The basics of great inbound customer service

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Every business worth its salt knows the importance of customer service and handles inbound calls well. Inbound calls are those initiated by customers wishing to speak to a real person to inquire about a product or an order, request for account assistance, and settle billing issues, among others.

Although provided by most businesses, not all companies excel in providing inbound customer care.

The proper way to do it

As with other forms of human interaction, it's easy to get customer services wrong. Simple mistakes such as making the customer wait too long for an answer can lead to disastrous results. Generally, there is a structure followed by call center companies when dealing with incoming calls.

First, agents must speak immediately as soon as calls come through. This informs the customers that they are not ignored and the brand is prepared to give attention to them immediately. Call center agents must ensure that inbound calls must be opened with a greeting as specified by the company's prepared scripts.

This differs from company to company, but is usually in the format, "Good morning, XYZ Company. This is John, how may I help you? " The tone should be enthusiastic. Just as a smile is evident in the eyes, it can also be heard in the voice. After the greeting and listening to the customer, the agent must provide satisfactory answers. Nothing frustrates a customer more than talking with a company representative and not getting anything helpful or worthwhile in return.

Words such as "can't" or "won't" as well as the phrase "I don't know" should be avoided. Instead, the agent must respond with what can be done, as in "What can I do for you right now is…", or in case of information that is not immediately available, "Let me find that out for you. " In short, agents must be trained to answer with positive keywords that will assure customers that they are being taken care of.

Finally, the call should be ended with the same friendly attitude as shown in the initial greeting. The agent must offer further assistance, thank the customer for calling, and hang up only after the customer does so. 

Agents must be properly trained to the basics of good customer service for incoming calls. Good service ultimately brings profits to a business. It also helps ensure that customers are satisfied with their transactions with the brand and builds enduring customer relationships.

Open Access BPO is a leading outsourcing provider of inbound customer service and other call center solutions. Based in Makati, Philippines, our company manages a team of experienced agents fluent in English, or other languages, and trained in the basics of providing support. Visit our website today to know more or connect with us through our Google+ page.