wait or transfer. They won’t feel caught off guard or confused about what is happening with their call. Plus, they’ll appreciate that you took the time to consider their preferences.

6. Be cheerful and positive

How do you convey cheerfulness and positivity over the phone? It starts with your voice. Smile as you speak – yes, even though the customer can’t see you! This simple action will naturally make your tone sound more upbeat and friendly. Another way to show cheerfulness is through your choice of words. Use phrases like “Absolutely!” or “Certainly!” instead of just saying “Yes.”

7. Pronounce the customer’s name correctly

When you take the time to learn and say someone’s name correctly, it shows that you value them as an individual. If you’re unsure about how to pronounce a name, politely ask for clarification or repeat it back to ensure accuracy.

Remember, everyone has different cultural backgrounds and unique names that hold significance to them. By making an effort to pronounce their names correctly, you demonstrate cultural sensitivity and inclusivity.

8. Don’t use jargons

Customers may not be familiar with all of the technical terminologies that you use within your organization. Using jargons can be frustrating for customers who are already reaching out for help. As part of proper phone etiquette, it’s essential to communicate in a language that they can understand easily.

9. Speak naturally and not like you’re rattling off a script

Customers can tell when someone is reading from a pre-written response, and it can make the interaction feel impersonal and robotic. Instead, try to have a genuine conversation with the customer. Listen attentively to their concerns or questions, and respond in a conversational tone. Additionally, try to match your pace with that of the customer.

10. Be careful not to be loud

We’ve all experienced those frustrating calls where the agent’s voice is so overpowering that it feels like they’re shouting through the receiver. It’s not only uncomfortable for the customer, but it also reflects poorly on the professionalism of the agent and the contact center as a whole.

In addition to keeping your volume in check, it’s also important to pay attention to any background noises that may interfere with clear communication.

11. Plan for a follow-up

Not everything can be resolved in a single phone call. In such cases, it is crucial to let the customer know how they can reach you if their issue remains unresolved. One way to do this is by providing them with your direct contact information, whether it’s an email address or a direct phone line. Also consider offering alternative methods of communication (like live chat and social media platforms); being accessible and responsive is also an essential part of phone etiquette.

Proper phone etiquette benefits not only individual agents – by improving their performance and simplifying calls – but also contact centers and businesses at large by fostering strong customer relationships based on trust and satisfaction. Follow these 11 tips to increase customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth.

CCaaSSentiment Analysis

Share This Post