There are several simple things that you and your staff can do so that a caller feels that you care about providing the customer care they saw in your marketing materials.
Believe it or not, it is usually possible to have the caller feel heard and helped simply by explaining to them what it is you will do for them. (Place the order, check on the status of their parts, schedule a service call or register their complaint.) Don’t just roll into that process … raise the level of the caller’s awareness by actually saying, ‘I’d be happy to help you place the order.’ Or ‘I will take your information and then check the status of the parts.’ Or ‘Let me help you by scheduling a technician.’ Or ‘I will help you register your complaint/concern by passing along the details to my supervisor.’
When you gather their information, make sure to verify their statistics (name, address, phone #, etc.) and also – in your own words – repeat back to them what you believe their issue to be. This part of the customer service process will make them feel ‘heard’.
To have a customer actually BE helped can be a multi-step process but you can usher then into the experience by telling them what to expect: What will happen next, the time frame and what the outcome should be. Obviously, to be truly helped the problem has to be fixed but what the person on the phone is trying to accomplish is to have the caller FEEL helped.
Your staff should be able to provide reasonable information and solutions for the caller. If they cannot, your part (If you are an owner, manager or department head) of the process may be to provide them with the things they need to make that happen. Your people should be able to say things like this:
‘Thank you for your order. You can expect delivery of those items in 5 days.’ ‘Thanks for holding while I checked on those parts for you; they are on the truck and should be here this afternoon. I will take them to the front desk so they will be ready for you.’ ‘I have scheduled a technician to be there tomorrow morning. He will be able to troubleshoot that problem with your heater.’ ‘Thanks for taking the time to give me the details of this issue. I will be meeting with my supervisor to discuss these things and then I will call you back by 3pm tomorrow.’
Did you notice that NONE of the problems were actually solved? However, I can guarantee that in the examples given, ALL of the callers FEEL helped. Their anxieties, anger or worries are all in the process of being addressed.
In these cases, ‘perception is everything’ and you have just provided amazing customer service!