18 great (and 2 awful!) business telephone greetings PART 2

[Missed Part 1? You'll find it here!]

Greetings from the Edge (Proceed with caution!)

Some companies live life on the edge. If your customer base takes pride in being less refined or even rougher than most, a greeting that reflects that can help endear you to them. Keep in mind though that no target market is truly homogenous. There will always be differences from one person to the next, and even when you think you know “your customer” well, you are still dealing with many different personalities and sensitivities. So, while it can be good to stretch your limits a bit, you want to be careful not to offend or even lose the customers who might misinterpret a fun or edgy greeting as simply being rude.

With all that said, if you do feel confident that there’s room to play, try injecting a smile at the start of your call with a greeting like one of these: [Read more...]

18 great (and 2 awful!) business telephone greetings

Call centre workerphoto © 2007 Alan Clark | more info (via: Wylio)Hello? Who would have ever believed that answering a phone could be such a big deal? It’s only a sentence or two at the start, and then it’s forgotten, right? Hello??

Not really. Truth is, while all the attention that some companies give to their greetings may seem mysterious or silly, those first few seconds of a call can do a lot to establish a cooperative feel, reduce stress, and improve efficiencies. The sooner you can fix anyone’s problem — without rushing the customer! —  the less likely your call center staff will be to spend time defusing angry customers, and the less likely you’ll be to lose revenue.

So, given the value that your preparations will generate, let’s review the basics, and then offer some actual suggestions for your telephone greeting. [Read more...]

HR Bartender’s 3 Levels of Customer Service

Three Brothersphoto © 2007 Glenn Scofield Williams | more info (via: Wylio)Some words are useless.

Quality.

Value.

Integrity.

Customer service.

There was a time when those words helped you choose one company over another, but over time they became used and overused by all companies, whether those firms actually delivered or not. Eventually, they came to mean nothing any more. When every company uses them, words are no longer useful for judging which to choose.

When was the last time you heard a company say, “Yes we have great quality and value, but our integrity is weak and we don’t really believe in customer service”? Has anyone told you lately that, “You’ll love our customer service. We make sure it’s great because our quality is so bad!”  Yeah, we thought not. [Read more...]

Customer service failure? 7 steps to win back a lost customer!

Hug Stevephoto © 2005 Bev Sykes | more info (via: Wylio)You blew it. You know it, your customer knows it, and so does everyone else. Somehow, despite all the customer service pep talks and motivational posters about putting the client first, something just went terribly wrong. And now it’s time to face the music.

Cheer up. Your best moments may be right in front of you. Every company has its bad days, when it slips up and has to act quickly to get things back on track. The measure of a great company is not whether or not it ever makes a mistake, but how well it recovers when it inevitably does.

Here are seven ways to win back a lost customer! [Read more...]

Outsourced call centers need to be more honest

Stonegate walk - honesty jarphoto © 2008 Scott | more info (via: Wylio)Outsourced call centers don’t have it easy. We admit that. They handle calls from already-frustrated people who want quick answers to their problems without having to go through any more time than absolutely necessary. As long as their problems do get resolved quickly, callers generally don’t care whether they’re speaking to the actual company or an outsourced call center. However, should there be any hint at all of a disconnect between the company they called and the person who answered that call, you can be sure that frustrations will hit the boiling point very quickly.

Given that setting, it doesn’t take much for someone to become upset and lose faith in the company they’re calling. So it’s important to get things right. If there is anything that can be properly prepared for, everyone on the customer-care team needs to make sure that it is done… and done well.

That’s why call centers are very ill advised to lie about something so simple as an agent’s name. If the idea is to build comfort or make it less obvious that the caller has reached an agent in some distant country, the intentions may be noble. However the roadway to at least one undesirable place is paved with good intentions, and companies should have learned long before now that honesty is a bonus rather than a hindrance when dealing with disgruntled clients. When a caller is greeted by an agent with a heavy accent who introduces himself by saying his name is “Bill” or “Mark” or “Fred,” the caller already knows that the company is trying to trick him or her. However much money was spent on ads and public relations programs to build trust in the company just got wasted within five seconds of the call being answered. [Read more...]

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