The telephone is one of the most common channels of customer service delivery in the modern world. Large corporations often have customer service call centers that can streamline the process of directing customers to the appropriate departments or representatives. Small businesses may also take advantage of the telephone for delivering customer service. For example, small businesses may use the telephone to contact potential customers, follow up with previous customers, and maintain an open channel of communication for current customers. In addition, small businesses may designate a specific line for customer service or may hire an employee to answer questions, note suggestions, and direct complaints to managers.
Customer service delivery via telephone is so prevalent because it can be more convenient than face-to-face; the telephone allows for direct, verbal communication without the need for travel, and also offers greater efficiency for transferring customers to the right department or representative. However, providing customer service over the telephone is by no means an easy task. Customer service representatives should be aware of a variety of ideas and techniques for effective telephone communication.
In this Assignment you will analyze the skills necessary for providing effective customer service over the telephone. You will examine a scenario featuring a conversation with a customer over the telephone and consider what could have been done differently to improve the result.
For this Assignment:
- Reflect on your own experiences with using the telephone to seek customer service.
- Review the section, “Effective Telephone Usage,” on page 369 of your Customer Service Skills for Successtextbook to familiarize yourself with effective and appropriate telephone usage.
- Review the Face to Face scenario, “Telephone Techniques at Staff-Temps” on page 378 of your Customer Service Skills for Success textbook.
To complete this Assignment, write a 1- to 2-page paper in response to the following:
- What are the greatest challenges of using telephones for customer service in small businesses? What procedures could you put in place to improve the level of service? What skills would employees need to acquire?
- Does the type of small business (e.g. locally owned versus franchise) change the level of service expectation or accountability? Why or why not? Justify your response.
- Respond to the Critical Thinking Questions following the scenario on page 379 of your text.
- How well was this customer call handled? Explain.
- What should you have done differently?
- Do you believe that Aretha was justified in how she treated you? Explain.
- How do personal problems or priorities sometimes affect customer service?