Phone calls have been, and still remain, the most commonly used communication channel among businesses. A few decades ago, before the advent of the internet, businesses relied heavily on phone calls to maintain a good connection with their customers. The emergence of modern-day communication channels like social media, live chats, and emails have not rendered phone interactions obsolete.
After all, telephones allow businesses to have a more personal connection with customers through speaking, regardless of their distance. A more immediate response can also be enjoyed by both parties compared to when other communication channels are used.
Because of the critical role that phones play in linking customers with the brands they follow, businesses are always looking for ways to enhance the efficiency of their telephone systems.
That said, below are 10 ways that businesses can maintain a good phone presence among customers:
1. Maximize The Voice Mail Feature
One of the features phones have that businesses can leverage to maintain a good phone presence among customers are voice mails. When you call your customers and they’re not able to answer, you can simply leave them a voicemail message they can listen to. This message should be aimed at informing the customer about your business and its offerings while you wait for their actual response.
This feature can help boost your phone presence among your prospects by implying that you’re ready to talk to them about your products and services anytime they’re ready. Voice mails are also less disruptive since people can listen to your pitch at their convenience instead of having to answer your call in the middle of their workday. This way, they won’t view your call as a nuisance.
To further increase the productivity of your agents, you can use predictive dialers, like Call Cowboy, to ensure that they get connected to live numbers every time. Through this tool, your staff can reach everyone in your call list, which boosts sales opportunities.
Some tips to help you maximize the voice mail feature for your business:
- Introduce Yourself – Don’t let your prospect guess who left them a voicemail. Make sure that you introduce yourself and your company. This way, they can review your products and services if they want to.
- Strive to be Memorable – More than introducing yourself, though, you want your leads to remember you. To do this, you can incorporate a bit of history into your greeting, or your mission and vision.
- Smile When You Speak – It may just be a phone call, but your tone plays a significant role in how the recipient receives your message. Smiling when you speak lends a light tone to your voice, which can convey your enthusiasm and excitement for your brand.
- Set the Right Pace – Another thing to remember is to set the right pace for talking to your leads. If your target demographic consists of older people, you must speak slowly. For younger ones, you can keep it upbeat, but make sure that you still enunciate the words clearly.
- Keep It Short and Sweet – When creating your script, keep the voicemail’s length in mind. You don’t want to bore your prospect to tears. Worse, they might not even make it to the end of your message if you keep rambling on about your company.
- Be Mindful of Noise – Upon recording your voicemail, find a place where there’s no background noise. It makes all the difference on the receiver’s end.
2. Treat Every Customer As Unique
Customers have varying needs, behaviors, priorities, and preferences. As such, when you interact with them on the phone, ensure that you treat each of them as unique. This means that the approach you use to interact with them should make them feel special.
The easiest way to achieve this is to train your customer service teams not to use a single approach for all callers. Your team should have the skills to listen to callers well and come up with relevant responses that leave customers feeling valued, or satisfied with answers and explanations. Doing this enables businesses to maintain an authentic presence among customers over the phone.
Another way you can show that you value customers is to use a preview auto dialer. Preview auto-dialing software can aid your teams in providing tailor-made conversations or responses to clients. It does that by making agents aware of the customer’s relevant information before dialing a number.
Making customers feel valued enables businesses to maintain an authentic presence over the phone.
Other things you should do to improve your customer service:
- Stand Up and Move Around – Similar to smiling when you speak, walking around while talking can help you give off an energetic tone. This is because it gets your heart pumping and your blood flowing.
- Close Your Eyes – It’s so easy to get distracted by your surroundings and wander off mentally when talking on the phone. To avoid this, you can close your eyes to limit sensory input and heighten your sense of hearing. This way, you can listen intently on what the customer is saying and address their concerns accordingly.
- Practice Authenticity – Today’s generation of consumers are more discerning. They can tell if a representative is being over-the-top with their greeting. While it’s true that you should convey enthusiasm when speaking with a prospect, you should also be sincere about wanting to talk to them about your products and services.
- Use Their Name – As mentioned above, one can get easily distracted when talking on the phone. The same thing can happen to your leads. To regain their attention, use their name as frequently yet naturally as possible throughout the conversation. This way, you can get them to listen intently when it’s your turn to share information about your company.
- Have a Structure for Explaining Solutions – The lack of visual aid can make it challenging to explain things in a way that customers can recall easily after the call. The best thing to do about this is to employ the structure of “Problems – Solutions – Benefits.” For instance, if a customer is looking for ways to streamline their business process, you can say that your company provides the solution and then list out specific benefits.
- Affirm Your Presence with Verbal Nods – When the consumer gains momentum and keeps on talking, you should use verbal nods through phrases like “I see” or “That’s right” to confirm that you’re listening. This way, you avoid infuriating an already angry customer when they ask whether you’re still on the other line.
3. Use Customer Information To Personalize Phone Conversations
A great way to ensure that your business remains in the minds of your target audience is by making an effort to personalize your interactions with callers. For instance, call center software are increasingly being designed to integrate important customer service applications, including customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
This integration provides businesses with a powerful tool for personalizing phone conversations with their customers. CRM software is capable of retrieving customer information, including their details, purchase history, and issues they’ve previously raised with customer service teams.
Getting to know your prospect, even if it’s just taking note of whether they’ve been contacted previously, can make them feel valued and understood. It allows you to give them a positive experience, which can improve how they perceive your brand.
One of the ways that businesses can strengthen their connection with customers is to foster open communication first. Through a personalized call, you can get the prospect to talk more. By doing this, you can glean insights on their needs and pain points much better.
Generally, you shouldn’t sell directly to your leads when they answer your call. Rather, the focus should be on talking to your customers using a personal and conversational tone in order to boost their perception about your brand.
You should nurture a relationship with them first. The information you have on them is also valuable for determining where they’re at in their buyer’s journey.
4. Address The Concerns That Callers Raise
This is by far one of the most effective ways to gain your customers’ trust and respect. When you address their concerns in a quick, sensible, and sympathetic way, customers are more likely to patronize your brand despite the issues they may have raised. Most customers are aware that no company is perfect, but the edge successful companies have over others is being able to act quickly upon customer concerns.
Most of the time, consumers only contact a company through a hotline number to complain about the quality of the product or service they’ve received. Instead of waiting for them to do that, though, you can you can use phones to reach out to those who have left negative reviews on your social media platforms or have raised complaints in their feedback.
Rather than argue with them or defend your brand, connect with them through the phone for a more personal approach. Listen to what they have to say, express your apology, and offer to make it up to them. Keep in mind that a customer’s negative experience can be an opportunity for you to turn the situation around and strengthen your business presence in a more positive way.
5. Follow Up On Customers
Phone communication provides businesses with a unique platform for following customers up and earning their trust and appreciation. When customers reach out to businesses with requests or complains, they expect that their concerns will be addressed fast and that they’ll be notified once the issues have been addressed.
Meanwhile, the people on your call list are on different stages in the buying journey. Some may already be interested enough to want to try out your products or services, while others may need more time to decide whether they’ll push through with the transaction or not.
For the latter group, you can contact and follow them up on their decision. Just make sure that you don’t spam them with phone calls because that’ll just put them off.
Businesses can leverage this opportunity to maintain a good phone presence with their customers by responding to their questions or concerns throughout their purchase journey. By doing so, they’re able to build a strong connection with them and even keep their brand on top of the mind of customers.
Another opportunity that businesses can use to follow up on customers is when they buy a new or unique product. Businesses can make individualized calls to check in with the customer and find out whether they’re enjoying the new product through surveys.
They can connect further with their customers by thanking them for choosing to do business with them. This will make customers feel appreciated and serves as a great way to identify unhappy customers way before they share their negative experiences in reviews online.
6. Use Phones to Boost Customer Engagement
Customer engagement refers to the effort that businesses exert to interact with their customers through different communication channels with the purpose of strengthening their relationship. One of the best ways to boost this is through verbal communication.
For instance, you can contact your current customer base to take advantage of exclusive offers and discounts. Calling them gives the impression that you care about them enough to give them direct notifications rather than merely sending out the promos through emails, which they can easily miss out on.
Advancements in technology that have happened in the last decade seem to have overshadowed phone calls, making it appear as though this traditional communication channel has become obsolete. But this isn’t case. As a matter of fact, phones are still important and powerful tools when interacting with customers and boosting their engagement with businesses.
Most businesses still rely on phones to make a personal connection with their customers. As such, businesses can maintain good phone presence among their target audience by leveraging this mode of communication.
You can maximize a phone’s voicemail features to promote your brand without disrupting your leads as they go through their day. Another way is to treat them uniquely with a personalized experience. You can accomplish this by taking the time to read through the information that you have on a particular prospect so you can customize your conversation according to their needs, pain points, and preferences. Phone calls are also excellent tools for addressing your customers’ concerns, following them up, and boosting their engagement.