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1 Add click sound timing 2 Add typing sound timing Finished
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Telephone training



 

Telephone training

These training materials are provided as a guide for a "best practice" approach to customer service over the telephone.

 

1. Asking questions

When asking questions:

  • Ask as clearly and simply as possible.
  • Not understood? Try rephrasing with simpler words.
  • Use "Please". It sounds less demanding.

Most times, it's not what you said, but HOW you said it.

 
  1. Asking for a customer's reference number:

  2. Asking the pick up date for a hire car.

  3. Asking for the callers name.

  4. Asking for the reason of the call.

   

2. Attended transfer

 

Selwyn Self: Welcome to Zipier. How can I help you. You're speaking with Selwyn..

Carol Customer: +5-8-1-2-6-4.+This+is+the+3rd+time+I%27ve+called+about+this+support+issue+I%27m+having." style="color: rgb( 66, 66, 66); text-decoration: dashed; border-bottom: 2px dotted rgb( 66, 66, 66);" title="Click to listen"> Hi. My name's Carol Customer. My ticket ID is 5-8-1-2-6-4. This is the 3rd time I've called about this support issue I'm having..

Selwyn Self: Hi Carol. It looks like your calls arrived here at sales by accident. May I transfer you to our support department? I'm sure they can help you with this..

Carol Customer: "Yes."

Selwyn Self: Great. Just in case the call gets disconnected, again, my name's Selwyn, and my direct number's 1 800 910 4570 extension 4321. Putting you on hold now Carol..

Selwyn Self: Press (star key, twice) to transfer.

Selwyn Self: Then press the 4 digit ext. 1234, and then once.

Carol Customer: Hears on hold music.

Zac Zipi: Oh, hi Selwyn..

Selwyn Self: Hi Zac. I've got a customer named Carol Customer who's got a problem with her order. May I transfer the call to you?.

 

Zac Zipi: "Yes."

Selwyn Self: Great. I'll add her to the call..

Selwyn Self: Press 0. Now all three are on the call.

Selwyn Self: +8-4-5-7-4-5.+You%27ll+see+in+the+reference+that+this+is+her+third+call+about+this+issue.+I%27ll+leave+the+two+of+you+to+talk.+Take+care+Carol%2C+bye." style="color: rgb( 66, 66, 66); text-decoration: dashed; border-bottom: 2px dotted rgb( 66, 66, 66);" title="Click to listen"> Hey, Carol. I've got Zac here on the line with us. (Zac says "Hello Carol!") Hey Zac, the ticket ID for Carol Customer is 8-4-5-7-4-5. You'll see in the reference that this is her third call about this issue. I'll leave the two of you to talk. Take care Carol, bye..

Selwyn Self: Hangup and Carol Customer will be connected to Zac Zipi only.

 
  1. Zac Zipi: "No."

Selwyn Self: No problem Zac. I'll try someone else. Bye..

Selwyn Self: Press # (pound sign) to cancel the transfer.

This auto reconnects Selwyn Self to Carol Customer.

Or, if Zac Zipi hangs up anytime, and Selwyn Self is on the call, it'll also auto reconnect Selwyn Self to Carol Customer.

  1. Or, if no answer from Zac Zipi:

It'll ring for 20 seconds, then auto reconnects Selwyn Self to Carol Customer.

 

Selwyn Self: I'm sorry Carol, I was hoping Zac Zipi would be able to take your call, but it seems he's not available..

Then:

  1. Selwyn Self: If you'd like, I could send Zac Zipi a message asking him to call you back. Would that be OK?.

Or:

  1. Selwyn Self: Can I put you on hold again while I see if Alan Alternative is available?.

 

 

3. Critiques - Bad



 
Wrong alpha, bravo...
  • Didn't verify with "Alpha, Bravo, Charlie..."
  • Didn't verify important details.
  • Didn't verify details back out loud.
1
Ignored sales
  • Ignored sales opportunities like up-sell, or cross-sell.
  • Ignored sales opportunities by not asking for the order.
  • Ignored sales opportunities by not trying to sell.
2
No restate
  • No restate of their question.
  • No restate with own words. Just repeated their words.
3
No Xfer reason
  • No transfer reason given.
  • No transfer reason given or didn't ask if OK to transfer.
4
No ask hold
  • Didn't ask if OK to hold.
  • Putting on hold 2nd time. Didn't ask again if OK to hold.
  • Just said "please hold". Didn't ask if OK to hold.
5
 
Lost control
  • Lost control of the call.
  • Lost control of the call by not keeping it moving forward.
6
Long wrap
  • Long wrap time. Taking notes after the call for too long.
  • Long wrap time. Possibly stopped calling after the call ended. Should've clicked "Save and stop calling".
7
Wrong dispo.
  • Wrong disposition chosen after the call ended.
8
Bad spelling
  • Bad spelling or mistakes entering the caller's details.
9
Wrong
  • Wrong answer given.
  • Wrong answer given because didn't hear the caller's question.
  • Wrong answer given because not following the script.
0
Avoid ownership
  • Avoided ownership by not trying to solve the problem. Just passed it to someone else.
-
Misunderstood
  • Misunderstood what the caller said. Carried on anyway.
  • Misunderstood what the caller said so guessed. Guessed wrong.
  • Misunderstood their meaning because didn't restate what the caller said.
=
 
Unnecessary Q's.
  • Unnecessary questions asked because wasn't listening.
  • Unnecessary questions asked that weren't needed to solve the problem.
  • Unnecessary questions asked about something the caller already said. Asked just because it was on the script.
Q
Weak ending
  • Weak ending without asking for anything else to help with.
  • Weak ending without summarizing next steps.
  • Weak ending without thanking the caller for their call.
E
3rd person
  • 3rd person reference about working for a call center or other 3rd party.
  • 3rd person reference to the client saying 'them', 'they', 'their', etc.
R
Ums / ahs
  • "Ummms" or "ahhhs" spoken or other filler sounds.
U
OK ack.
  • Said just 'OK', 'a-huh', etc without proper acknowledgment of the caller.
A
Weak greeting
  • Weak greeting. Too quiet or timid.
  • Weak greeting. Didn't say company name.
  • Weak greeting. Didn't say name as the last word spoken.
  • Weak greeting. Didn't sound friendly.
G
Unclear explain
  • Unclear explanation of the policy, just said "That's not our policy".
  • Unclear explanation.
X
Bad Eng.
  • Bad English grammar.
  • Bad English pronunciation.
  • Bad English because of slang.
  • Bad English because of local expressions.
B
Used ma'am or sir
  • Used "Sir" or "Ma'am" instead of the callers name.
N
 
Wandered
  • Wandered and didn't stick to the script.
  • Wandered and lost place in the script.
  • Wandered saying own words when the script would've been better.
  • Wandered skipping a step for no good reason.
W
Poor pace
  • Poor pace. Sounding nervous.
  • Poor pace. Jumbling up words.
  • Poor pace. Going too fast.
  • Poor pace. Going too slow.
  • Poor pace. Sounded hurried.
P
Slow lookup
  • Slow to lookup an answer.
L
 
Too much mute
  • Too much mute button use.
T
Weird silence
  • Weird silence. Didn't first explain why the call would go silent.
  • Weird silence. Didn't check back occassionally, to let the caller know what's happening.
O
Broken audio
  • Broken audio. The recording doesn't load, or there's nothing to hear.
[
IVR recording
  • IVR recording. Nothing was spoken. Only recorded messages.
]
Side talk
  • Side talk to co-workers that doesn't relate to the call.
  • Side talk to co-workers without first explaining the need to ask a co-worker.
S
Mic distant
  • Microphone sounds distant. Not placed correctly.
  • Microphone too far from mouth.
J
Bad vol.
  • Bad volume. Breathing into microphone.
  • Bad volume. Sounding too timid.
  • Bad volume. Didn't project voice into the call.
V
 
Unfriendly
  • Unfriendly tone of voice.
  • Unfriendly with disrespectful language.
Y
Uninterested
  • Uninterested, tired, or yawning voice.
  • Uninterested and no enthusiasm.
  • Uninterested and no effort to personalize the call.
  • Uninterested and displaying an "I don't care" attitude.
I
Drone
  • Drone with a monotonous voice.
  • Drone just reading the script.
  • Drone with no emotion or expression.
  • Drone with no pauses or pitch changes.
D
Unprof.
  • Unprofessional use of 'yip', 'yeah', etc.
  • Unprofessional use of 'nope', 'nah', etc.
H
Not calm
  • Not calm. Sounded angry at the caller.
  • Not calm. Sounded frustrated at the caller.
K
Unconfident
  • Unconfident apologies, e.g., "sorry, my English isn't very good".
  • Unconfident. Didn't give the caller confidence in your ability.
C
Bad manners
  • Bad manners. Didn't use "please" and "thank you".
  • Bad manners with eating sounds on the call.
  • Bad manners saying bad language on the call.
M
 
Flagged
  • Flag call for more checking.
  • Flag call as unacceptable.
F
 

4. Critiques - Good



 
Verified
  • Verified with "Alpha, Bravo, Charlie..."
  • Verified by repeating back numbers and spelling.
Shift + 1
Sought sales
  • Sought sales opportunities.
  • Sought sales by jumping on a presented opportunity.
  • Sought sales by recorded notes for future sales opportunities.
Shift + 2
Restated
  • Restated back the caller's question with own words.
Shift + 3
Transfer reason
  • Transfer reason given and let the caller know who they'll be transferred to.
  • Transfer reason given and let the caller know why the next person would be better to deal with.
  • Transfer reason given and confirmed transferring is OK"
Shift + 4
Ask to hold
  • Asked to hold before putting on hold"
  • Putting on hold a 2nd time. Asked to hold again.
Shift + 5
 
Took ownership
  • Took ownership by trying to solve the problem.
  • Took ownership by resolving the problem on the first call.
  • Took ownership. Expressed confidence it could be solved.
  • Took ownership. Let the caller know they're speaking to the right person.
Shift + -
Thanked
  • Thanked the caller for their inquiry.
  • Thanked the caller for their interest.
  • Thanked the caller for their business.
  • Thanked the caller for their loyalty.
  • If nothing else, thanked the caller for calling.
Shift + ,
Next steps
  • Next steps clearly explained.
  • Next steps means the caller knows what to do next.
  • Next steps given so there's certainty.
Shift + .
 
Good ending
  • Good ending. Checked for anything else to help with.
  • Good ending. Thanked the caller.
Shift + E
No 3rd person
  • No 3rd person references like 'they', "theirs" or "them".
  • No 3rd person. Talked as if working directly for the company.
  • No 3rd person. Made it sound as if the company's employees are close by.
Shift + R
Good greeting
  • Good greeting. Gave the company name.
  • Good greeting in a friendly voice.
  • Good greeting. Gave agent's name as last word spoken.
Shift + G
Good explain
  • Good explain. Made the answer clear.
  • Good explain with words the caller understands.
  • Good explain by sticking to the written explanation.
  • Good explain by staying on topic.
Shift + X
Good name use
  • Good name use. Avoided "Sir" or "Ma'am".
  • Good name use with 'Mr', 'Mrs', or "Miss" used if only last name is known.
  • Good name use. Used caller's name during the call.
  • Good name use. Used the caller's 1st name (if they asked for it to be used).
  • Good name use. Used the caller's name during the call.
Shift + N
 
Didn't wander
  • Didn't wander. Used the wording in the script.
  • Didn't wander or skip steps in the script.
  • Didn't wander. Used the script, rather than making it up.
Shift + W
Well paced
  • Well paced. Didn't sound hurried.
  • Well paced. Speaking at a good speed.
Shift + P
Quick lookup
  • Quick lookup using the search tools.
  • Quick lookup. Remembered where things were.
Shift + L
 
Clear
  • Clear. Avoided slang.
  • Clear. Avoided local expressions.
Shift + J
Good vol.
  • Good volume. Projected voice into the microphone.
  • Good volume. Not too loud.
  • Good volume. Not too quiet.
Shift + V
 
Friendly
  • Friendly and spoke with a smile.
Shift + Y
Interested
  • Interested and actively listening.
  • Interested and used rapport words.
  • Interested and enthusiastic.
  • Interested and made an effort to personalize the call.
Shift + I
Professional
  • Professional. Sounded focused on the call.
  • Professional. Demonstrated competence in solving the problem.
Shift + H
Calm
  • Calm. Didn't react to the caller's criticism.
  • Calm. Didn't express frustration.
Shift + K
Confident
  • Confident the problem could be resolved.
  • Confident. Spoke with authority and exactness.
Shift + C
Good manners
  • Good manners. Talked respectfully.
  • Good manners. Used "please" and "thank you".
  • Good manners. Began requests with "may I...".
Shift + M
 

5. Critiques



   
Wrong alpha, bravo...
  • Didn't verify with "Alpha, Bravo, Charlie..."
  • Didn't verify important details.
  • Didn't verify details back out loud.
1
Ignored sales
  • Ignored sales opportunities like up-sell, or cross-sell.
  • Ignored sales opportunities by not asking for the order.
  • Ignored sales opportunities by not trying to sell.
2
No restate
  • No restate of their question.
  • No restate with own words. Just repeated their words.
3
No Xfer reason
  • No transfer reason given.
  • No transfer reason given or didn't ask if OK to transfer.
4
No ask hold
  • Didn't ask if OK to hold.
  • Putting on hold 2nd time. Didn't ask again if OK to hold.
  • Just said "please hold". Didn't ask if OK to hold.
5
 
Lost control
  • Lost control of the call.
  • Lost control of the call by not keeping it moving forward.
6
Long wrap
  • Long wrap time. Taking notes after the call for too long.
  • Long wrap time. Possibly stopped calling after the call ended. Should've clicked "Save and stop calling".
7
Wrong dispo.
  • Wrong disposition chosen after the call ended.
8
Bad spelling
  • Bad spelling or mistakes entering the caller's details.
9
Wrong
  • Wrong answer given.
  • Wrong answer given because didn't hear the caller's question.
  • Wrong answer given because not following the script.
0
Avoid ownership
  • Avoided ownership by not trying to solve the problem. Just passed it to someone else.
-
Misunderstood
  • Misunderstood what the caller said. Carried on anyway.
  • Misunderstood what the caller said so guessed. Guessed wrong.
  • Misunderstood their meaning because didn't restate what the caller said.
=
 
Unnecessary Q's.
  • Unnecessary questions asked because wasn't listening.
  • Unnecessary questions asked that weren't needed to solve the problem.
  • Unnecessary questions asked about something the caller already said. Asked just because it was on the script.
Q
Weak ending
  • Weak ending without asking for anything else to help with.
  • Weak ending without summarizing next steps.
  • Weak ending without thanking the caller for their call.
E
3rd person
  • 3rd person reference about working for a call center or other 3rd party.
  • 3rd person reference to the client saying 'them', 'they', 'their', etc.
R
Ums / ahs
  • "Ummms" or "ahhhs" spoken or other filler sounds.
U
OK ack.
  • Said just 'OK', 'a-huh', etc without proper acknowledgment of the caller.
A
Weak greeting
  • Weak greeting. Too quiet or timid.
  • Weak greeting. Didn't say company name.
  • Weak greeting. Didn't say name as the last word spoken.
  • Weak greeting. Didn't sound friendly.
G
Unclear explain
  • Unclear explanation of the policy, just said "That's not our policy".
  • Unclear explanation.
X
Bad Eng.
  • Bad English grammar.
  • Bad English pronunciation.
  • Bad English because of slang.
  • Bad English because of local expressions.
B
Used ma'am or sir
  • Used "Sir" or "Ma'am" instead of the callers name.
N
 
Wandered
  • Wandered and didn't stick to the script.
  • Wandered and lost place in the script.
  • Wandered saying own words when the script would've been better.
  • Wandered skipping a step for no good reason.
W
Poor pace
  • Poor pace. Sounding nervous.
  • Poor pace. Jumbling up words.
  • Poor pace. Going too fast.
  • Poor pace. Going too slow.
  • Poor pace. Sounded hurried.
P
Slow lookup
  • Slow to lookup an answer.
L
 
Too much mute
  • Too much mute button use.
T
Weird silence
  • Weird silence. Didn't first explain why the call would go silent.
  • Weird silence. Didn't check back occassionally, to let the caller know what's happening.
O
Broken audio
  • Broken audio. The recording doesn't load, or there's nothing to hear.
[
IVR recording
  • IVR recording. Nothing was spoken. Only recorded messages.
]
Side talk
  • Side talk to co-workers that doesn't relate to the call.
  • Side talk to co-workers without first explaining the need to ask a co-worker.
S
Mic distant
  • Microphone sounds distant. Not placed correctly.
  • Microphone too far from mouth.
J
Bad vol.
  • Bad volume. Breathing into microphone.
  • Bad volume. Sounding too timid.
  • Bad volume. Didn't project voice into the call.
V
 
Unfriendly
  • Unfriendly tone of voice.
  • Unfriendly with disrespectful language.
Y
Uninterested
  • Uninterested, tired, or yawning voice.
  • Uninterested and no enthusiasm.
  • Uninterested and no effort to personalize the call.
  • Uninterested and displaying an "I don't care" attitude.
I
Drone
  • Drone with a monotonous voice.
  • Drone just reading the script.
  • Drone with no emotion or expression.
  • Drone with no pauses or pitch changes.
D
Unprof.
  • Unprofessional use of 'yip', 'yeah', etc.
  • Unprofessional use of 'nope', 'nah', etc.
H
Not calm
  • Not calm. Sounded angry at the caller.
  • Not calm. Sounded frustrated at the caller.
K
Unconfident
  • Unconfident apologies, e.g., "sorry, my English isn't very good".
  • Unconfident. Didn't give the caller confidence in your ability.
C
Bad manners
  • Bad manners. Didn't use "please" and "thank you".
  • Bad manners with eating sounds on the call.
  • Bad manners saying bad language on the call.
M
 
Flagged
  • Flag call for more checking.
  • Flag call as unacceptable.
F
   
Verified
  • Verified with "Alpha, Bravo, Charlie..."
  • Verified by repeating back numbers and spelling.
Shift + 1
Sought sales
  • Sought sales opportunities.
  • Sought sales by jumping on a presented opportunity.
  • Sought sales by recorded notes for future sales opportunities.
Shift + 2
Restated
  • Restated back the caller's question with own words.
Shift + 3
Transfer reason
  • Transfer reason given and let the caller know who they'll be transferred to.
  • Transfer reason given and let the caller know why the next person would be better to deal with.
  • Transfer reason given and confirmed transferring is OK"
Shift + 4
Ask to hold
  • Asked to hold before putting on hold"
  • Putting on hold a 2nd time. Asked to hold again.
Shift + 5
 
Took ownership
  • Took ownership by trying to solve the problem.
  • Took ownership by resolving the problem on the first call.
  • Took ownership. Expressed confidence it could be solved.
  • Took ownership. Let the caller know they're speaking to the right person.
Shift + -
Thanked
  • Thanked the caller for their inquiry.
  • Thanked the caller for their interest.
  • Thanked the caller for their business.
  • Thanked the caller for their loyalty.
  • If nothing else, thanked the caller for calling.
Shift + ,
Next steps
  • Next steps clearly explained.
  • Next steps means the caller knows what to do next.
  • Next steps given so there's certainty.
Shift + .
 
Good ending
  • Good ending. Checked for anything else to help with.
  • Good ending. Thanked the caller.
Shift + E
No 3rd person
  • No 3rd person references like 'they', "theirs" or "them".
  • No 3rd person. Talked as if working directly for the company.
  • No 3rd person. Made it sound as if the company's employees are close by.
Shift + R
Good greeting
  • Good greeting. Gave the company name.
  • Good greeting in a friendly voice.
  • Good greeting. Gave agent's name as last word spoken.
Shift + G
Good explain
  • Good explain. Made the answer clear.
  • Good explain with words the caller understands.
  • Good explain by sticking to the written explanation.
  • Good explain by staying on topic.
Shift + X
Good name use
  • Good name use. Avoided "Sir" or "Ma'am".
  • Good name use with 'Mr', 'Mrs', or "Miss" used if only last name is known.
  • Good name use. Used caller's name during the call.
  • Good name use. Used the caller's 1st name (if they asked for it to be used).
  • Good name use. Used the caller's name during the call.
Shift + N
 
Didn't wander
  • Didn't wander. Used the wording in the script.
  • Didn't wander or skip steps in the script.
  • Didn't wander. Used the script, rather than making it up.
Shift + W
Well paced
  • Well paced. Didn't sound hurried.
  • Well paced. Speaking at a good speed.
Shift + P
Quick lookup
  • Quick lookup using the search tools.
  • Quick lookup. Remembered where things were.
Shift + L
 
Clear
  • Clear. Avoided slang.
  • Clear. Avoided local expressions.
Shift + J
Good vol.
  • Good volume. Projected voice into the microphone.
  • Good volume. Not too loud.
  • Good volume. Not too quiet.
Shift + V
 
Friendly
  • Friendly and spoke with a smile.
Shift + Y
Interested
  • Interested and actively listening.
  • Interested and used rapport words.
  • Interested and enthusiastic.
  • Interested and made an effort to personalize the call.
Shift + I
Professional
  • Professional. Sounded focused on the call.
  • Professional. Demonstrated competence in solving the problem.
Shift + H
Calm
  • Calm. Didn't react to the caller's criticism.
  • Calm. Didn't express frustration.
Shift + K
Confident
  • Confident the problem could be resolved.
  • Confident. Spoke with authority and exactness.
Shift + C
Good manners
  • Good manners. Talked respectfully.
  • Good manners. Used "please" and "thank you".
  • Good manners. Began requests with "may I...".
Shift + M
 

6. Critiques training

2 mins. critique keys training

Speed up your critiques by printing these useful keyboard stickers.

Download keyboard sticker PDFs

The chosen sticker printer for Zipier's Philippines service centers is:

HDP HDprinting
hdp_advertising@yahoo.com
Address: AE-111 Velasquez St. Subangdaku, Mandaue.
Tel:  +63-32-346-8529
 

7. Delivering a good answer

If a caller asks a basic question, give a basic answer. Follow the call script.

 
  • Keyword search the knowledge base.
  • Try related topics.
  • Know the the policies and procedures.
  • Know in advance how to solve common problems.
 

Don't keep the caller waiting too long for their answer.

 

Give instructions or explanations as clearly as possible. Avoid:

 

If not solved, give some "next steps". Not knowing what to do next will frustrate the caller.

  1. Acknowledge that you can't solve their problem.

  2. Let them know what'll happen next.

  3. Take down their details.

  4. Reinforce that the next steps will help.

 

Follow the call script so you don't miss anything important.

 

Improve your lookup speed by studying your call script in advance.

Can't find an answer? Write a note to check with your supervisor later.

 

Don't deliver information that you yourself are unsure of. Follow the call script.

 

8. Endings

Always stick to your call script.

Finished helping the caller? Rather than just ending the call, say:

Note: If you weren't able to resolve their issue, it may not be a good idea to ask "Is there anything else I can help with?".

It's also a great time to up-sell!

   

At call end, summarize the necessary details. Reassure the caller you've taken their details correctly. It takes a little more time, but it's a great value add to your caller.

 

It's important to express thanks at the end of each call, but it must be "sincere." Callers will hear if you're not.

  1. Express your feelings about the call.

  2. Ask them for anything else.

  3. Encourage them to call back.

  4. End on a positive note

 

Be careful to select the correct disposition at the end of each call.

 

9. Finding additional sales opportunities

Let the caller know of current specials. It gives the feeling they've found a bargain. The caller will appreciate that you've taken the time to inform them.

This:

  • Good   Boosts sales.
  • Good   Increases caller satisfaction.
   

10. Greetings

Always stick to your call script.

When people call, you're the first voice that welcomes them. You're the face of your client's brand.

In many cases, your callers entire impression of your client's brand may be based on how well you handled this call.

 
  • Be warm and friendly.
  • Have a smile in your voice.
  • If it helps, look at your face in the mirror as you speak, to be sure you're smiling.
  • Only use "Good morning", "Good afternoon" if you're sure you've got their time-zone right.
  • Don't sound like you're in a rush, even if there's many others in the queue.
 
  1. Say the greeting before the company name.

  2. Then ask how to help.

  3. Say your name as the last word in your greeting.

   

The start of the call is very important. If the caller hasn't heard you, repeat the greeting again.

 

11. Improving your English

You're the first voice that welcomes the caller. You're at the frontline of your client's brand. This requires your very best English grammar and pronunciation.

 

The fact that you're taking calls indicates you already have a good understanding of English. However, this is just the beginning. You'll need to speak English well enough to be easily understood by callers with different accents. People judge intelligence, education and capability by skill at speaking.

 

The best thing you can do to improve is to listen to your own call recordings. Hearing yourself will give you a precise idea of your strengths and weaknesses.

 

Your English won't improve unless you're speaking daily. Even if your work or home has people who speak a different local language, take the opportunity to practice speaking English.

The more you speak English, the easier it becomes. Plus, you're helping others improve their English also.

 

Part of speaking properly is to improve your grammar. Study how people use grammar on American TV shows.

 

If your project's callers speak a different accent, take the time to learn their accent.

 

12. Informing the caller before you do something

Need to look up details during a call? First let the caller know what you're doing. Don't just go silent. Also try to estimate how long it'll take.

   
  1. You're about to look up the callers details:

  2. You're looking up the answer:

  3. You're entering their details into the system:

  4. You're waiting for your PC:

  5. You're making progress on their issue.

 

13. Keeping control of the call

When you handle a call, you need to get to the bottom of things. No matter how well intentioned, you may be able to help the caller better if you lead the way. Balancing politeness versus taking control is an important skill.

 
  1. Listen. When someone's upset they tend to talk fast, talk loud, and talk urgently. Hear it through and start thinking forward on a solution to their problem. Keep calm.

  2. Don't go off topic. If the caller goes off topic, try to answer with a short response then re-direct back to what needs to be done. If they ask you how the day is going:

  3. Ask specific questions and get them to respond. Avoid giving them an opportunity to go off topic. Close ended questions are best.

  4. Set the pace of the call.

  5. Let the caller know you'll do a recap at the end of the call and answer other questions at that time. This can help stop some interruptions.

   

14. Keeping noise off the call

The quality of call audio is one of the things callers base their impression on. Always ensure there's minimal background noise. Speak loud and clear.

 

When you're put on mute the line goes silent. The caller may think you've hung up, or be unsure what's happening. Ask to put them on hold first.

 

Talking with your supervisor or other agents while on a call is unprofessional. Ask to put them on hold first.

 

15. Putting on hold

 

Never put the caller on hold without asking first.

If you're going to have a caller wait on hold, for any reason, let them know how long they'll have to wait.

     

16. Reading without sounding like you're reading

The key to reading call scripts out loud is to NOT sound like you're reading.

  1. Prepare.
    • Don't read the call script cold.
    • Go over the call scripts, over and over again, with another agent.
    • Read the call script aloud in front of a mirror.
  2. Look up the pronunciation of words you're unsure of. Write them out phonetically on post-its if it helps.
  3. Slow down. Callers are listening to your words.
  4. Pause occasionally. It helps sound conversational.
  5. Breath properly. A good breathing rhythm helps you sound natural and conversational.
 

17. Referring to the caller

Use your caller's name. Referring to the caller by name throughout the call, (along with their preferred salutation, e.g. Mr., Mrs., Dr. or Miss) personalizes the call and shows respect.

When using names, call them by their first name only. If you only have their surname, always say the right salutation (e.g. Mr., Mrs., Dr. or Miss) before their surname.

Never say "sir" or "ma'am". It gives away the fact that you're a stranger to them, and makes you sound like you're calling to sell them something.

   

At the beginning of any call, pay attention to their name if they give it to you. Write it on a post-it.

 

18. Referring to the client's brand

While you're working on a project, you need to remember that you're part of a larger team. Your team provides services to your caller. It's important to refer to yourself as part of this team. NOT as a third party.

Never refer to your client's brand as "they" or "them". Always say "we" or "us"

 




 

19. Restating questions

Restating the question shows understanding of the problem. Be an active listener when communicating verbally. Active listening involves asking questions and affirming the information you've received.

  1. Good   Take notes. Some callers give you all the information you need in their initial question. Write down all information that they give you, so you don't have to ask again.
  2. Good   Be attentive. Focus your attention to what the caller's saying. Resist day-dreaming. Ignore distracting background noise.
 

When restating, try to really understand what the caller's saying. Not just repeating what they said.

To clarify you understood the question, repeat it in your own words. This confirms that you've heard it right.

 

When taking the callers information, clearly repeat the information as you record it.

  1. Truly understand what your caller's saying. Don't interrupt. Wait until they stop.
  2. Recognize the context of what your caller's inquiry. Take notes. Use your call script or knowledge base to find an answer.
 

Always stick to your call script.

An energetic and positive response will make your caller feel that you're happy to help.

After you get the initial query, respond in a way that shows you're happy to help them. Don't just say "OK". Give the caller confirmation that they did the right thing by calling you.

   

20. Sounding friendly

 

Even though you're on the phone, the caller can sense a smile from you. Look at a mirror when you answer a call. See if you're smiling or not.

 

Using the right tone of voice creates atmosphere on the phone. From beginning to end, show you care. You don't need to act overly excited, just have a positive attitude. It's contagious.

As you listen to your calls, ask yourself:

  • How do I sound on the phone?
  • Is my enthusiasm coming through?
  • Have I got a positive attitude?
  • Am I friendly?
  • Did I give a warm greeting?
 

It all starts with attitude. The difference between good customer service and bad customer service is often a single word. Attitude! More than any other single factor, a positive attitude makes the difference.

Someone with a positive attitude will attempt to help, even if they don't have all the answers. They'll find someone to help or will seek out an answer. People notice that.

Someone with a negative attitude will see a request for help as a bother. People notice that type of attitude too.

When listening to your call recordings, imagine how this caller would rate you on a survey. How could you improve?

 

21. Sounding interested

It's important that you show interest in what the caller's saying. Consider the tone of your voice.

  • Good   Allow callers to speak without interrupting them.
  • Good   Give callers your undivided attention.
  • Good   Avoid leaving a caller on hold longer than 40 seconds.
  • Good   No matter how brief the call, make a point of using the caller's name.
  • Good   Monitor your tone of voice. Watch your facial expressions in a mirror.
  • Good   Take notes, to avoid re-asking what the caller's already told you.
  • Good   Respond using words like: "I see,.." "oh", etc.
 

If you're bored, your caller will hear it in your voice. Talking in a bored tone will annoy your caller.

 

Multi-tasking is great, but when you're on the phone with a caller your primary task is to be on the phone. Your caller deserves your undivided attention. Pay attention to what they say by writing it down.

 

If you sound like you're tired, it's going to show through on the phone.

 

There's a difference between reading without expression, and reading a call script like you're in a conversation. Sound like a human.

 

22. Sounding professional

Sounding professional over the phone is important.

What type of impression is your phone-voice making? Your caller is judging both "what" you say, and "how" you say it.

  1. There should be nothing in your mouth. Food and beverages should only be taken between calls. No nail biting, chewing gum, etc.
  2. Be prepared. Have all the websites and software applications you need, along with a piece of paper and a pen.
  3. Pay attention to the tone of your voice. Smile.
  4. Be careful in pronouncing words, especially names, addresses, and other unique words.
  5. Watch out for mistakes when writing down phone numbers and street addresses.
  6. Don't communicate with a stiff or overly formal voice.
  7. When transferring a call to another department, make sure that you've also transferred the caller's record or information to the next agent, so the next agent doesn't have to ask again.
 

Never make the caller feel that they've done something wrong by calling. If a caller's called the wrong department, politely advise them of the correct phone number, or better yet, transfer them directly.

 

Angry callers can be rude. If you're dealing with an irate caller and you're having a bad day, pass the call onto someone else. Better to have someone fresh on the phone than to hang up and leave a bad impression. Eventually, the caller will either hang up themselves, or they'll end up with someone who knows how to handle them.

Help them feel that you'd like to help. Don't add to their frustration.

 

Don't laugh or giggle while talking on the phone. It's a sign of immaturity and unprofessionalism.

 

Being polite doesn't mean that you have to keep apologizing to the caller. The caller may get annoyed if you keep over apologizing while not fixing the problem.

Apologize for the inconvenience twice at most. Over-apologizing says you wish you could help, but can't.

 

Excessive "umms" or "ahhs" tells the caller that you have little product knowledge or experience. Be prepared in advance and minimize the "umms" and "ahhs".

 

23. Speaking clearly

Enunciate your words properly. This allows the caller to better understand you. Speaking clearly is the sign of a good communicator.

 

Keep the microphone close to your mouth. A two finger gap is a good range. Closer than this and it'll pick up your breath. More than this and the noise canceling feature will make it sound distant.

 

Consider your speed. If you're reading off a call script and feel a bit nervous, you may end up reading too fast. Going too fast or too slow may annoy the caller. Whenever there's comma or full stop on your call script, slow down a little.

Be aware of your callers attitude. You can tell by the way someone talks if he or she's in a rush or not. Either way, your caller needs you to speak clearly and at the right speed in order for them to understand clearly what you're saying.

 

Never place your microphone directly in the path of your breath. If you're not sure, test it.

 

24. Speaking confidently

Speaking confidently means people have to be able to hear you. Speak with a confident volume.

  1. Understand your product or services.
  2. Made a mistake? Take note, learn from it, and try again.
  3. Speak clearly so the caller has confidence in your answers.

Remember that the caller is ringing you because they need information from you. You have the information. Deliver it confidently.

 

25. Staying calm

It's not always easy to keep calm, especially if the caller's angry about something you have no control over. If a caller's complaining and angry, let them vent. Most likely they aren't mad at you personally. Ask them questions to show that you care.

Don't add to their aggravation. Be a good listener.

 
  • Avoid   Don't get angry, even if the caller is.
  • Avoid   Don't sound irritated.
  • Avoid   Don't sound rude.
  • Avoid   Don't raise your voice.


  • Good   Smile before you answer the call.
  • Good   Listen. It's the golden rule of good customer service.
  • Good   Answer in a friendly voice. An unhappy caller will find it more difficult to be rude to someone who's warm and friendly.
  • Good   Think before responding. Don't take it personally. Be detached and professional. Don't offer excuses. Excuses may further aggravate the caller.
  • Good   Assess escalation. Sometimes, in spite of your best efforts, the caller may still be angry. Assess if it's best to involve a supervisor in the discussion.
  • Good   Empathize. A sure way to win over an agitated caller is to empathize. Let them know that you understand.
  • Good   Resolve the issue. Take steps to deal with the caller's complaint, ideally during the call, so that they leave feeling satisfied.
  • Good   Treat each difficult call as a learning experience. Incorporate what you learn into future calls.
 

26. Sticking to the script

The call scripts are there to help you through your calls. They're designed so you can follow along step by step. It's important that you've learned all the steps before going on a live call.

 

Sticking to the call script minimizes the chance of missing a step. This ensures you've done all you can to respond to each caller.

 

27. Taking ownership of a problem

If a problem can't be resolved during the call, take down the callers details and offer to call back. This is a good way to show that you're trying to help.

 

28. Transferring a call

Before transferring a call, first, listen to the caller. Don't interrupt them. They may give you information that eliminates the need for a call transfer.

  1. Listen.
  2. Don't interrupt.
  3. Assess their needs.

Attempt to resolve: You should at least make an attempt to resolve the caller's issue before transferring.

If you still need to transfer:

  1. Explain why. Explain to the caller why they're being transferred.

  2. Give your name and number. If there's a disconnection, your caller will know how to call you back.

  3. Confirm available. Check the connecting person is actually available.

  4. Warm intro to the connecting person. Make the effort to explaining the problem to the connecting person or department.

 

29. UK English

 
  • turn on the light.
 
  • turn off the light.
 
  • You can qualify for the promo plan.
 
  • May I ask who's calling?.
 
  • I'm only joking.
 
  • I've already asked.
 
  • I've already made a note.
 
  • he's staying at the hospital.
 
  • goodbye.
 
  • thank you.
 
  • the week after next.
 
  • I'll see you later.
 
  • power cut.
 
  • fridge.
 
  • I'm good, thanks.
 
  • Sorry, what was that?.
 
  • Bear with me.
 
  • Please hold.
 
  • I'll put you through to support.
 
  • What's your mobile number?.
 
  • toilet.
 
  • rubbish.
 
  • colleague.
 
  • take the lift to the 5th floor.
 
  • he drives a lorry.
 
  • going on holiday.
 
  • he's away today.
 
  • she's feeling poorly.
 
  • my flat's on the 5th floor.
 
  • biscuit.
 
  • chips.
 
  • sweets.
 
  • rubbish bin.
 
  • torch.
 
  • anti-clockwise.
 
  • take three stops on the underground.
 
  • I need to buy petrol.
 
  • sellotape.
 
  • footpath.
 
  • the kids are playing in the garden.
 
  • I bought some new trousers.
 
  • tap.
 
  • drive twenty minutes on the motorway.
 
  • He's really mad.
 
  • Did you watch the football game?.
 
  • car park.
 
  • you'll need to come back in a fortnight.
 
  • the shop assistant was very helpful.
 
  • buy the medicine at the chemist.
 
  • there was loads of food at the party.
 

30. US English

 
  • turn on the light.
 
  • turn off the light.
 
  • You can qualify for the promo plan.
 
  • May I ask who's calling?.
 
  • I'm only joking.
 
  • I've already asked.
 
  • I've already made a note.
 
  • he's staying at the hospital.
 
  • goodbye.
 
  • thank you.
 
  • the week after next.
 
  • I'll see you later.
 
  • blackout.
 
  • refrigerator.
 
  • I'm fine thanks.
 
  • What was that?.
 
  • Just a minute.
 
  • Please stay on the line.
 
  • I'll connect your call to support.
 
  • What's your cell number?.
 
  • bathroom.
 
  • co-worker.
 
  • he drives a semi truck.
 
  • going on vacation.
 
  • she's feeling unwell.
 
  • trash can.
 
  • take three stops on the subway.
 
  • there was tons of food at the party.
 

31. Using please, thank you, and good manners

Simple words like "please" and "thank you" can make a big difference. Help every caller happy and feel good about calling.

 
  • Avoid: Avoid being too quick to say "no" or "we can't". Be as diplomatic and nice as possible when saying "no".

  • Avoid: Avoid making the caller feel stupid.

  • Avoid: Avoid calling callers "sir" / "ma'am".

  • Avoid: Don't leave the problem unresolved.

  • Avoid: Don't say "It can't be done." Instead say "Let me see what I can do."

  • Good: Thank them for contacting customer support.

  • Good: Take the caller's name and phone number so you can call back if the call gets dropped.

  • Good: Listen, and try hard to help them as best as you can.

  • Good: Rephrase the caller's question.

  • Good: Ask for further clarification if you're unsure of their requirements.

  • Good: Be polite, courteous, friendly, and sound happy that they called you.

  • Good: Try to go beyond the expected.

   
 

Actually: This word scares people. It implies that there's a catch.

 

A better way of saying this: "Let's look at your options".

 

The following words are unprofessional:

 

If the caller asks you "how are you?", answer them and thank them for asking.

  • Good   "I'm doing fine. Thank you for asking."
 

32. Verifying spelling and numbers

Use the phonetic alphabet when spelling a difficult word. It makes you sound more professional and has better accuracy.

 

A. Alpha.

B. Bravo.

C. Charlie.

D. Delta.

E. Echo.

F. Foxtrot.

G. Golf.

H. Hotel.

I. India.

J. Juliet.

K. Kilo.

L. Lima.

M. Mike.

N. November.

O. Oscar.

P. Papa.

Q. Quebec.

R. Romeo.

S. Sierra.

T. Tango.

U. Uniform.

V. Victor.

W. Whiskey.

X. Xray.

Y. Yankee.

Z. Zulu.

When taking a down the spelling of a caller's "difficult to spell" word:

  1. Wait for the caller to finish spelling it out.
  2. Then spell it back to them using phonetic.
  3. Take care that you don't rush the caller or yourself.
  4. Ensure you got their details correctly.
 
  • Repeat the full number again once the caller has completed the phone number.
  • Confirm their name and the company name again.
  • Reassure the caller that you'll call back.
  • Do call back within the specified time you said you'd call.
   

33. ~Cheat sheet

 

May I note down your customer reference number, please?

 

Do you have your customer reference number with you? May I note that down please?

 

Thank you, and what date would you like to start the hire?

 

May I know what date you'd like to pick up the car?

 

May I ask who I'm speaking with, please?

 

What can I do for you today, Jane?

 

I'm happy to assist you. What can I do for you today?

 

While I'm opening your file, may I ask the reason you're calling?

 

It looks like your calls arrived here by accident. May I transfer you to support? I'm sure they can help you.

 

Great. Just in case the call gets disconnected, again, my name's Selwyn, and my direct number's 5-6-4-8-2-1. Putting you on hold now Carol.

 

Hi Zac. I've got a customer named Carol Customer who's got a problem with her order. May I transfer the call to you?

 

Hey, Carol. I've got Zac here on the line with us. Hey Zac, Carol's ticket ID is 7-5-4-8-9-4. This is her third call about this issue. Take care Carol, bye.

 

If you'd like, I could send Zac Zipi a message asking him to call you back. Would that be OK?

 

I'm sorry Carol, it looks like Zac Zipi isn't around. Can I put you on hold again while I find Alan Alternative?

 

I'm afraid I'm not able to assist you further on this. I'll have my supervisor call you as soon as possible. I'll make sure you hear back from us soon.

 

It's been a pleasure assisting you today. Is there anything else I can help with?

 

I'm sorry I wasn't able to help with that problem. Besides that problem, is there anything else I can help with?

 

OK Carol. Your booking's all done. Please pick up your car at 7 pm on Friday, and don't forget to bring your driver's license.

 

It's been a pleasure assisting you today, Carol. Is there anything else I can help you with today?

 

It's been a pleasure assisting you today, Carol. Do call us back if you have any other questions.

 

Thanks for calling ABC Company, Carol, have a nice day!

 

Hey Carol, can I tell you about our double free minutes plan? If you buy an additional sim, you'll get double the free minutes on both sims?

 

Thank you for calling ABC booking services. How can I help you today? You're speaking with Selwyn.

 

Thank you for those details. Can you hold for a moment while I open your file on our system?

 

Mrs. Smith, I'm reviewing your account information right now. Please hold for a moment.

 

I'm just searching for the answer to your question. Please hold for a moment.

 

Thanks for your patience. My computer's just loading your information. It'll take me about 20 seconds to get the details you're after.

 

Mrs. Smith, my supervisor's still reviewing your account information. Please wait for a moment while she completes her assessment.

 

OK, I understand you're upset. Please give me some time and find a way through this. Would you prefer to hold or should I call you back?

 

My day is great, thank you for asking. Can I ask how long its been since you first called in about this issue?

 

Would 10 am or 3 pm be best to send the repair person?

 

First I'll book your air reservations, then we'll go back to adding the car and hotel reservations.

 

Mrs. Jones, before the end of the call, I'll summarize your booking changes and answer any other questions you may have. Now, what's the new date you'd like to start your hire?

 

Hi Carol, can I just put you on hold for a moment while I check that with my supervisor?

 

Are you able to hold for a moment?

 

I'll see if I can locate Tammy for you. Are you able to hold for a moment?

 

Let me open your booking details. Can you hold for a moment?

 

I'll get my supervisor to speak to you. Can I put you on hold for a moment while I transfer the call?

 

I'll need to pull that information from the database, it might take a minute or so. Can I put you on hold for a moment?

 

You know what, Carol? It might be best for you to stop by at our office in Springfield. Would that be possible?

 

So Carol, what you're saying is that the $26 added to your March bill is incorrect and should be refunded. Is that correct?

 

So what you're saying Carol, is that you'd like to cancel your August 22nd booking, and instead come one week later, on August 29th. Is that right?

 

Well Carol, you certainly did the right thing by calling me today. I'm sorry that your internet connection hasn't been working.

 

Sure Carol. I'd be delighted to assist with that.

 

Certainly Carol. Let me help you with that.

 

No problem, Carol. You've come the right place.

 

Hey Carol, it looks like there won't be any clear answer about your missing baggage items until Monday. Do you mind if I take your details and call you back then?

 

Hey, Carol, may I transfer you to our support department? I'm sure they can help you with this.

 

Great. Just in case the call gets disconnected, my direct number is 5-1-8-6-4-5. Transferring you now.

 

That's a great question. Let me check. I'll find out.

 

Because of our no refund policy, what I can suggest is that I apply the $45 as a credit to your account, for any future purchases.

 

I'm doing fine. Thank you for asking.

 

So the booking name is for Mrs Jones. That's J for Juliet, Oscar, November, Echo, Sierra. Is that correct?

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