Improving the phone etiquette in your HVAC call center is a great way to create a better experience for your callers and set clear expectations with your staff. Here are 5 tips to help your HVAC staff to communicate more clearly with customers.
1. Don’t use industry jargon
You are the expert in your field, but it can be frustrating for someone who is not well versed in the language of the HVAC industry to decipher jargon and technical speak.
Communicate in plain English and avoid acronyms and technical parlance to improve the phone etiquette in your HVAC call center. Frustrated callers will feel like you are joining in to help them solve their problem rather than speaking over their heads or speaking down to them.
2. Set advanced agreements
The time, date, attendees, venue, and agenda vary for every meeting. Agreeing on these ahead of time, (and automating them if possible) and annotating it into your field service software, such as ServiceTitan or Fieldedge will make sure that your technicians are prepared.
It will also save your dispatcher and technicians a lot of back and forth confirming attendance and asking for information. Without a solid advanced agreement around these you will be left wondering and so will your customer.
3. Listen carefully and restate what you’ve heard
Clear communication means that you have created a shared understanding with your customer. Listen actively by avoiding the need to fill every silence with a response. Have your HVAC call center agents restate what they heard the caller say in a manner that shows they are listening and clarifies any questions you may have. Document to dos and follow ups for both sides, preferably in your field service software or customer relationship management software. Send a follow up in writing, along with thanking them for their time. Your callers and customers will see this as a signal that you valued their time.
4. When emotions get high don’t take it personally.
Don’t get me wrong- you absolutely should take your customers feedback seriously and act on it whenever necessary. Removing emotion from the conversation will allow you to focus on your common goal - achieving success together through well defined and understood expectations.
If you think the texts , chat or email you received from a customer is emotionally charged , it may be beneficial to schedule a phone call, face to face , or virtual meeting to clarify what they mean. Then, you'll have the benefit of body language to lend context to their words.
5. Tell your customer what you can do
Stating your responses in the negative will quickly be perceived as defensive. Instead, tell your customer what you can do , rather than what you cannot. This is a tactic used widely beyond call center training programs. School systems, parenting counselors and executive coaches have been known to promote positive phrasing in communication. This will help to deescalate callers and help them feel reassured that they are getting the help they need.
Following these 5 tips for communicating with customers in your HVAC call center can lead to clearer communication , better relationships and happier customers. If you are interested in learning more about how to improve the telephone etiquette for your HVAC call center, Dexcomm is here to help you.