Whether you are working in a call center or running your own business and talking to a client, ending a phone call in a courteous and professional manner is essential. You want the last impression the customer has to be a good one. The basic steps for closing out a phone conversation are straightforward. However, people are individuals and some of them require a bit more finesse than others.
Wrapping Things Up
Once you've answered a caller's question, taken an order, or resolved a problem, it's time to wrap things up. Start by asking the caller if there is anything else you can help her with. After addressing any additional issues, do the following:
- Briefly recap what you talked about and what was accomplished.
- Explain what happens next. For example, you might say: "Your order will be shipped in 24 to 48 hours."
- Thank the caller for contacting you and express your appreciation for her business.
- Invite the caller to get in touch with you again for anything else she needs.
- Close with a courteous phrase like: "Have a nice day" or "I enjoyed our conversation."
- Wait for the caller to hang up first.
The Chatty Caller
Sometimes you get an overly talkative caller. Exiting such calls politely but quickly shortens hold times for other callers and enables you to handle more calls.Typically, this client keeps straying from the purpose of the call. Take charge of the conversation by letting the customer know the call is ending and pulling him back to the subject at hand. For example, you could say: "I have another call waiting. Before you go I want to be sure we've taken care of everything." Then launch into your closing recap of the conversation. If the caller starts to wander off topic, pull him back with direct questions that have a simple yes or no answer. Once you've thanked the client for his business, signal the call is over with a clear phrase such as "I'm glad I was able to clear this matter up for you. Enjoy the rest of your day."
Upset Callers and Unresolved Issues
Occasionally clients are angry when they call, or are upset because you have not been able to resolve an issue to their satisfaction during the phone call. In these situations, start summarizing the call by reminding the client of anything that was achieved. Tell her what the next step will be. For instance, you might promise to check into a missing order and call back the next day. If you promise to contact the caller, be sure you follow through. When you say goodbye, stress the caller's importance and value to your organization.