How to Answer Customer Service Call: The Dos and Don’ts [with examples]

Updated: Jun 21

how to answer customer service calls call agent

Learning how to take calls in call center is a delicate art. The palm of your hands become clammy and you begin to fidget with the pen in your hands. The temperature in the room seems to rise as your heart beats faster and a bead of sweat trickles down your face. You’re anxious, excited and nervous all at the same time, and you’re not quite sure how this conversation will go...

You might think this is a scene from a romantic movie, yet it's an accurate description of what happens when you have to answer a customer phone call for the first (and second, and third…) time. Interacting in real time with your clients can be nerve-wracking, as the pressure of saying everything right, proudly representing your company, and having all the answers can make you jittery. Here are a few tips that will show you exactly how to answers customer service calls like a pro.

How to answer calls in a call center

Answer with a professional tone

Answering the phone with an inviting manner will set the tone for the rest of the conversation. Start by drafting a professional greeting that introduces yourself as well as your company. This introduction may sound something like this: “Hello, good (morning/ afternoon/ evening)! Thank you for contacting _____, my name is _____.” Continue by asking your customer how you can be of assistance. This will show them that you are happy and ready to initiate the call. Finally, throughout the conversation, continue to display this professional tone by speaking clearly and at a moderate pace. This way, customers can easily keep up with the all helpful information you are providing.

Answer with a professional tone while answering customer service calls

Use common terminology

As a general rule of thumb, avoid using jargon or technical terms. Instead, opt for common terms that are easily understood by everyone. Being able to easily follow you will reassure your customers that you know what you are talking about. And maybe more importantly, it will show them that they will be able to get clear answers from you.

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein

Start and end the call with enthusiasm

Enjoy the conversation you are having with your customer! It will help your customers become more comfortable explaining their issue with confidence, as they will feel that you’re genuinely happy to help. Positivity is also crucial for maintaining a productive conversation and keeping your cool even when bombarded with complaints – especially if you’re dealing with difficult customers. If you're struggling to keep up your enthusiasm throughout the call, smile. Smiling is said to give you a happier and more relaxed attitude as it’s impossible to be upset or angry with a grin on your face. Bringing some sunshine into the conversation will inspire your customer to have an overall positive experience and will also make your time on the phone feel like a breeze.

Keep the conversation personal

We all to feel acknowledged by whoever we’re talking to. At the beginning of your exchange, ask your customer for their name. If you do not hear or understand their name, it's ok to ask them to repeat it for you. Saying their name throughout the conversation makes for a more personal experience. You can also look up their information within your help desk software to pull up any past tickets or notes they have for their account. Take the time to find this information and quickly look it over. Anything that gives you more details on your customer will demonstrate to them that you consider each request on a case-by-case basis.

Clarify the customer’s issues and concerns

What is the opposite of good customer support? Ambiguity. When you’re having your conversation with your customer, make sure you’ve cleared up any possible misunderstanding by repeating every important element they have stated and asking them if you have understood them correctly. You don't want to find yourself scrambling to find answers that are not going to be helpful to your customer. If at any point in time you lose focus and need to catch up (totally normal – it happens to everyone), kindly ask your customer to repeat themselves and don’t be afraid to ask them to explain in more detail. For example, say “I’m sorry, ___. I’m not sure I caught that entirely. Would you mind providing me with more detail?” Not only will they notice that you are actively paying attention, but they will also appreciate that you are really interested in helping them solve their problems.