Business Practices | | Published March 26, 2015

Customer Service Phone Tips & Tricks

We recently blogged about dropping the customer support script when it comes to customer service phone support. But sometimes dropping the script can result in uncomfortable situations – especially when a customer is trying to cancel your service or leave your company. They may even be vacillating on whether your product or service is right for them.

Of course you want to give your customers what they want, but you also want to find out why they’re interested in becoming non-customers and persuade them to stick with you if at all possible!

To that end, we’ve put together some pro tips and tricks to help customer service representatives handle customer objections and perhaps handle a tricky situation to everyone’s satisfaction – without resorting to scripts. These customer service phone tips include:

1.   Listen and Repeat – First things first, you want to ensure that your customer feels like you are really listening and understanding their concern. This isn’t just a “tip,” either. Good CSR’s really do listen to every caller – even when you think you’ve heard it all!

2.   Ask a Clarifying Question – Once you’ve determined your caller’s issue, ask a clarifying question. For example: “You’re concerned that you pay a monthly fee but only need our service a few times per year?”  Rephrasing the customer’s objection can go a long way toward establishing common ground.

3.  Know the Big Picture – Have you ever found yourself in an endless conversation with a customer? Once you assuage one objection, they simply bring up another? Ask a question such as “Is this the only reason you’re leaving us?” to see the big picture before proceeding. From here it’s easier to offer a discount or other perk to retain the customer.

4.   Speak the Customer’s Language – If your customer is informal, go there with them (to a point, of course!). If they insist on using “Ma’am” and “Sir,” then follow that lead, too. People are more comfortable with people who mirror their own personalities. Be relatable.

5.   Keep it Positive – Instead of saying, “No one is here to answer that question right now,” say, “Our customer support supervisor Jill is the expert on that widget. We’d be happy to have her give you a call at your convenience.” This is also known as reframing negatives as positives.

6.   Know When to Let Go – Not every customer interaction will end on a positive note. It’s just the nature of the beast. If your customer answers your every solution with another complaint or refuses to engage in conversation, she means business. Quickly and respectfully let her go. Still try to leave on good terms, not with a bad taste in both your mouths.

Some of the best phone customer service reps out there follow these pro tips to keep customers happy and coming back for more. Did we miss any great tips? Leave yours in the comments!

Like what you read?  Learn more by downloading the full white paper on Killing the Scripted Customer Service Response: