Photo by Jonathan Keelty

When you’re having a bad day, what gets you out of your funk? Is it a friendly word? A thoughtful gesture? Sometimes the smallest kindness can put a smile on your face. Just as you occasionally have a less-than-stellar day, your callers can have them, too. The good news is, there are simple steps you can take to win over grumps!

  • Empathize. Your customers are people with emotions just like you — let them know you care! If they sound upset, a sincere acknowledgment like “That sounds frustrating” or “I can see where you’re coming from!” shows you’re on their side.
  • Give them what they don’t even know they want. Offering additional assistance is a great way to show callers that you’re listening — and want to go the extra mile to help them. Sense a hesitation when taking a message? Ask your caller, “Is there a time that works best for you? I would be happy to relay it to Jim to make sure you get to connect.” When most customer service interactions these days are short and dry, being overly helpful is a pleasant surprise that will brighten your caller’s day.
  • Match their pace. If your caller sounds like they’re in a hurry, their affect may just be that they’re pressed for time. Getting them the answer to their question as soon as possible may help them relax. On the other hand, if your caller is more wordy and explains their situation in great detail, being patient and taking your time with them could be all the reassurance they need.

A vendor of ours recently told us that, after playing some phone tag, she was a little sad that she was able to connect; she actually looked forward to calling Ruby because of the pick-me-up she got from talking to our receptionists! Not every caller will tell you how much you’ve affected their day, but we guarantee these small kindnesses will make a big difference!