Connect with Your Caller

People call your company for many reasons.

 

Sometimes they call because they saw an advertisement or they have questions and company websites don’t have the answers. People also call because they need help. Often people dial your number because they are ready to buy. Regardless of the reasons, as humans we are wired to interact with other humans. People call to connect with other people. When individuals call to connect, it’s your turn and opportunity to connect as well.

 

57% of People CALL a business because they want to talk with a real PERSON (Martech)

 

And phone calls are the best leads. Here’s why.

 

CSRs and company employees connect with callers is many different ways. The four crucial areas are:

GREETING AND POLITENESS

 

  • Answer the phone with a friendly greeting
  • Give your name and the company name
  • Use an enthusiastic tone
  • Say “thank you” and “please”
  • Be professional
  • Avoid slang language

 

This blog will help you understand why you need phone etiquette.

 

GATHER CONTACT DETAILS SUCH AS THE NAME

 

  • Ask for the caller’s name
  • Try “whom am I speaking with?”
  • Use the caller’s name periodically

 

ACQUIRE CALLERS’ PHONE NUMBER

 

  • Ask for the caller’s phone number
  • Say something like, “can I get your phone number?”

 

TAKE OWNERSHIP

 

 

 

74% of CONVERTED CALLS are answered by employees who take ownership

 

Recently, Listenforce developed its own Artificial Intelligence software. Listenforce

AI found that if you plan to have a successful call taking ownership is imperative. In fact, ownership language was used 74% more often in converted calls than non-converted calls.

 

Since implementing artificial intelligence, we have scored and statistically evaluated over a million phone calls. In many cases, the data confirmed our beliefs, and in some cases, we were blown away by the results. The culmination of experience and research has led to the development of the CLARC Skills.

 

In this blog, we talked only about ‘C’: Connect with Your Caller.

 

Our ebook: Guide to Better Calls talks about all the CLARC skills. To know more about CLARC skills, make sure you download the ebook today!

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You Had Me At Hello

Do you handle business calls? How many times during the day can you relate to this GIF?

 

via GIPHY

Well, Jill Konrath says that 97% of all business calls now go to voicemail. (Source)

 

Frankly, leaving a voicemail is the stodgiest routine work ever because people never get back, do they? Leaving a voicemail would be less a part of the day if you could reach the person or they called you back! A quick call back in acknowledgment of our time and efforts is all we ask for!

 

Here’s how you can get more and more customers to call you back and you can feel better about leaving voicemails:

 

How to encourage customers to call you back?

 

#1 Do Not Literally Follow a Script

 

Reading a script word for word sucks out the warmth from your words (and is a boring job!). In order to sound friendly and still stick to company protocol, follow a bulleted summary of your script instead of a detailed complete script. Here’s an example of a summarized list:

 

  • Your Name, Company Name

 

  • It is okay if you accidentally skip your name but do not ever skip your company’s name. The name will stick and help a lead easily find you on the internet.

 

  • Reason for calling

 

    • Your reason for calling must sound acceptable and not feel like a waste of time. A strong reason will persuade the customer to listen to the complete voice message and not press delete just half way through the voicemail.

 

via GIPHY

 

  • Customize proposal for a particular client

 

    • A customized proposal will push your prospect to call you back. Feel free to include a quick reference or question about something personal to the customer. For example, a quick inquiry about the issue you last solved for them, or a common interest. Avoid sounding cliche.

 

  • Your contact information

 

    • Be very clear when mentioning your contact details. Preferably, repeat the details twice and mention your available hours if you aren’t available 24/7.

 

  • Promise of a follow-up

 

    • A promise shows you care. But if you promise an email, send an email. If you promise to send a reminder, send it. Because the customer will depend on what you promise and use it as a reason to not call you back if you fail to deliver.

 

  • Ask the person to call back

 

    • This may sound ‘philosophical’ but you only get what you ask for. So do not hesitate to clearly ask for a call back. Let your customers know you are expecting them to call you back, that you’re waiting to hear from them.

 

These bullet points work like a speaker’s notes. They help you stay on track and not sound like a robot or a bored employee.

#2 Keep It 17 to 25 Seconds Long

 

What? Cover all the above bullets in 17 seconds? You must think I am crazy!

 

But, I’m not. Here’s a script that sticks to all the above-mentioned bullet points and ends in 17 seconds.

 

“Hello John. This is Sarah with Listenforce.

We’ve a customized pricing ready for you. Do call me back and we can make changes if you’re not happy with the details. Call me back on 123-456-7890.

I hope our revised reporting plan is working as expected. Have a great day John. Bye!”

 

The purpose of a voicemail is to get the customer to call you back. So, try to trigger interest and save your real pitch for an actual sales call. Make a voicemail short and simple.

 

#3 Study And Improve

 

Listen to your own voicemails as if you were the receiver and be honest about if you would call back. If the answer is no, find out why. 

 

  • Were you unenthusiastic?
  • Was your tone monotonous?
  • Did you not ask the lead to call back?
  • Were you too aggressive?
  • Did you not smile?
  • Are you following necessary phone etiquette?

 

Asking yourself the real questions will help you be better, one step at a time.

 

via GIPHY

 

Additionally, analyze the voicemails you do receive a call back from. Find out what worked and implement it in your next voicemail.

 

Rehearse a voice message in your head before you dial. This will boost your confidence and speak with authority.

 

#4 Other ideas to incorporate…

 

  • Use the prospects name often
  • Use strategic pauses. Be aware of the modulation and inflection of your voice.
  • Avoid sales speak. “Lowest price guaranteed!” is a big no-no.
  • Smile. The customers and leads can hear it!
  • Do your research to add a personalized touch.
  • Provide context if the lead is at an early stage of your marketing or sales funnel.
  • If you’re repeating you contact information, say the same thing but in a different way.

 

How to encourage customers to leave a voice message?

 

You do not want to lose leads who contact you after business hours, so you need a voicemail system.

 

  • Avoid Cliche

    • Phrases like “Your call is very important to us…” are overused and have lost meaning. Be creative and straightforward.

 

via GIPHY

 

  • Let the customer know he/she reached YOUR voicemail

 

    • Mention what business, department, or person are they leaving a message for? This will help you lower the amount of wrong numbers.

 

  • Apologize for not being available

  • This shows you care and what the customer or the lead has to say is valuable to you.

 

  • Ask them to leave a message

    • Again, you only get what you ask for.

 

  • Mention when they can expect a callback

    • Make sure you stick to your words and do call back with a solution. Nobody wants to repeat the same issue over a call.

 

  • List any additional options

    • If there’s a way the customer or lead can get their question answered immediately, mention that option. It could be contacting on Facebook Messenger or visiting your website’s “Help” page.

In Closing

 

If done right, your voicemails will strengthen your relationships and add value to your company’s public image. So, have fun with them,  experiment to find the right fit, and keep hitting those phones.

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Train the Trainer: Managers Role in Customer Service Training

Simply put, customer success or customer service is the lifeblood of your business. Period. And customer success goes beyond one team and encompasses an entire company culture. Research shows that customer service is paramount with company success:

 

When asking consumers what impacts their level of trust with a company, offering excellent customer service ranked number one. (Dimensional Research)
89% of consumers have switched to doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience.  (Harris Interactive)

 

In addition to these stats, customer satisfaction directly affects your bottom line over time:

 

The average customer spends 67 percent more money during his or her third year as a customer than during the first year as a customer. (Source)

 

Every responsible manager must know these customer service stats if s/he wishes to deliver outstanding customer experience. Plus, s/he must be open to being trained.

 

In past blogs, we addressed the role of a sales manager in coaching, but today we will be talking about the role of training in enhancing management skills.

 

train the trainer

 

Why Train the Trainer?

 

Politeness, proactiveness, a helping nature, and a smiling face are the basic makings of a customer service representative. Plus, the main factors in ensuring that employees maintain this approach at all times are the attitudes and behaviors of the management itself.

 

It’s easier for most people to follow a live, breathing person than to follow training manuals and presentations. The presence and responses of a manager leave a deeper and more prolonged impact on the team when compared to the teachings and instructions of any coaching programs.

 

If a manager exhibits a positive customer service attitude the team will follow suit, and their focus will be the customers’ needs. If the manager often fails to be a good example, then the team will lose motivation to endorse the current business trends. If the manager himself fails to model the company principles, the team will work to either complete work hours or work just for money, which brings the company down!

 

It is crucial that managers first understand the impact of their behaviors and then make efforts to bring about a change. An easy way to get managers on board is with customer service training. If you have managers resistant to training, this might help you convince them:

 

  • The team’s success depends on the one who manages them. A manager can build a roadmap to success only if s/he masters customer service values and hence, leads by example.
  • Customer success trends change. Therefore, the customer success team’s approach must also change. When adapting to these changes, the team members will expect directions and answers from no one else but the manager. Keeping yourself up to date with trends is easy but understanding it enough to be implemented within a team requires training.
  • Other than qualities to achieve customer service excellence, a manager can develop many soft skills like confidence, flexibility, creative thinking, listening well, effective communication, and many others.
  • A program focused on developing managerial skills can act as a platform to discuss employee-specific issues that might require special or different treatment.

 

train the trainer

Before We Meet Again

 

Training a trainer holds them responsible for their actions. It helps them understand their role and most importantly their impact on the fellow team members. It ensures the reinforcement of company values and customer service attitude at every level of the business.

 

Quick Tip: In a training program for managers, do not forget to include content and particular perspectives that will help managers to fulfill their roles as both supervisors and mentors.

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