Have you ever heard of it? Do you know what it is? Are you aware it can help you?
The definition of call control:
Leading/guiding a conversation is such a way to gain all needed information and/or bring about resolution in the most polite and efficient manner to the benefit of both parties.
During our presentation at the Chamber seminar, it became evident that the concept of call control was new to many. Our staff has found it very helpful in processing calls efficiently and effectively.
We have all been confronted with the rambling or detail-spewing or angry caller that simply will not stop talking long enough to take a breath! This can create anxiety in us when we have no idea of what to do. Also, the outcome can be less than positive if we allow the caller to go on and on … only to discover we are not the person that can help them!
Here are some guidelines to becoming comfortable with using call control:
- Be efficient but not rude. You may have to interrupt or interject. Always do it carefully.
- Guide the conversation with appropriate questions. Know where you want to go and take the conversation there.
- Use words and phrases to ensure the caller is feeling helped in this process.
Here are some suggestions for gaining control of the call:
- “Please excuse me for interrupting but could you please help me with some information?”
- “I’m sorry, I hate to interrupt but I want to make sure I understand.”
- “May I interrupt to ask a question? I want to make sure I have this right.”
Once the person pauses and then answers your question, you are in the driver’s seat. DO NOT let go of the wheel!! Speak often so that the caller needs to respond and feels they are being helped. Using some of these phrases may be helpful:
- “By the way, my name is _____ . Could you please spell your last name for me?” (Giving you name will immediately help them to feel ‘helped’.) After you verify their name, make sure you use it; this will help them to understand you are connected to their call.
- “Let me get a few details. Did you say this happened the 14th?”
- “I understand.” (Simple but effective – the caller knows you are still listening and they will not feel the need to tell you the same details over and over again.)
- “So, what you are saying is _____ . Is that correct?” (Asking them a question that can be answered with a yes or no is a time saver and ensures you have the details you need.)
To close the call, remain in the driver’s seat by trying these:
- “Thanks for taking the time to call about this. I will give this information to my manager.”
- “I think I have all the details I need at this time. I will research this and get back to you tomorrow morning by 10.”
- “Thank you for confirming all of this information for me; we appreciate your business. I should be able to process these changes in a few hours and will call you when everything is in place.”
All control is a valuable tool that can be learned and utilized with a bit of thought and practice. Think about a few words or phrases that would work for your business and have them handy for when you need them. You may literally want to jot them down for quick access in the heat of the moment!