5 Ways to Make a First-Time Caller Feel Comfortable

Phone Tip: Making Callers Comfortable

When a potential client interacts with your business for the first time, you may need to ask for a few pieces of information in order to begin working with this new person. Asking someone to share personal information isn’t always easy; however, there are ways to make the interaction more comfortable for everyone involved, and it all begins with your approach. Here are some tips to set you up for successful screening!

Here are some tips to set you up for successful screening!

  • Your questions are coming from a place of helpfulness.  Surely, the reason you ask a caller for their email address, financial information, or the details of their case is so that you and your company can provide them with the optimal support and assistance. Keep that in mind as you move forward with gathering personal information, and your good intentions will naturally come through in your questions.
  • Ask confidently.  It’s no secret that self-assuredness is the key to success, and when we portray confidence, the people we interact with will in turn have confidence in us! If a caller senses a tone of uncertainty, they may feel hesitant to give private information.
  • Create a conversational tone. Start by asking how they heard of your company and what brought them to you. It’s a great opener and a fantastic way to break the ice!
  • Tell them why — people love to know! If a caller seems uncertain about answering your questions, tell them, if you can, why providing this information is beneficial to them as a customer.
    • We typically correspond through email, if possible. That way you will receive documents immediately rather than having to await their arrival in the mail.
  • Know when to fold ‘em. Don’t push too hard if someone declines to give information right away. You can always ask again once you’ve established a more solid working relationship. By letting them create the boundaries they need, you show flexibility and willingness to work within their comfort level. Even though it may be a small inconvenience, you’ll make a great first impression!

You may find yourself in the opposite position, and your caller will want to provide much more information than is necessary during that first interaction. For tips on guiding a talkative caller in the right direction, check out the post, Make the Most of Your Conversations by Guiding Chatty Callers.

Photo via Cathy Cheney of the Portland Business Journal