What is call handling?

If you’re not directly involved with handling customer communications within your organisation, it can be easy to underestimate the intricacies of call handling. After all, at its most basic level, call handling is simply answering telephone calls – but it’s the way it’s done that can have a big impact on the success of your customer service strategy. Keep reading to learn more.

What does call handling mean?

Handling calls is about more than just answering customers’ questions while you and your team are working on the more product or service-focused aspects of your business. It’s about maximising the customer experience, as well as gathering data about how your products and services are received by the customer. This can be valuable information when you look to streamline operations and boost revenue. 

A good call handling service will sort your calls according to your instructions, which may vary depending on your specific needs. For instance, you might only want to use a call handling service for calls outside of your working hours, to ensure customers aren’t turned away after your team has gone home for the night. This doesn’t have to be limited to the realms of the working week. A call handling service can operate on weekends, bank holidays and any other time your usual team is away from the business.

If you’re a freelancer or your small team doesn’t include dedicated customer service staff, on the other hand, you might need 24/7 support to ensure that all customer queries are handled by well-trained, professional call handlers. By supplying them with all the information they need to answer customer queries, you can give the rest of your team the time to get on with whatever they do best.

Another option is a blend of the first two, wherein you can have a call handling service act as a safety net. You or your team can act as the main point of contact for customer queries, but if a call comes in while you’re otherwise engaged, the call handling service team will step in to handle it. This can be especially helpful if demand fluctuates, as the call handling team can pick up the slack when needed, without costing you a pretty penny when they’re not.

On top of that, call handling services aren’t just about the convenience of being certain someone is always there to answer customer calls. It’s also about ensuring the quality of those calls. If you run a small business, chances are most of your team are juggling responsibilities – their area of expertise, plus a few administrative or customer service related duties as well. Opting for a call handling service means you get the benefit of the skills and expertise of professional call handlers, without having to recruit and employ them yourself. 

How to handle customer service calls

Handling customer service calls well is an underrated skill, and one which can have a big impact on your business. Often when customers get in touch with your business over the phone, it’s because they have a problem of some description. Whatever that problem is, it’s likely that they are feeling negatively about it – and it’s the job of the call handler to turn those negative feelings into positive ones over the course of a simple phone call. 

When it’s done well, a call handling strategy can build customer relationships and increase buyer confidence. As well as that, the strategy can help to encourage previous customers to return again, and to spread the word about your business. You might think that that’s a lot to pin on one phone call, but that’s where professional call handlers come in. 

While your team undoubtedly has the best knowledge on the products and services your business offers, the chances are that they are busy with their own work. A customer interrupting that with queries or complaints might not get the most understanding response, and your team will have less time to complete their other work. On the other hand, a trained call handler is better placed to be empathetic and spend as much time as is needed to resolve the issue. 

Professional call handlers are trained in conflict de-escalation, which means that they know how to deal with frustrated or distressed customers on the other end of the line. Call handling isn’t just another responsibility on their plate, it’s their main purpose, so you can be sure they’re directing their whole attention – and all their specialised skills – towards reaching the best outcome for your business and your customers. 

Or, to put it another way, if your car broke down, would you rather it was repaired by a trained mechanic, or the receptionist who has a dozen other jobs to do? Each member of your team has their own area of expertise, and our call handling operatives are experts in customer service. Why not try a call handling service today and let the rest of your team flourish with one less thing to worry about?