Last week, I spent alot of time on the phone with different companies. The reasons varied from looking for a dryer repairman to requesting new bids on my healthcare insurance.  What I discovered is that I HATE to be transferred!  Why? Because inevitably I was either dropped before I got to someone, was sent to another person who did not know how to help me, or had to tell my story for calling over and over to each new person.  Bottom line, by the time I got to someone who could help me, I was angry and frustrated.  From my perspective as the customer, I was wasting my time waiting on a company to figure out who I needed to speak to, so that I could spend money with them.
So, here are a few tips for you and your business when it comes to answering the phone and helping your customers get to where they need to be.

1. State what you can do, not what you can’t do.
(“I can help you by letting you talk to someone in accounts receivable.”)

2. Avoid using word transfer.
(“Let me put you in touch with…”)  (“Let me connect you with….”)

Before transferring, ask for customer’s phone #. If accidentally cut off in process, call him/her back.

3. Pass along customer information.

4. Stay on the line.  Make an introduction, if possible
“Ms. __________, I have Susan on the line with us and she knows she can help you.  I am going to bow out of the conversation now.  Susan, meet Ms. _____________.”

5. Follow up.
If the customer had an issue, call back to see if the situation was handled.

6. If you’re uncertain to whom to transfer the call, don’t guess.
(Collect as much info as you can and tell caller you will get back to him/her).

Telephone customer service is as important as face-to-face service in the whole customer experience.  Sometimes it may be the only human interaction a customer has with your organization.  Make it a great reflection because it may make the difference between the customer doing business with you again or not!


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