Book Report: Great Customer Service on the Telephone — by Kristin Anderson

Customer Service is one of the greatest challenges for every company. The way you use the telephone is critically important for you and your company. Not only most of the time is the first impression given to our clients, it is the first human interaction between company and customers.

The author explains the importance of separating each phone call physically and emotionally, treating each one as your first one. Keep in mind that over the phone the visual part of the conversation is non-existent, making us more receptive to the sound and tone of the voice at the other end. Our voice should have a clear tone and pronunciation.

It is bad practice to answer a call when someone else is still talking to you, or you are still laughing at a joke, etc. We must start each call on an even emotional keel, maintaining a conversational tone.

While over the phone, we must stay alert, pleasant, keep a simple and straight forward language, and use of clear articulation and enunciation. All of these skills are learned skills that can improve tremendously with practice. You can only imagine how relieved I felt when I read that.

Avoiding certain words or phrases such as: “is that it?”, “no problem”, “honey”, “I don’t know”, etc., is suggested by the author. As well as interruptions, fear that you don’t have all the answers, overreacting at what is said to you, and/or believing that you know better than the speaker does.

Furthermore, the author explains the importance of the development of our listening skills. A good listener empathizes and asks open questions. Pseudo listening, or pretending to listen whereas in reality you are focusing on somewhere else, is the worst practice while on the phone. Use your listening skills to show your customer that you care.

I believe it is important to reviewthis information periodically by all our staff, to help us avoid falling into incorrect patterns. Thank you.