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Improving The Business Phone Call
How can businesses improve their communications to ensure continued success and growth?
It begins with the call experience. Believe it or not, the telephone is still a powerful tool in which businesses communicate and engage with customers. While some businesses may leverage their social media channels for communications, most still rely on the good old fashioned phone call.
All things considered, here are some ways you can enhance the customer experience by refining your communication skills.
First impressions are everything, especially in business. A bad first impression can very easily send your customer to other competitors, and the easiest way to ruin this is to answer your phone incorrectly. You can also lose customers by not having enough people to answer phones, especially if your business experiences high call volumes.
Enlisting an automated answering system, also known as auto attendant, can help you route calls appropriately, however, if not programmed properly, can end up hurting your business as well.
When it comes to automated systems, customers may get frustrated and upset if your system fails to recognize their commands or improperly routes calls. In fact, customers may even avoid a business even after one poor experience with an automated system.
Choosing the right auto attendant for your business is important. Be sure to enlist a system that is developed with the customer experience in mind. It should sound professional and answer your calls quickly with a friendly voice. Calls should be routed appropriately and efficiently so that customers are not constantly being held and transferred from one department to the next. Auto attendant can also improve productivity since answering calls will no longer disrupt your employees’ workflow. First time callers will also feel confident in their professional and streamlined experience with your business.
Minimize Hold Times
Most customers believe that it simply takes too long to reach a live agent. You may have even experienced it yourself. This delay often results in frustration, leading to unhappy customers. Anything more than a couple minutes can be trying, therefore, you should take the necessary steps to minimize this time.
Ensure that calls are routed to the appropriate person or voicemail promptly by enlisting an automated answering system. You can also utilize business phones that will signal when someone has been on hold for a certain amount of time. While this may seem like a nuisance, it is a smart way to ensure that no caller is left hanging on the line for too long.
Prioritize Customer Service Calls
As a business, customer service should always be a top priority. Customers will often ditch a transaction or purchase because of poor customer service. Even if they do complete the transaction, a bad experience can deter customers from returning.
Don’t let communication break down over the phone. Tend to customer service calls promptly and with care.
Your Customers = Real People
It may be obvious, but we could use a reminder here and there. Your customers are real people and should be spoken to in that manner. Make the experience more personable rather than strictly scripted.
First of all, the glass should always be half full; that is, keep your language positive. For example, if a product is backordered, avoid saying “That item is unavailable at this time. It is backordered until next month” as this comes off as negative. Try saying, “This product will be available next month. I can place the order now to make sure that it is sent to you as soon as it reaches our warehouse.” Notice this puts a positive, hopeful spin on the fact that the item is backordered.
In addition to adjusting language and wording, equipping your customer service team with the right tools can also create a better customer experience. Some modern phone systems are able to sync with customer relationship management (CRM) tools, which allows your customer service team to access customer information (ex. purchase history, recent interactions) online and over the phone. All of this information will help your team better serve your customer, creating a more personalized customer experience.
Lastly, you should train your team in becoming the customer’s ally in resolving issues. Rather than focusing on metrics (ex. fastest support time), members should meaningfully engage with the customer by asking about the problem and their expectations. By understanding the customer’s point of view, your team can aim to meet or exceed expectations.
Improving communication and service will leave a lasting impression on customers, making it more likely for them to return and possibly refer business to you. What are some ways your business delivers quality service and communication? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Find quality business phones, phone systems, and equipment at Startechtel.com. Visit us online or call 800-564-8045 to speak with a representative today!