Tips for Answering Customer Questions With Style


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Answering customers’ questions daily is a large part of many people’s jobs. Some people may feel like they can answer a customer’s question as long as they are knowledgeable of their company’s products or services. While this may be true, the real question is, are you answering your customers’ questions with style?

In reality, there is so much more to consider when answering questions than just having product knowledge. For example, consider how your customers feel after you have answered their questions. You may think you met their needs, when they still have concerns. The way you respond and the style you use when taking care of a customer affects how they perceive you and your company overall. For instance, if a customer asks you for the balance due on his account, you can:

  1. Quickly give it to him and be done with the call.
  2. Provide the balance along with additional information that the customer could benefit from—maybe a special that’s coming up next month or a way to track balances online.

The second choice would be in your best interest—and would add some style! Even if your customer chooses not to act on the information you provide, at least you are adding value to the relationship by offering it.

Answering With Style

As simple as it may sound, there is an art to answering customers’ questions with style. Below are a few tips for you to keep in mind when you are faced with customers’ questions:

  • Use a positive tone of voice – We all know that you can say the exact same thing with two different tones of voice, and the messages will be perceived differently. Whether in person, on the phone, or in writing, the tone of voice you exude can affect how you are perceived in your customers’ eyes. No matter what, when answering your customers’ questions, always project a confident and pleasant tone of voice, even if the customers are not very pleasant with you.
  • Be professional – Chose your words carefully, use correct grammar, and avoid using jargon that your customers may not be familiar with. In addition to avoiding jargon, you also want to stay away from using slang terms, such as “yup” or “nope”. Enunciate and speak clearly so your customer can understand your answer.
  • Be aware of your rate of speech – You don’t want to talk so fast that customers don’t understand you or feel as if you are rushing them off the phone. Speak at a natural pace that is not too slow and not too fast. Match your customer’s rate if possible.
  • Empathize with the customer (if appropriate) – If customers are upset, many times they want you to know what they are experiencing. What they are looking for is some sort of empathy and a solution. In this day and age, empathy seems to be overlooked, and many agents just focus on a solution. Nothing can upset your customers more than not listening to them and not acknowledging their feelings before giving them an answer. I experienced this the other day when I called my internet provider because my bill was incorrect. After I explained my frustration to the agent, she simply tried to sign me up for a different plan. The agent went straight to a solution that would end the conversation quickly instead of acknowledging my frustrations and getting to the root of my problem. Instead of feeling like the agent was providing service, I felt angry about the way she handled the problem. Following the call, I used social media to vent my frustrations and attempt to receive some kind of service. Read my post to find out the result.
  • Confirm your understanding – In order to help your customer, you have to fully understand what he or she wants, and make sure that you are both on the same page. In order to confirm your understanding of what the customer needs, you might say something like this; “Just to confirm, you have not been able to print from your printer since you installed the new software. Right?” Confirming your understanding not only ensures that you and your customer are headed in the same direction, but it also shows that you were listening.
  • If applicable, offer your customer options – Give your customers all the options available to them, and point out the value that each option offers to each customer. Not only does this make the customer feel empowered with the choice they make, but it also allows them to see the significance of their decision.

In addition to the tips above, the following Impact Learning HEART Model™ is a great tool to keep in mind when answering customers’ questions:

  • Hear and Understand
  • Expect the Best
  • Act with Integrity
  • Respect Diversity
  • Transcend Yourself

All of these tips are easy to incorporate into your interactions with your customers. You just have to be aware of your customers’ needs and make the extra effort to utilize the tips above. Above all, keep in mind that anyone can answer a customer’s question, but answering with style and professionalism is a different story.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Monique Castillo
Monique Castillo is an Impact Performance Specialist with knowledge and background in customer service, sales, coaching and mentoring. When she is not helping customers improve their business, she is also a world traveler, gym enthusiast, and an aspiring foodie.


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