How to Improve Call Handling Skills – 10 Tips

(Posted on 01/03/16)

Why is good call handling so important? Here’s a quick look at a number ways you can improve call handling procedures to ensure the smoothest and most successful interaction with both existing and potential customers.

1. Effective Communication – Communicating with others is essential in just about everything we do, so improving and maximising these basic interaction skills is a worthy starting point. If you can remember an occasion when you felt someone dealt with you really well over the phone – try to recall and pinpoint exactly what it was that you liked and why it worked.

2. Try to establish the main reason for the call as soon as possible – it can be too easy to end up swamped in unnecessary detail and the main point lost. Are they calling to introduce a product or service or is the caller an existing or potential new customer? Gently encourage the caller to simplify what they are saying until you have fully established why they are calling. Unless it’s their intention to be vague, it’s in their interests to be clearly understood. Choosing the right questions to ask the caller will in most cases help them to get their message across sooner and more clearly.

3. Handling Confusing Calls – In most cases the caller is unlikely to have had the same telephone training and experience as you, so ensure to ask them to provide some of the very basics first – name and telephone number for example – this can buy you some time to get your bearings in the call.

4. Handling Multiple Issues – When a callers rings with numerous queries, ask them simply to identify the most urgent ones and then aim to focus mainly on these.

5. Call Handling During Busy Times – It can be easy to lose a little control and poise when extremely busy but learning to take a breath before speaking and slowing down your initial greeting can help you to rediscover your calm as you approach the call. There is also no harm at all in inserting a few pauses during the course of the conversation – it can help both call handler and caller feel less rushed.

6. Monitoring Reactions & Listening – Some calls are more challenging and confusing than others and it can be easy to lose the clarity of mind that is so vital to a successful phone call. Monitor your reactions – are you thinking less clearly and is your pulse racing? This is a good time to listen and only speak when absolutely necessary until composure is regained.

7. General Telephone Manner - Whenever appropriate, avoid being overly serious. Seek out opportunities to bring some lightness and humour to the call.

8. Familiarity Can Help - If you think that you’ve spoken to the caller before, say so – it can often make them more at ease when speaking.

9. Go the extra mile but don’t be too pushy – If you believe a few more questions will help flesh out the details you already have and make the picture clearer, then by all means ask. However, the caller may prefer not to go into any further details, so be sensitive to the mood of the call and know when one more question might be one too many!

10. Re-confirm details before closing the call – This is absolutely essential. In a clear and logical way, run through the established details with the caller before ending the call. This will deliver peace of mind to both customer and call handler that all details and issues are being dealt with efficiently.

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