It’s not every week that I write about concepts and ideas for your admin people to use to help them sell more and provide better customer service over the phone. So I’m going to devote the next several posts to that very topic. You’ve probably heard the old saying that when you see a box turtle on a fence post, you’ve got to know he had some help getting there. That principle certainly applies to the role your admin people play as the glue that holds your operations together. That said, let’s get started.

Customer Service PhoneI heard about an irate patient who called the pathology group, demanding that that they explain every lab test on her statement. “Of course,” said the nurse’s assistant. She pulled up her bill and started: “Number one, urinalysis …” The patient immediately interrupted her saying: “I’m a what?”

I was also told about a lady at the diner who complained: “Ick! Why does this sandwich have bacon on it?” The server responded by reminding her that she ordered a BLT. The lady said: “Whaaaat? I thought the B stood for bread.”

And then finally, there was a guy who was asked for his name by the coffee shop clerk when he placed his order. He answered, “Marc, with a C.” Soon afterward, he was handed his coffee with his name written on the side: Cark.

These are comical reminders that when it comes to serving and selling customers on the phone, both your attitude and your technique are very important. Since you already know that perception is reality, you must also realize that how you say things is more important than the content of what you say. So let’s start by picking up a ringing phone in your office as we discuss several aspects of your customer service telephone attitude.

Because what people perceive is what they believe, keep the following points in mind:

  • A customer call can never be considered an interruption by you.
  • Every customer call is unique, so be prepared to try to help the customer.
  • First impressions are formed in 4-6 seconds, so you must be on your game as you answer.
  • Have a smile on your face because the caller can absolutely hear the smile in your voice.

Learn to become a good listener as you interact with callers:

  • Empathize (not sympathize) so they know you are trying to understand their dilemma.
  • Be business friendly rather than overly personal.
  • Use the customer’s name since that is the sweetest sound in the world to everyone.
  • Be energetic, helpful and take notes about what is said.

Your attitude should always be helpful:

  • Be interested in the caller and their concern regardless how many calls you’ve answered.
  • Always offer more than the minimum to try to remove their pain.
  • Make an effort to find and provide the information the customer needs.
  • Never say “I can’t.” If you’re not empowered to resolve it, take the issue up the pecking order to whoever is.

Now that you’ve been reminded of the importance of maintaining a caring attitude when you’re on the phone with customers, next time in Part II we will share some important telephone techniques that will improve your customer service relationships, as well as your admin selling.

——————Read This Slowly—————

 Received this message recently from Tony Iverson, Salt Lake City, UT. “Doug, I finally accomplished something in 2016 that I’ve been striving for since I went into sales. At the end of November I surpassed the $100,000 earnings mark, and you have a part in that through your years of teaching me…THANK YOU! I am ranked number 23 of all sales people at Rollins and number 8 in my category! My friend you’re very special to me!” Go here to get what Tony got.