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call center customer service

The Dos and Don’ts of Call Center Customer Service

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McKay Bird

Chief Marketing Officer

Good customer service pays off: 85% of people say they will take action if they’re not satisfied with their customer service experience. Of those consumers, 49% would stop doing business with the company, and many would also head to social media to complain about it.

Given that 70% of adults in the U.S. pick up the phone for their first contact with customer service, call center representatives play a key role in their company.

“Ultimately, it is the contact center agents who have the biggest impact on the customer’s experience,” Rich Guth, vice president of marketing at Transera, told Business News Daily. “Contact centers should encourage their agents to deliver a personalized and optimized customer experience.”

Customer service representatives are on the front lines, often dealing with customers who aren’t always happy. Here are some dos and don’ts that can improve the experience for both customers and call takers.


  • Speak clearly and use a friendly tone. The actual words you use only have a small impact on how someone understands you. Nearly 40% of your words’ meanings come from tone of voice.
  • Sound polite and professional, as well as human. 66% of customers prefer more casual speech when talking with customer service.
  • Smile when you talk to customers. Although they can’t see you, the act of smiling will make your voice sound friendlier.
  • Listen to the customer. Customers will feel better about the experience if you show you understand the reason for their call. You can provide more efficient assistance by first taking in all the information.
  • Know how to use your company’s phone system, which will enable you to seamlessly put a caller on hold or transfer them if needed. Always let customers know before you put them on hold or transfer them, and provide them with the name of the person they’ll be speaking with next.
  • Outline a plan of action for the caller. Let them know what steps you’ll be taking and when that will happen. If the caller needs to take any further action, make sure they are clear on what they need to do and the process for doing it.
  • Remember that your phone call isn’t just between two people. When it comes to bad customer service experiences, 95% of people will share their impression. Customers who receive poor customer service are also more likely to share that on social media or review sites.


  • Interrupt an upset caller. Listen to the customer and get as much information as you can before trying to tackle the issue.
  • Tell an angry customer to calm down. Telling an irate person to calm down almost always has the opposite effect. Instead, reply in a calm, friendly tone and sympathize with the difficulty the caller is having.
  • Stay silent. Too much dead air on the phone makes callers uncomfortable and, given a long enough pause, could lead them to think you’ve been disconnected and hang up. If you have to scroll through information or wait for a new page or menu to load, give the caller any information you can, make friendly small talk and update them on your progress.

For more information on how to work smarter with technology solutions for the modern call center, check out our Top 10 List When Considering a Cloud-Based Contact Center Solution whitepaper.

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