As CSRs, you have the privilege and the responsibility to set the tone for how a client feels about the company you work for and represent.
What first impression are you giving your clients? Do they feel like a burden to you? Do they feel like they are interrupting more important work? Do they feel like you would rather be doing anything else rather than talking to them?
Do you sound annoyed or even tired while on the phone? Did you greet the client? Did you take a while to answer the phone?
Often as CSRs, we lose focus on the importance of the first 30 seconds of the call.
Here are 3 key things you can do as a CSR to make sure you are winning in the first 30 seconds and making the best first impression possible every time.
When I am listening to CSR calls, the most common mistake I hear is them rushing through the greeting.
It’s easy to run through a greeting that you’ve done hundreds of times before but especially over the phone, it is important to be mindful of how quickly you’re talking. If you have to frequently repeat yourself, you may be talking too quickly, especially for older clientele. If you sound like you are at a try-out to be an auctioneer, you need to slow down. This will help you sound more friendly without sounding annoyed, or like the caller is interrupting you.
If you are concerned that you are talking too quickly during a call, listen back to recordings of your recent calls and practice slowing down. Record your greetings over and over again until you have a pace that’s just right. You want to spend plenty of time pronouncing each word and giving yourself time to breathe as you speak to clients. That space also gives clients the ability to listen and ask or answer questions as they arise.
Another commonly missed opportunity is empathy. Many callers will start by telling the CSR their “why” for calling — the problem that they are seeking a solution for. Oftentimes the response many CSRs to that vulnerability is: “Can I get your address please?”, or “Have we ever been there before?”, or “How long has this been happening?”
What should be said is, “I understand how frustrating that is. You have called the right place. I will be happy to help you get that issue resolved.”
Providing a moment of empathy and reassurance for your customers greatly helps the customer feel at ease as they are likely distressed by whatever issue they have going on in their home. A helpful trick to building empathy is to imagine if you were in the same case. Let’s say you get home from work and your kitchen sink is clogged, or your toilet isn’t working and you have to reach out to call a company. You wouldn’t want them to rush you off the phone or simply meet your anxiety with the next line of their script.
One of the most difficult habits to break is to stop thinking of the clients by their address and to start thinking of the client by name. It is recommended to ask for the name right away in the call process. People love to hear their own names and are very comforted to know that they are not just another service call. The earlier in the call you can get their name, the more opportunity you will have to use it. This will not only help you build a relationship with the client, but it will also ensure that you make the best possible first impression every time.
By mastering these three simple skills, you will find that your clients will be much happier on the phone, and more willing to book an appointment. When you win in the first 30 seconds of the call, you are creating a client relationship that will be a WIN-WIN-WIN for everyone!
This is one of the many topics covered more in-depth during our 2-day PRESS PLAY for CSR program. Check out more information by clicking here:
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