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Jul 25, 2005
What are the essential components to close a customer call?
I have worked with many organisations in the UK to help them to develop performance standards for delivering a quality experience to the customer during phone calls.
My recommendation would be that you need to include the following:
1. A further and final offer of help -- e.g. is there anything else I can help you with today? This ensures that the caller has the opportunity to ask any additional questions but also demonstrates that the agent is not rushing the caller to finish the call. Consistently offering help before closing the call would prevent the customer from having to call back to ask any questions he or she didn’t feel were answered or that he or she wasn’t allowed time to ask.
2. Thanking the caller for the contact -- e.g. thank you for calling. This helps ensure that the caller is left feeling that the organisation values the contact with the customer
3. The name of the organisation should be the last thing that the caller hears – this would promote a positive brand and image of the organisation. The aim here would be to ensure that the caller is left with a reminder of the organisation and associates the great experience he or she has just had on the phone with the name of the organisation.
I sugest to always keep it simple and end the call with: "We appreciate your business." -- Ben Davidowitz, Fisher Investments
I don't like "We appreciate your business." It sounds like you are one big dollar sign to that company and not a valued person. We prefer the standards like "Thank you for calling" or "I'm glad I could help you today." -- Michael Levy
I much prefer Mr. Davidowitz's suggestion. "We appreciate your business." This lets the customer know that you care, which goes one more step than "Thank you for calling." At our firm we actually practice this and it is received well. -- Harris Davis, Open Marketing
This is similar to the call opening, in that I believe for the most part, the rep should be open to formulating the greeting to their choosing, so long as they include desired elements.
The exception to this is where I see a company with a well-established brand "motto" or slogan that is well-promoted and well-suited for an ending. Certainly, if any element is used in the greeting, it should NOT be used in the close, or your customers will notice a clear lack of sincerity.
Generally, the offer of help should be made so long as it is unclear whether further help is required. By this I mean; if you have gone over someone's entire account, spent 20 minutes with the person, and then ask "Is there anything else...?" It can easily come across in the wrong manner.
Bottom-line: you need to somehow thank the person for taking the time to contact the company, and hopefully, for an excellent call, in a sincere and honest manner.
If it appears the company has forced its staff to repeat the same line to everyone, the effect is lost, and can even be negative. -- Sean, Canada
It is an ideal time, at the closing of call, to ask the caller for any suggestions for improvement.
In our call centre we ask, "Is there anything else I can help you with today?" at the end of each call. We use this for two reasons: (1) To prevent the caller having to phone back because they had forgotten something, and (2) as a tool to close the call.
By asking this question, the consultant is giving the caller a message that they have finished telling them what they need to know. We have noticed that using this tool has stopped messy closures (e.g., each party saying thank you twice or one party feeling uncomfortable saying goodbye).
It sounds professional and lets the caller know that the consultant really is there to help them. -- Andrea Miller, SX
I agree with comment #1.
We recently started using the question, "Is there anything else I can help you with today Mr./Mrs. ______?" and this has proven to be extremely beneficial not only to the customer, but to the company, also.
Many customers, after leaving the call, think to themselves "Oh, I meant to ask them about______." When given this opportunity by the agent, the customer is more inclined to follow on with another inquiry.
Whilst you may be thinking about a rise in AHT (Average Handle Time), this has to be balanced against your first call resolution. We also ensure that we finish by either including, 'Thank you for shopping with/ thank you for your payment with' or simply 'Thank you for calling" then the company name.
This also confirms with the customer that you have been listening and focusing on the customer's needs. Closing the call can make or break the call, therefore it is vitally important to get it right, the first time. -- Euan, Dial-It
Before closing the call, use the verbiage "Is there any thing else I should assist you with, Sir/Ma'm?" It's a good practice to ask the customer whether he is satisfied with the information provided. And end the call by saying, "Thank you for calling _______ (company's name)." From the beginning to the end of the call you should sound as though you really care for the customer. -- A.Antoine Prasad
We use the following within our call center:
"Before we say 'goodbye,' is there anything else I can assist you with?
Thank you for calling (company name)."
The client will now know, should he not ask anything else, that the consultant will now say good bye. -- Koos Liebenberg, Lancet lLaboratories
Today's customer takes the pains to manage his/her time, manages to control anger/irritation and tries to be loyal to a program/service he/she has a relationship with.
To respect that, a call could be closed in the following manner:
1)"Ms. Smith, is there anything else I could help you with today?" (personalized to the individual, ensuring that Ms. Smith can finish all questions/concerns on the same call without having to call back and waste time).
2)"Ms.Smith, thank you for calling (-----------), you're a GREAT customer, we appreciate it!" (re-assures Ms. Smith that the reason for her calling (---------) has been resolved, she is valued and appreciated)
3)"Ms. Smith, we hope you have a great weekend! Thank you for calling (--------)"
I do believe that usage of a customer's name and the company name in the same sentence when closing can build brand and associate the customer with the company.
4)"Mr. Smith, thank you for calling (--------), we value your business". -- Steven Sequeira, Aditya Birla Minacs
It has become irritating to have every call center ask "is there anything else I can help you with" EVERY TIME and it's often inappropriate. It's trying too hard and it's false.
For example, "Will you reverse my bank charge because I only went one penny over my limit?" "No, the bank won't allow that. Is there anything else I can help you with?" How is refusing to do something helpful??? Why assume you have helped in the first place? Why not communicate like a human being and base the vocabulary on what happens on the call rather than having to insert unnecessary phrases?
I'd rather forget something and have to phone back if I forgot something (doesn't happen that often and is only a problem if the organisation is bad on call response times), rather than being constantly told I've been helped every time I deal with an organisation.
I find "thank you, goodbye" or words to that effect is simple and professional. Less is more in the modern world. -- Dan, Seed Lead Generation
If the call is closing but the customer's issue isn't (i.e., the organization has bought time to resolve/ check/ revert on the issue), the best closing (for the customer, at least) would be to hear a reassurance about resolving the issue as promised. That, indeed, would be the last thing the customer wants to hear.
Something like, "Thank you Ms. yyy , for calling xxx co. We will be reverting to you as promised, I assure you."
When closing a call I like to hear a few things:
1- have I fully resolved the reason for your call today?
2- is there anything else I can do to help you today?
3- Thank you for calling x - have a great day.
The above combination is specifically helpful in an environment where you are working towards increasing FCR (first call resolution) and also your overall resolve rate. It will also help out your CQM-CVM (customer satisfacton index as well). It ensures that the customer will not end the call without the assistance they deserve. Customers who continue to tell the agent they are not satisfied can be escalated and handled before you let them off the phone. -- Ann-Marie Casey-Christensen, Business Relativity
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