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Utilizing the 5 C’s for Customer Service in the Telecommunications World

Remember these five tips for providing excellent customer service over the phone. It’s easy, because they all start with the letter C!

Image of call center agents using the 5 C's for customer service in the telecommunications world

In a role that you have to get people to trust and be loyal to your business, it is an uphill battle. We do not have the face to face interaction that retail storefronts, restaurants, etc. have.  Eye contact can be a big role in believability as well as a solid handshake.  But in the Customer Service world that solely relies on a conversation over the phone, we can accomplish a lot of the same things as a face to face if we follow some simple rules of communication.

By listening carefully and attentively, and asking good questions, you can determine what sort of person are dealing with, what their emotional state is, what the underlying issues are, and how the customer would like their problem to the handled. There are five basic components to good communication. We always want to be clear, complete, concise, concrete and correct.

1. Being clear with the client is paramount.  We want to make sure that our customer understands our explanation or solution by stating it clearly.  Eliminate Jargon and “five dollar words.” Clients do not have a clue how our programs work on the back end, nor do they want too. Breaking down your explanation into easy to understand terminology will make it so the client walks away feeling that they understand what you have done for them.  Speaking with clarity is required for our role, using slang or mumbling will make the client think we are less than professional. If we are giving the client this impression of the Customer Service department, what are they going to think of the business as a whole?

2. If you are asked a difficult question or need time to give a complete answer, take a few moments to determine how you want to respond.  Taking “thinking time” will help you give a complete answer. Use specific terms and most importantly, have your facts straight. Jumping the gun and giving an answer just to get the call over with will not work out for you or the customers.  If anything, it may cause more issues down the line because you didn’t actually address the client’s complaint. If you need to research, then let the client know you will be able to give them a complete answer for their inquiry if you have time to research. Do not automatically jump to an apology. You can always apologize for the distress over the issue, but until you actually research the issue, avoid assuming the issue brought to you is your fault.

3. The definition of concise is to give a lot of information clearly and in a few words. While concise communication is important, we need to be careful that we are not so direct that people view us as abrupt or unfriendly.  We want to ask ourselves, “Am I being friendly, while at the same being concise?” Being indirect in communicating your message to the client can directly affect the ability to build a relationship.

4. Be confident in your responses to the client.  It’s easier to build trust and loyalty in a customer if they believe we know what are we are talking about. And it all has to do with how confidently we speak. If we are stammering over our answers the client will have doubts we will be able to handle the issue.  Be concrete in those responses! The client will trust you if you give them reason too.

5. Be correct, because there is nothing more detrimental to the client relationship than the wrong answer.  Make sure you have double checked or even triple checked your answer before relay that information to the caller. If the client has brought multiple issues to your attention make sure you have addressed them all.  It’s very hard to rebuild the losses incurred by incorrect or half answered questions.  A client would prefer you take your time and resolve all off their issues correctly.

Remembering and practicing the 5 C’s is guaranteed to improve your Customer Service skills. Write them down and keep them by your desk or phone. Choose one to practice on each call. Rotate through them with each customer service opportunity and you’ll be providing exceptional customer experiences every time in no time.

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