Here are a few tips:
Be polite and courteous. Always find out how your customer is doing before your ask them for information, an appointment, a contact person, or a sale. Some will be ready to buy right away, but everyone will appreciate knowing that you care if they have time to talk, or if they are not in a position to talk or in a crisis. The customer wants to be heard and there is a delicate balance in sales between courtesy and assertiveness.
Make sure you know your script. If you have a formal script, commit it to memory. This could take days or months, but it will come. If you have no script, create a simple group of phrases that are direct and effective, and convey your message well. Knowing what you are going to say beforehand about your product or service enables you to easily shift gears and respond effectively to questions.
Know how to roll with the punches. Every customer has their own unique situation, and you must be able to track with them to respond in a way that is conducive to their needs.
Build rapport. Get to know your customer and what motivates them. Identify with them by finding commonality, but only if they show interest.
Have all of your information resources in place. Relevant phone numbers, technical data, calendars, names, computer shortcuts, calculators and other helps should be implemented and ready at all times.
Know how to use your databases, and how to toggle between them effectively when time is of the essence.
Know your product or service. Ride along with your sales or service people on appointments and take copious notes to recall what you learned later and use in better serving your customers. Read technical data, and learn precisely what aspects you must know about your product or service. Clearly state to your customers what information you have, and what is imparted only by the sales team. This will help you earn your customers respect and they will want to speak to the salesperson as they will get the impression that your company is honest, professional and well organized.
Ask a lot of relevant questions of your customers. The more your sales or service team know about their customer, the better equipped they will be to serve the customer and make an effective presentation.
Identify the customer’s communication style. This will enable you to better relate to the customer. If they just want the facts, you give them the facts only. If they want to tell you why they want the product, just listen, and record their thoughts for the sales team to follow up on.
Control the call. Be respectful of the customer’s wishes at all times, but if they show interest, guide them through the process in a way that is productive. Do not run roughshod over the customer at any time, just indicate clearly how the process works and integrate that with their needs assertively, quickly and effectively.
Make the most of each opportunity. Each prospect you communicate with may have a desire for your product or service. Don’t miss the opportunity to make a sale or set an appointment. Do your best to maximize each contact.
Make it happen! When the customer makes a request that does not conflict with company guidelines, such as scheduling an appointment at a certain time, expediting a proposal or having the salesperson look into a special program, make every effort to communicate quickly with management to fulfill the request if it is a reasonable one.
Keep excellent records. Utilize your CRM or other database to ensure that all updates from all departments and the customer are organized and up to date. This will help everyone to know exactly what is going on with each customer at all times.
Maintain thorough communication with all departments to further ensure that every relevant link in the company understands what stage each customer is at. Use instant messaging, email, couriers, snail mail, fax, video conferencing, telephone, text and face to face. Every tool in your arsenal is key.
Know your salesperson’s calendar. Making sure your salesperson has time to get to each appointment, to prepare, and even to take breaks and eat meals, keeps the salesperson happy, healthy and productive.
Follow up with each customer in a timely way. If your customer is interested, and you follow up with them regularly, letting them know what is going on and answering their questions and concerns; keeping them on the salesperson’s calendar, and contacting the salesperson to ensure that communication is consistent, you will make more sales.
Warm or cold calling in a customer care call center environment always has it’s ups and downs. Be ready for anything, including repeated rejection, irate customers, sales situations that require quick thinking, computer breakdown and also times of great boredom.
Respect your fellow customer care representatives. Don’t poach others’ leads and don’t talk so loud they can’t hear themselves talk. Try to get along with everyone. Respect others’ privacy, and socialize when you can.
Following these guidelines should make you a valuable asset in any customer care environment.