When dealing with customers, it is necessary to be professional in all aspects of your role. You must handle customers with respect and prompt attention. When on a telephone, make sure that you know how to place a customer on hold, as well as how to transfer a customer without losing the call. The manner in which you conduct the call is important, and your job is to help the customer focus on and communicate the problem so that you (or another technician) can solve it.
Be positive when communicating with the customer. Tell the customer what you can do. Do not focus on what you cannot do. Be prepared to explain alternative ways that you can help them, such as emailing information, faxing step-by-step instructions, or using remote control software to solve the problem. Customers will quickly sense whether you are interested in helping them.
Figure 1 outlines the process to follow before you put a customer on hold. First, let the customer finish speaking. Then explain that you have to put the customer on hold, and ask the customer for permission to do so. When the customer agrees to be put on hold, thank the customer. Tell your customer that you will be away only a few minutes and explain what you will be doing during that time.
Figure 2 outlines the process for transferring a call. Follow the same process for a call transfer as you would when placing a customer on hold. Let the customer finish talking, and then explain that you have to transfer the call. When the customer agrees to be transferred, tell the customer the phone number that you are transferring the customer to. You should also tell the new technician your name, the name of the customer that you are transferring, and the related ticket number.
When dealing with customers, it is sometimes easier to explain what you should not do. The following list describes things that you should not do when communicating with a customer:
- Do not minimize a customer’s problems.
- Do not use jargon, abbreviations, acronyms, and slang.
- Do not use a negative attitude or tone of voice.
- Do not argue with customers or becoming defensive.
- Do not say culturally insensitive remarks.
- Do not be judgmental or insulting or call the customer names.
- Avoid distractions and do not interrupt when talking with customers.
- Do not take personal calls when talking with customers.
- Do not talk to co-workers about unrelated subjects when talking with the customer.
- Avoid unnecessary holds and abrupt holds.
- Do not transfer a call without explaining the purpose of the transfer and getting customer consent.
- Do not use negative remarks about other technicians to the customer.