How To Improve Call Handling Skills

Call handling is a vital process in customer support. How you manage a call will make a difference in whether or not you will close a sale. It refers to the steps your organization takes when a call comes in or when placing an outgoing call. Good call handling can also spell the difference between a positive and negative customer experience.

Unfortunately, many businesses lack the resources to ensure high-quality call handling. This is essential in customer support and the sad truth is that many companies fall short on this. Only 26% of consumers had a positive response on the aspect of great customer support compared to 49% who did not.

Call handling can be difficult for some people. Over the phone, you don’t see the face of the customer so messages can become muddled and meanings misinterpreted. This is where the importance of learning how to improve call handling skills comes in. 61% of customers still prefer phone over other forms of support so properly handling them is a must. This article shall delve on the following topics:

  1. Importance of Good Call Handling Skills
  2. Types of Calls For Handling
  3. Call Handling Mistakes You Should Avoid
  4. Call Handling Phrases Do’s and Don’ts
  5. Tips For Properly Handling Calls

Importance of Good Call Handling Skills

Whenever a customer calls to make an inquiry, it is your chance to win over the caller’s business and close the deal after the conversation. Customers call your business because they have a need so it is up to your call handling team to convince that customer that you are the company that can address their needs. Call handling skills includes the following aspects:

  • Whether or not a call gets answered
  • How the call was answered
  • The way your call handler communicated to the caller
  • How you deal with call traffic
  • How calls are routed
  • What calls are blocked
  • How call issues are resolved
  • What happens when callers are transferred or place on hold
  • What information gets logged during and after a call

The success of these calls will depend on how they are handled. Taking these aspects into consideration, you need to work on improving call handling skills of your team.

Types of Calls To Be Handled

  • 65% of potential customers prefer reaching brands over the phone
  • 29% of calls lead to a purchase
  • 80% of customers say user experience is as valuable as the company’s products and services
  • 67% of customers are willing to pay more for better service and support experiences

Before learning the basics of how to improve call handling skills, it is worth noting the different types of calls that your team will receive and handle.

Inbound Calls

  • More calls answered
  • More leads generated
  • Issues are resolved more quickly
  • Decreased customer service mixup and delays
  • Less pressure on customer service team
  • More satisfied customers

Outbound Calls

  • Increased sales
  • More customer information collected
  • Less time spent on individual calls

Call Handling Mistakes You Should Avoid

1. Putting a caller on hold for a long time

If you can resolve the customer’s issue while keeping them on the line, then don’t put them on hold if possible. You can try talking to them while searching for information. It is frustrating but 32% of customers believe that they should never be put on hold.

2. Passing callers from one agent to another

When they get constantly bounced around from one agent to another, it becomes irritating for a customer that they may be forced to take their business elsewhere. The most cringe-worthy phrase that a customer can hear is “We’re unable to answer your question.”

To prevent this from happening, you can train agents to handle specific issues or to answer a wide variety of questions. Also, you can consider investing in smarter software. Some systems come with a skills-based routing feature that routes callers to the most qualified agent to resolve their issue. These programs route your customers based on an agents department, skill, language, knowledge, or anything unique to the agent.

3. Lengthy call queues

If your company is making callers wait in long queues, then stop it. It makes you appear that you don’t care about potentially losing customers because of this. People are busy and don’t want to waste their time for ten, twenty minutes, or longer.

Call queues are normal but you have to make sure to keep it as short as possible. Perhaps you need to hire more agents or shuffle their schedules around, especially during busier times. It could also mean hiring additional agents working remotely during periods of high call volumes.

4. Telling callers to head to your website instead

5. Expecting customers to repeat details

You can invest in call center software that will keep track of customers’ data and provide agents with the tools they need in order to deliver personalized and accurate service without having the customers repeat themselves.

6. Not making time for ongoing training

Call Handling Phrases To Avoid

I don’t know

  • “Allow me to check with my supervisor to accurately handle/answer your concern”
  • “Please give me a moment to check my reference tool for accurate information/price/reference”
  • “Great question, please give me one moment to find the correct information.”

“No Problem”

  • “Thank you for your call or question”
  • “You’re welcome, thank you for your call”
  • “Of course.” This implies commitment and certainty
  • “My pleasure.”

“Um” or “Uh”

“Honestly”

“Like”

“What Do You Need?”

  • “How may I help you today?”
  • “What may I assist you with today?”

Tips On Improving Call Handling Skills

1. Have a positive tone

According to a study, 7% of the message people receive in a conversation depends on the words you use. In addition, 38% is reflected in the tone of voice and 55% from facial expressions or body language. The latter wouldn’t be visible during a phone call so the tone of your voice becomes vital.

2. Give personalization

3. Keep control

4. Overcome Objections

5. Summarize the Call

6. Be consistent

airisX provides business services: from onshore, nearshore, and offshore services to contract manufacturing to warehousing and fulfillment.

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