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Sales and Selling Expectations

I am a customer service rep in a call center, and I have been told by my manager that I spend too much time talking on the phone with customers. I believe it is important to build a relationship with a little friendly chit-chat with any customer who calls, and if this means a little extra time on each call, I don't see the problem. What can I say to convince my manager that this extra time is very important?

When customers call you, they are looking more for service than relationships. There is no question that you should be friendly, personable, and professional, but extraneous chit-chat is not the kind of extra that your customers are typically seeking.

Customers generally call to place an order, check on the status of an order, or voice a complaint. In any of these scenarios, the best way to build a relationship is to listen carefully to what they are saying, and then do your very best to take care of them.

Rather than focusing on building relationships, your best approach is to focus on building responsiveness to the customers' needs. By meeting the customers' needs, you will also be building trust, and this is the key element in successful sales and service.

Companies do vary in terms of the expected chit-chat levels between customer service reps and the customers. Your manager has expressed your company's expectations on this matter, and if you persist in engaging in these chats with customers, your manager is likely to have a serious chat with you.

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