Customer Service Phone Etiquette - Effective Listening | ICMI
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Managing Customer Contacts with Quality

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Build agent confidence and higher customer satisfaction through basic phone etiquette and call handling techniques.

Positive customer contacts begin at the moment of connection with an agent. Through ICMI’s Managing Customer Contacts with Quality course, agents will learn and practice the skills they need to be calm, courteous and effective ambassadors for the organization.

Agents will explore the challenges of non-face-to-face interactions and learn strategies for phone etiquette and courtesy that will start each call with a good first impression and finish each call with a satisfied customer. They’ll learn and practice the components of successful greetings and closings, as well as the proper ways to place calls on hold and to transfer calls.

Agents will understand that it is not just what they say to customers, but how they say it. They’ll explore how tone affects communication during the entire call and master the six voice variables that provide the best customer service. Agents will practice controlling the most important tool they bring to the contact center everyday: the voice.

More important than speaking, agents will understand that listening to the customer is critical to providing the best service. By using the five keys to effective listening, they’ll hone their listening skills.

Once they have listened to the customer, agents will learn how to take control of the call and keep control by asking the right questions to deliver the best solution in the most efficient manner. They’ll recognize instances when the customer has taken control of the call and practice strategies to regain control to balance customer satisfaction while managing agent handling time. Agents will master presenting a solution to the customer using a three-part strategy that moves each call to successful resolution with high customer satisfaction.

What you will learn:
  • Using courtesies, etiquette and positive language to make each customer contact smooth and pleasant
  • Using correct techniques for greetings, closings, holds, transfers and callbacks
  • Mastering voice tone and inflection to boost effective communication on each call
  • Learning the five keys to effective listening
  • Controlling calls and how to regain control for better agent handling times
  • Presenting solutions that assure customers they have had the best service and experience with the organization



Course Outline

Module 1 Courtesies, Etiquette and Positive Language

  • Phone Courtesy
  • Discover the appropriate etiquette when addressing callers, placing callers on hold, transferring a call, making a callback, and closing a call
  • Word choice impacts how your message is received

Module 2 Greeting, Closing and the Impact of Tone

  • Components required to effectively greet the caller
  • The impact of tone of voice on communication during the call
  • The most important tool the agent brings to the call center every day: the voice
  • Using the six voice variables appropriately for the best customer service

Module 3 Effective Listening

  • The importance of good listening skills
  • Five keys to effective listening and how to use them

Module 4 Controlling the Call

  • Closed and open questions
  • Recognize when the customer has taken control and regain control of the call

Module 5 Presenting the Solution

  • Use the three parts of the solution effectively during the inbound call

If your organization has multiple centers to support 18-24 hour live service across all time zones, how do you schedule agents?

All agent schedule options are represented in all centers regardless of the centers’ time zone.
All agent schedule options are aligned with the centers daylight hours (i.e. an East coast center might schedule agents between 6am – 8pm EST).
A combination: all centers offer all schedule options for 18 of 24 hours and one location covers the 3rd shift.
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