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When a customer or prospect uses the phone to contact our business, they are looking for answers. Whoever answers the phone might be the first and only point of human contact that they have had with our bank.
When a prospect calls with a question about our products and services, that first impression is going to define their experience with our bank. How you answer the phone can be the difference between gaining a loyal customer and turning a prospect toward one of our competitors.
We need to make every interaction count and take steps to ensure we are providing a great customer experience.
The first step to taking any call is to identify why your prospect or customer decided to pick up the phone. Learning the motive behind a call can dictate what the rest of your conversation will be.
Is your caller an existing customer looking to address a problem they’re having with our services or products? Whoever answers the phone needs to treat these calls with urgency and exude empathy within their tone.
If your caller is a prospect looking for information about our bank, you want to be charming.
You can never truly be too helpful. If you need to confirm or verify information, think of creative ways to maintain a pleasant experience. For example, if you need to confirm the spelling of someone’s name, you could say, “Did you say Y, as in You’re Awesome?”
Callers like to feel that they’re in control of a conversation.
And truthfully, they should be – they’re the ones that reached out to you. Refrain from demands such as “I need your phone number,” or “I need to put you on hold.” If you ask their permission – even when it seems unnecessary – you can give your caller that feeling of control, they want. For example, before you ask your caller a question, seek permission to ask, saying “May I ask?” or May I take your information?”
Two little words that can make the entire conversation. Show your appreciation for your prospect or customer’s call by sprinkling thank you throughout your conversation. “Thank you” reflects your friendliness and dedication to serving your caller. Confidence is everything. It’s the key to any productive interaction. It shows that you know what you’re talking about. You should speak to your caller like there’s no one else in the office who can take better care of them than you can.
Of course, blind confidence is never as good as deserved confidence. You or your team member(s) must be well trained and versed in the various situations that may come up on the phone, especially how to manage a complaint. If your confidence stems from knowledge and familiarity, you’ll be primed to handle any call.
You’re not going to have the answer to every question. But that’s okay – as long as you’re able to reply in a way that demonstrates that finding the right answer is your top priority. Phrases such as, “That’s a great question!” and “I want to make sure I find the correct answer for you” show that you’re confident in your ability to help the caller, even if you don’t know the exact answer to their request.
Especially when callers are new to our bank, make sure you define clear next steps for both of you. Booking an appointment, connecting your caller with sales, scheduling a visit to your office – these all keep callers engaged. Defining clear next steps positions our bank in the front of your prospects’ mind.
There are many components to good customer service. One of the most important elements to customer service is telephone etiquette. It is important to let your customers know you are listening to them and genuinely care about what they have to say. This helps to build customer loyalty, which leads to repeat business. Phone calls leave your customer with an impression of the bank. Make sure to leave a great, lasting impression on every customer who calls the bank.
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