Six steps for an effective telephone answering service

Working at a telephone answering service can be difficult at times as there is no face-to-face interaction and people can be hard to read when having only a voice to go on. For a person to contact a telephone answering service, however, he or she is most likely experiencing some kind of problem. With some individuals being more emotional than others, it’s a good idea to know how to diffuse a difficult situation. Here are some steps to follow that can ensure a smoother interaction even with the most irritated client.

Be respectful

When you find yourself confronted by an aggressive caller, it can be difficult to keep your cool and remain professional. You’ll find that once clients find a respectful and calm individual on the other end of the line, they themselves end up mirroring that behaviour. When people feel respected, they usually show respect in return.

Display empathy

Some clients may have a serious problem and may be distraught. Showing the caller that you empathise with them and understand their difficult situation is a good way to establish rapport. This calms the client by making them feel understood and therefore making it easier for the problem to be resolved.

Assure client of your best efforts

Once you’ve established a good rapport with the client, you ensure him or her that you will do your best to get to the bottom of whatever the problem is and that you will do your best to resolve it.

Do your best to resolve the issue

You must then keep your promise to try and get to the bottom of the issue and if possible, resolve it as soon as possible. If it is difficult and it may take time, inform the client that you will get back to them. If it takes longer than expected, contact them to inform them of your progress.

Follow up if necessary

After the issue has been resolved, contacting the client just to confirm that everything is okay will be highly appreciated by them.

Request feedback

It’s also a good idea to ask them if they are happy with your service and if there is any way they would’ve been happier with your work. Even if they do have an issue, the simple act of requesting their feedback will surely improve their level of satisfaction as they will feel respected.