The phonetic alphabet can be handy for various customer service scenarios because of the difference it can make to clarity. Below we’ll give you a more in-depth look at these situations and how the alphabet would be used.
Taking Customer Details
Sometimes phone lines don’t have the clearest line because of poor signal or excessive background noise. This can create issues when it comes to taking down important customer details. The letter ‘B’ can easily be misheard as a ‘P’, while ‘M’s and ‘N’s can also be mixed up. Asking customers to use the phonetic alphabet when providing you with key information can ensure things like names, addresses and phone numbers are always spelt correctly. Plus, it can minimise customer frustrations by reducing the number of times your agents ask customers to repeat something. You can keep communications concise while also keeping accuracy as a main priority.
Sharing Information with Customers
The phonetic alphabet can also be used to share important information with customers and prevent unnecessary confusion by making sure they have a clear understanding of everything you’re saying to them. For example, if you’re providing a returns address, it can be helpful to spell out the street name and letters within the postcode using the code words in the alphabet. This increases the likelihood that the customer will send their return to the correct location and receive their refund or compensation on time.
Helping with Language or Accent Barriers
Regardless of whether your call centre and the wider business have a local, national, or international reach, we can all sound a little different over the phone due to accents and languages. Breaking words down into spellings using the internationally recognised phonetic alphabet can help reduce confusion and increase clarity for customers who might not speak English as their first language or have stronger accents.
Improving Data Accuracy Levels
Whether you’re taking down sensitive customer data or exchanging notes on KPIs internally, spelling things out using the phonetic alphabet can help ensure all data is correct and accurate. The last thing your business needs is to be holding onto inaccurate data that could skew your key analytics and reporting figures, so this should prevent any mistakes.