How to Improve Call Center Etiquette (And Rev Up Revenue)

A happy woman smiles as she talks, which is one way to improve call center etiquette.

You can’t control if a customer will (or won’t) buy an extended warranty. There are just too many variables.

But you are in complete control of how to improve call center etiquette, which can boost your company’s reputation, which in turn can lead to selling more extended warranties.

Keep reading for ideas on what you can implement in your call center today.

Your Reps Are The First Line

Even as chatbots become more prevalent, more than half of us will actually decide to wait longer to talk to a real person.

And we expect our wait to be worth it.

Think about it. When you call a company, you probably want to:

      • Buy something (sales)

      • Get information or a quote (sales)

      • Resolve technical issues (retention)

      • Cancel or get a refund (retention)

    Notice a thread? These all directly or indirectly influence a business’ bottom line.

    So, your reps need to act like their paycheck depends on how they treat customers. Because in many ways, that’s literally the case.

    Tip #1: Use Positive Language

    It’s not what you said, but how you said it.

    Well, in business, both are equally important.

    Pretend someone wants to cancel their coverage and compare these two potential responses.

    “Okay, fine. Is there anything else you want right now?”


    “I’m sorry to hear that. May I ask what prompted this decision?”

    In the first scenario, you can practically feel the imaginary rep’s eyes rolling as they spoke. In the second scenario, not only is the customer being told they’re valuable, their answer can be used as a data point for inclusion in your web-based cancellation reports.

    If you’re willing to put a positive spin on every interaction, it just might pay off in the
    long — and short —run for your company.

    Tip #2: Respect the Clock

    There are only so many hours in the day — for you and your customers.

    So, when we say to be respectful of time, we mean it for everyone.

    Need proof?

    A recent survey found that 60% of people feel that being on hold for 60 seconds is too long of a wait. Just one minute!

    Here’s what you can do to improve their experience:

        • Update your Interactive Voice Response (IVR) with segmented departments or offices to direct callers to the appropriate team member
              • You can set up specific messaging for specific departments as a result

          • Provide answers to commonly asked questions as part of your on hold messaging
                • Bonus benefit: Including music or on-hold scripts will extend the amount of time your customers are willing to wait by three minutes!

            • Offer a callback and emphasize their place in line will not be lost, complete with an ETA

          How can Inline CRM help with this? Well, if you’ve noticed that your call queue lights up more during certain hours of the day, your reps can set up and schedule activities in their dashboard.

          You can make tasks within Inline CRM.

          Tip #3: Personalize the Experience

          Do you know what customers want to hear more than anything else? It’s not “Yes.” Or even that they’ll pay less for their premium when they renew.

          It’s their name.

          Dale Carnegie said it best in his book How to Make Friends and Influence People: “A person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” And according to a study conducted by Epsilon, 80% of consumers are more likely to buy when brands offer a personalized experience.

          Nothing is more personal than someone’s name.

          So, if you’re wondering how to improve call center etiquette, personalize the experience. Make note of how customers prefer to be contacted, when they prefer to talk, their favorite sports team. Anything that makes them feel like an individual.

          And in case you’re wondering, yes you can associate notes for each prospect with Inline CRM.

          Screenshot showing how you can make notes about the preferences of each individual customer with Inline CRM.

          Tip #4: Believe

          Don’t get us wrong. Some days — or weeks — will test anyone’s resolve. Especially when there are quotas to hit or cancels seem to be flying in left and right.

          But when everything seems to be working against you, keeping a positive attitude can help you keep your head up.

          Here’s how:

              • Celebrate successes — Gamify your call center. Add a little something extra if a sales rep renews a highly lucrative extended home and auto warranty (above and beyond their commission).

              • Be grateful — According to research found in the Harvard Business Review, teams with high levels of gratitude were 50% more productive than those with low levels of gratitude.

              • Encourage self-talk — You can speak things into existence. Support your employees when they give themselves a pep talk. According to The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, this promotes self-confidence, which is essential to selling.

            If your call center reps have a positive mindset, they won’t get bogged down by negativity. They’ll feel energized. And that approachability will be palpable when they interact with clients.

            Tip #5: Really, Actually Listen

            Your call center reps have probably made thousands of phone calls. They can probably sense almost immediately how a call will go 90% of the time, so paying close attention 100% of the time… doesn’t happen.

            But remember, this is a blog about how to improve call center etiquette, not efficiency.

            To really show empathy, your reps need to be involved in the conversation — every syllable. The more a customer’s needs are understood, the more effectively you can take specific and targeted action to help them.

            That leads to more revenue and greater customer satisfaction.

            So, what’s involved with active listening? Three A’s:

                • Attitude: Respect what others are saying. You can learn something new from every conversation — and that’s how you get better.

                • Attention: Pretend the roles were reversed. How would you feel if it the person you were talking to was distracted?

                • Adjust: Keep an open mind and stay in the present instead of thinking of how to respond to something that hasn’t been said.

              When it comes to call center etiquette, there’s a major difference between hearing and listening. Focus on listening.

              Tip #6: Invest in Training

              How many times have you called a company only to be put on hold, explain your situation, be transferred, put on hold again and have to repeat your reason for calling?

              If you said once, that’s one time too many.

              In fact, there’s a decent chance the reason you’re put on hold is because the person you’re talking to is fumbling through a manual or messaging someone to provide an answer.

              Those longer wait times — wait times that can be minimized — are poor practice. But they can be minimized with a little extra training when you onboard your sales reps. While you certainly don’t want your super-sellers fielding support calls instead of cold calling, if they become well-rounded in all facets, your company will strengthen its reputation. 

              And that can only increase your odds of selling an extended warranty (or 100).

              What Now?

              Get a demo of our extended warranty CRM. You’ll be able to test all the functionality and reporting for free. That’s just proper etiquette, after all.Be  

              A line graph showing the more you segment your email list, the better it performsEver check your personal email and start to feel really popular? Companies sending you promos, order confirmations and reminders.

              Well, there a reason for that: 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience! We’ll explain what makes an experience “great” later, but for now let’s focus on that point, straight from the customer’s mouth.

              Customers want to be cared for.

              Now, you don’t have to email to show you care. You could send an SMS text, post on social media or hand write a letter (handwritten letters have a 99% open rate!). But email is just so convenient.

              And by the time you finish reading our tips on email triggering for customer engagement, you’ll be in a better position to build better client relationships.

              Let’s start with the basics.


              We covered how to reduce cancellations [BR1] in a previous post and customer loyalty was a common theme. For example, loyal customers are 63% less likely to churn. And get this: Companies that make customer experience a priority receive 55% more market share.

              Sounds like it’s probably worth the effort to send a few more emails, right?

              But at the same time, the average extended car warranty company only has 15 employees. Odds are your sales reps and administrators are long on responsibilities and short on time.

              Keep reading and we’ll share how the customer engagement email capabilities of Inline CRM can help.


              Did you know that 55% of consumers who purchase an extended car warranty never use it?

              And of those 55%, some are bound to think they’re wasting their money. That means you have a real opportunity to show your service is worth it, even if your customer ends up not needing it.

              So, if you’re struggling to come up with a topic for a customer email, the good news is you have tons of options:

              Welcome Series

                  • Summarizing what your client purchased

                  • A link to their portal or policy center with proper documents

                  • Instructions on how to file a claim

                Product Recommendations

                    • If a customer has a VSC, inform them about the benefits of an extended warranty for their home (or vice versa)

                    • Is there a certain air filter, type of oil or brand that your company believes will help your customer in any way? Recommend them.


                      • A “Happy Birthday” message

                      • Customer satisfaction survey

                      • Service review after a claim is filed and complete

                      • Warranty recalls

                      • Claim status


                        • Payment reminder

                        • Renewal notice

                        • Seasonal maintenance

                      If you’re already doing any of these, you deserve a big pat on the back.

                      But if you’re like most extended warranty sellers, you might have trouble convincing leads that your policies are valuable. Just consider what you have to combat from an educational standpoint. According to PEGA:

                          • 35% feel extended warranties are too expensive

                          • 32% don’t feel they need an extended warranty

                          • 48% only somewhat understand what’s covered in their policy

                          • 7% don’t understand their policy at all!

                        So, when following up with a lead who’s on the fence or confused, you might want to send a pre-formatted email dispelling these myths.

                        Ultimately, the common thread with each of these triggered emails is they deliver value somehow: Either a “thinking of you” message, DIY instructions, recommendations to make their life easier, etc. The more you can deliver in this respect, the more likely your customers choose your email to open from among the swarm in their inbox — and that’s what makes a great customer experience


                        Now that you know why these emails are important and the different types you can send, let’s discuss some ways you can enhance their performance.

                        Use a CRM

                        What would happen if you sent an email to the owner of a Ford about a recall for a Mitsubishi?

                        That customer might think you:

                            • Sent it by mistake

                            • Aren’t very professional

                            • Have incorrect information about their policy

                          Regardless, it makes your company look bad!

                          When you segment your customer base, you’re able to send targeted, specific, relevant information.

                          That’s why an extended warranty CRM can be so helpful: You can group your customers based on any number of criteria, from their state of residence, to the make or model of their car, policy tier and more.

                          You can also trigger emails by lead quality, lead type, or the outcome of previous calls or actions made by sales reps.

                          And if you believe the people at Adobe (we do), segmented email campaigns lead to a 760% revenue increase.

                          Here’s how to segment with Inline:

                          Email send criteria for payment reminder

                              • Policy is active in Inline CRM

                              • Monthly payment is scheduled for 5 days from now

                              • Customer has email stored in Inline CRM


                            Email send criteria for expiring contract

                                • Policy is active in Inline CRM

                                • Policy will expire in 3 months (repeat at 2 months, 1 month, 2 weeks and 5 days before expiration)

                                • Customer record has email stored in Inline CRM

                              Pay Attention to Links

                              If you send a “maintenance reminder” email, you still want your customer to engage with your brand. Yes, even if you won’t make any money from that interaction.

                              And as it turns out, the number of links you include in your emails can make a big difference in their performance.

                              Pro Tip:  Triggered emails with two or three links are 120% more likely to convert than a triggered email with just one link.

                              When To Send

                              Emailing can be a tricky balancing act. You don’t want to send too frequently or too infrequently.

                              Fortunately, there are data-based studies, like the one done by Sendinblue, that shows the best days and times to send.

                              But the bottom line is this: Email at least once a month. And send it during those recommended times.

                              Use 🇪Ⓜ️🅾️ 🇯 🇮s

                              Want a surefire way to up your email open rates? Use an emoji in the subject line!

                              Subject line emojis can increase click-through rates by 28%. And emojis can increase open rates by a whopping 50%!

                              A word of caution: Don’t overdo these. Use one per subject line, and only here or there. Doing more than this can flag your account as spam… which kind of defeats the purpose of customer engagement emails.

                              Testing, Testing

                              Now that you’ve segmented your email lists, know what to send and when, what’s next?

                              Find out what’s working and what’s not.

                              Since Inline CRM has powerful web-based reporting capabilities, you’ll be able to make your emails more effective.

                              We recommend analyzing the following:

                              Making minor tweaks backed by data can lead to major improvements, so mine those reports to unearth new insights!

                              IN CONCLUSION

                              There are hundreds of extended warranty companies out there. How will you stand out? Being proactive with happy, helpful information can help you gain market share. And triggering emails for customer engagement should be a major part of your strategy.

                              Get a demo of our CRM email technology and start increasing your customer loyalty.