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Essential Tips For Better Phone Customer Service

July 17, 2023

Essential Tips For Better Phone Customer Service

Can you recall the last time you had a truly exceptional customer service experience over the phone?Ya know – the kind that left you feeling heard, valued, and satisfied?If it sticks out in your mind enough to answer, “yes,” then you may still be feeling the warm & fuzzies for that brand – that’s the power of a strong customer service experience by phone.In today’s digital age where customers' interactions with E-Commerce brands are increasingly mediated by technology, it's absolutely crucial for businesses to excel at phone customer service to foster customer loyalty and drive business growth.

Why Phone Customer Service Is Crucial In Maintaining Customer Satisfaction

Despite the rise of text messaging, chatbots, and even social media customer service, more than 76% of all consumers still prefer the traditional medium of phone calls to reach customer support representatives.While digital channels certainly offer convenience, a human voice that allows for direct, real-time communication can be a comfort when it comes to resolving complicated or higher-stakes issues. By offering a human touch and a personalized experience, phone customer service creates a sense of trust and reassurance, and it shows customers that their needs and concerns are genuinely valued by your brand. In positive phone interactions, your agents’ tone of voice, empathy, and active listening skills can transform frustrated or dissatisfied customers into loyal advocates, enhancing brand reputation and fostering long-term customer relationships.

Tips For Providing Excellent Customer Service By Phone

The key to superb phone customer service is making your customers feel comfortable and cared for by your brand.From establishing a rapport to active listening techniques, we're exploring all of the customer service tips for phone support that will empower your agents to provide exceptional customer experiences and leave a lasting positive impression.

1. Use A Helpdesk To Offer An Omnichannel Experience

Omnichannel is truly the “be all, end all” of customer service strategies, because it ensures that all of your channels are interconnected to create a cohesive customer experience.With an omnichannel approach that utilizes helpdesk software (think Gorgias, Re:amaze, and Gladly), your agents can continue helping a customer over the phone even if they originally reached out to your team via live chat – all without missing a beat. Plus, with detailed customer histories, tagging capabilities, and other helpful features, you can eliminate frustrating obstacles, such as making a customer repeat themselves or wait on hold for too long, that would otherwise detract from the overall experience.

2. Avoid Using Overly-Technical Language

Your customer service agents should be the experts on your brand’s products, processes, and everything in between. However, being an expert doesn’t stop at simply understanding how to fix an issue – it also means knowing how to communicate with customers in a way they will understand.Therefore, when interacting with customers, avoid jargon or overly-technical phrases that could confuse or frustrate them.Your customers will appreciate your simple, straightforward responses, and your resolution times will be much faster.

3. Don’t Be Afraid To Obsess Over The Data

It’s hard to tell where to adjust your phone customer service strategies without defining your success metrics. Though we mentioned helpdesk software above regarding omnichannel support, the right software will also track key metrics that offer insight into weak spots and opportunities for improvement. The data points we recommend tracking to monitor the success of your phone support are:

  • Average response time
  • Average resolution time
  • Transfer rate
  • Abandoned in queue
  • Missed and declined calls

Having this data in front of you will help you better understand where your agents’ phone support approach can be improved to promote greater customer satisfaction.

4. Create A Plan For Handling Emotional Customers

Let’s face it – it can be super frustrating when we’re having an issue with a product we’ve just bought or are struggling to resolve an issue with a representative.It’s exactly why it’s not uncommon for customer service agents to encounter angry or upset customers over the phone (especially when you consider that 35% of customers have admitted to becoming angry when talking to customer service). With this knowledge in mind, ensure your agents feel comfortable and confident helping customers experiencing intense emotions.Here are a few de-escalation tips we recommend sharing with your agents to set them up for success:

  • Maintain a calm tone of voice
  • Allow the customer to vent
  • Relate to the customer & acknowledge their frustration
  • Apologize (and take responsibility) if the situation calls for it
  • Don’t take anything personally

When your agents have the skills to resolve an upset customer’s issue without escalating the situation further, you’ll be more likely to create an emotional connection that saves the relationship and fosters brand loyalty.

5. Develop & Document SOPs To Guide Interactions

Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are crucial for providing consistent phone experiences that end on a positive note. You can avoid uncomfortable pauses or unnecessary holds and transfers by clearly documenting potential issues that agents may encounter when providing customer service by phone (along with the appropriate steps to reach a resolution). To be truly helpful in keeping resolution times low and customer satisfaction high, your brand’s SOPs should cover various scenarios and offer helpful scripts or language to guide the interactions, much like a roadmap.

Elevate Your Brand’s Phone Customer Service Experience With Dedicated TalentPop Agents

Exceptional phone customer service isn’t just about solving problems – it’s about creating positive and memorable interactions that leave a lasting impression.With the support of dedicated TalentPop agents who we help match with your brand, your team will be better equipped to improve your brand’s customer experience and improve satisfaction.    From our seamless onboarding and training processes to your Customer Success Manager who will help oversee your agents, you can bet that we will always do our best to set you and your customers up for success. Schedule a call with our team today to get matched with agents in as little as 3 weeks and earn more loyal customers through quality phone customer service.

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