Without a loyal and growing pool of customers, businesses can go down under. As such, it’s important to invest in tools and training that constantly improve the way that customers experience your service product. Businesses must have quality customer call engagement, because once customers get the impression that they are not valued, they will go on to search for a similar service product from competitors. Here are ways that businesses can improve their customer call engagement:
- Be Available
As a business, you must be available when customers reach out. This means that the business needs to prioritise updating communication tools and systems as much as possible. Being available for the customer means striking a balance between running the everyday demands of the business, and constantly keeping in touch with the customers when need be.
Call Cowboy is a system that makes communication efficient because of the several functions that serve your customers. Features such as auto responder mean that your business doesn’t run the risk of not being available when a customer reaches out. The custom notes feature means that messages don’t get lost in translation or forgotten. Your business is able to track calls, meaning such communication systems make for time efficiency in the event that you need to get back to several consumers or trace back your steps to a particular customer.
It’s important to carry out a communication audit, just so you see how you are performing as a business when it comes to interacting with your customers. Call Cowboy makes this possible because of the feature that analyses your performance. Also, you don’t have to worry about suddenly becoming unavailable because credit ran out—the unlimited business text feature makes sure that you remain on the ball. Such systems are worth looking into for your business to improve their customer call engagement.
- Brand Your Business
We live a time where customers are constantly in communication, whether with personal acquaintances, work or businesses selling their services and products. In some cases, a customer might not pick up a call, particularly one with a number that they don’t recognise because of the pressure that comes with having to be available for those that get in touch throughout the day.
You won’t know why a customer isn’t available. However, if a customer recognises your number, this may lower the risk of them not answering your call. VoIP numbers are linked to a specific account holder’s address. This means that your brand is recognised and may prompt more efficient communication.
- Training Your Team
A business must never overlook the importance of staff training. You may have all the tools and systems in place that make for efficient call engagement; however, if your team isn’t trained on how to use these, it defeats the purpose. You should train your staff how to use the various communication technologies. Set aside a period where you offer practical presentations and practice sessions of how various systems work. The more your team practices, the more efficient the call engagement becomes.
Training should also include the manner in which the staffs engage with customers. As a business, it’s advised that you have a standard introductory greeting for instance. It’s also important to state how many times the phone should ring before it is picked up. An example of a standard greeting is letting the phone ring three times, picking up, exchange greetings, and ask how the customer may be assisted.
Train your staff members to learn how to implement different tones depending on the content of the conversation. For example, the greeting should always be cheerful as you want to make the customer feel appreciated and not as an inconvenience. When the conversation takes a serious turn, your team should be able to notice this and adopt a listening and empathetic tone for example. Tone is easily picked up on the other end of the call making it a very important aspect to train.
The way that your team ends a call should also be structured. For example, after having conversed with the customer, they should ask if there are any other issues, thank the caller from reaching out and wish them a great day. These are the seemingly small communication etiquette rules that will make you stand out from competitors.
- Make the First Impression Count
A customer may decide whether they want to engage in business with you based on the first few seconds of interaction. If for example, a customer calls your business and can hardly hear because of background chatter, they may become put off. So, you need to make sure that your environment is conducive for a quality conversation to take place. The same applies to sounding distracted by your environment when you pick up a call or make one. The customer can notice this and interpret this as you have other priorities which aren’t them at that moment.
- Listen to Understand
Whenever a conversation is taking place, it’s either the people involved are simply hearing what is being communicated or are listening to understand the message. Listening to understand the message may be difficult in an instance where a customer is not satisfied and expresses this in a negative tone or uses harsh words. However, it’s important to screen through the emotions in the conversation and understand the root message. If you become defensive, you may risk deviating from the way that you are supposed to engage the customer. This may only escalate the issue and, unfortunately, brand your business in a negative light.
When in such a business communication scenario, you should remain calm and let the customer express themselves. Once that is over with, apologise accordingly, relay back the message as you understood it, ask for clarity and find out if the customer needs any help with anything else. This is the only way that action can be taken to rectify the misunderstanding.
- Sound Professional
The way you sound on a call when representing a brand or business must always be different from the way you sound when you speak to your friend or family. You must always sound professional even in the moments where you are having a friendly discussion with a customer. You can create a word book for your team which indicates the type of language that you expect them to use. You can also have a rules list regarding this—for example, it isn’t allowed to call a customer ‘sweetheart’ or ‘my friend’ no matter how familiar you become with them. The professional code of conduct has to be adhered to when it comes to call engagement.
- Don’t Keep the Customer Waiting
Another poor customer call engagement habit is to keep the customer holding the line. Making them hold the line for a long period may result in them hanging up. Customers don’t want to feel as if calling your business is an expense and cutting into their valuable time. If you aren’t able to immediately respond to the concern, rather express that you will call them back so that they can put the phone down while you look into it.
- Keep Your Word
Certain issues aren’t completed in a single phone call. Some may require a number of call-backs as the team may need time to look into the various situations. When you tell a customer that you will get back to them, you need to keep your word. If possible, you should indicate when you will get back to them. Keeping a customer waiting for lengthy periods of time because you failed to get back to them is a sure way of losing business. If you still don’t have a response for the customer by the time that you said you will ring back, it’s always advised to call the customer to check in regardless, and express that you are still looking into the matter.
- Follow Up Call
A follow-up call is a gesture that shows your customers that you care about their experiences. Once a situation or a request has been attended to, you can give a customer a few days after the initial call, and then follow up. This is the only way that you can determine whether a customer was content with your service product, or simply decided to go look elsewhere. Neglecting to follow up is one of the ways that businesses may unknowingly lose customers over time.
- Accept Feedback Conversations
Feedback is a type of quality audit for your business. You need to know how your customers are experiencing your product for you to rectify and organise your business strategy and service product delivery. You can set up days where staff members randomly call customers and have a conversation about the service product that they would have recently purchased. You can create a chart of questions where you also ask the customers to rank your service product and give a brief explanation as to why the specific grade was given. These phone calls will help you realise aspects about your business that you may not have before, and also communicates that you appreciate the customers’ experiences.
- Report Technical Faults
If a call experienced constant glitches, calls aren’t getting connected to consumers, or consumers are expressing that they can’t reach your business, you should immediately report these faults to your provider. Leaving these technical faults go on for long periods means risking having your customers look for assistance elsewhere. While the faults are being attended to, you can send messages or a social media post expressing how you are facing technical difficulties and that you will notify them once you are back up.
- Get to Know Your Customers
When you know your customers, the call engagement becomes personalised. Personalised service encourages consumers to continue engaging your service product because of the way that they are made to feel important. You can get to know your customers’ names, professions, general family dynamics and preferences, so that you can include these aspects when you ask over their wellbeing. It shows that you have taken time to form rapport and see beyond their purses and pockets.
This kind or rapport will help your business by referrals, repeat purchases, positive branding and brand loyalty. Make sure not to become intrusive in the aim of getting to know your customers as this will make customers withdraw from you.
- Learn from Mistakes
You will make communication mistakes as you interact with customers. What is important is to learn from these mistakes. You can have team meetings where you discuss mistakes that were made in the hope of discussing how these can be avoided in future.
Your business should invest in communication tools and systems that make it available when customers reach out. Quality systems such as Call Cowboy make availability a constant because of the multiple features that encourage efficient and consistent communication. You can also use VoIP numbers for brand recognition.
Once you have set in place the various calling features and systems, you must train your team how to effectively use these. Training can include practical demonstrations and practice sessions. You should also train your team to practice quality communication etiquette so that your customers are encouraged to keep engaging your business.
Make sure that your environment is conducive for call engagement because first impression counts when talking to customers. You must always listen to understand the messages that are communicated by customers, particularly when they are disgruntled. Learn to filter the emotionally gestures and understand the root message so that you can decide on the action to take.
Regardless of how familiar your business becomes with a customer, always sound professional. Make sure to always keep your word when you say you’ll get back to a customer, and do follow up calls after they have been attended to. Always accept feedback as this will help your business grow. Report technical faults to fix a breakdown in communication and make an effort to get to know your customers.