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Handbook of Advanced Phone Skills

Customer Service Answer Guide

The Handbook of Advanced Phone Skills will show your reps how to take their phone skills to the next level.

Read the sample below to see how much useful information is packed into a brief section of this guide.

Build rapport with customers

One of the most important advanced phone skills is building rapport, or a connection, with customers. It is equally important whether you have a small group of customers whom you work with on a regular basis or if you are on the phone for just a few minutes and may never speak with the caller again. Creating a connection will put the caller at ease, encourage a smooth, conflict-free interaction, and leave a positive and lasting impression on the customer.

Customers are often pressed for time when they call a customer service center. And reps are often equally pressed to handle calls as quickly and efficiently as possible. That leaves you only moments to put customers at ease and begin building rapport. The following steps will help you make the most of that time.

Use mirroring techniques. We often feel most comfortable and relaxed with people who are like us. This basic fact of human nature can be used to help build rapport over the phone by “mirroring” what you know about the customer. For example: his or her rate of speech, voice tone, volume, and word choice. If a customer is speaking slowly and softly and using nontechnical language, you should do the same. But if the customer is clearly rushed, speaking quickly and forcefully, and is comfortable with the jargon in your industry, try speaking the same way. Nothing will rattle the quick speaker more than a slow speaker and vice versa.

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