Global searching is not enabled.
Skip to main content

Serving Phone-in Customers

Completion requirements

A customer who telephones instead of visiting a store is most likely a buyer who knows exactly what they want. Therefore, they do not want to waste time travelling to the store to find out about the products price and availability. Since time is important to this customer, you should accommodate with prompt and efficient service. You are likely to be rewarded with a quick and easy sale.

The key to quality service over the phone is good attitude and quick response. First and foremost, be polite. Politeness begins even before you greet; it begins by not letting the phone ring and ring. Answer within two rings, if possible. Then greet the caller with a “smile in your voice”.  Identify the department of store you work for and state your name. Offer to assist the customer. Speak slowly, loudly and clearly.

Once you have greeted the phone-in customer, listen to their question. Make sure you understand exactly what the customer is asking before you answer. Answer right away, if possible. If you must check on product price or availability, tell the customer that they will be put on hold and for how long. Most customers will tolerate a wait of a few minutes, but some would prefer to be called back. Do not leave the customer “on hold”, wondering if the call has been disconnected. Also, if you are busy with an in-store customer, explain this to the phone-in customer and ask if you may call them back.

Ask the customer when it would be convenient for you to call back. Write down the name, question and telephone number. Make sure the customer knows your name. Let them know when to expect your call. If you promise to return a call, do so and call back soon. Whether giving an immediate answer or calling back, be accurate. Verify prices, sizes, styles, colours, availability, and so on, before responding.

In some ways, you have a built-in sale with a phone-in customer. Your challenge is to “close”. You must convince the customer that it is worth their time to visit the store and make a purchase. One way is to schedule and appointment. Another way is by offering to put the product on hold. Do what you can to make shopping convenient for the phone-in customer.

Click here to view a video on call centre best practices.