Acquiring new customers takes a lot of time, money, and effort. So, you can imagine how devastating it is when a phone call causes you to lose business.
Unfortunately, it happens more often than it should. Many businesses fail to realize that a customer’s experience will always trump your products’ quality, affordability, and convenience. If someone reaches out to a customer service rep and isn’t treated correctly, they won’t hesitate to sever ties. With hundreds and even thousands of competitors, this is a risk you can’t afford to take.
Did you know that 96% of consumers leave a business due to poor customer service? Although customer expectations vary, companies that wish to succeed must find efficient ways to improve call center experiences. Not sure how or where to start? Continue reading for advice.
Use Personas To Further Understand Every Customer
Knowing someone’s name, address, email, and phone number isn’t enough to provide quality customer service. You must understand your customers on a personal level. Customer personas can help you personalize experiences during phone calls. These are fictional representations of your company’s target customers, backed by facts and data.
How do you create a persona? You use existing data, previous conversations, social media, surveys, trend reports, and analytical tools to your advantage. What do you already know about your customers? Are there things they said during previous conversations that you can use to connect with them? What products or services do they purchase frequently? What cool facts can you learn from their social media accounts? What do the trends say about your customer’s preferences, pain points, expectations, and behaviors?
For instance, maybe your target audience is women between the ages of 25-45. Trend reports show that women within this age group are more likely to have children. Social media interactions might show that your target customers prefer live calls to robots. A previous conversation could reveal that a customer has children. Ultimately, you would record this data in their profiles so customer service representatives can provide a more personalized experience.
Record Calls To Pinpoint Areas Of Weakness
There’s always room for improvement. No matter how well your customer service calls rank, you should consistently look for ways to do better. One way to pinpoint areas of weakness is to record your customer service calls. Representatives can review the calls to evaluate where they may have gone wrong. Did they forget to call the customer by name? Were the hold times too long? Did the representative speak professionally and politely? How effectively did they answer the customer’s question or concern? More importantly, what was the customer’s demeanor at the end of the phone call?
Businesses can use call recording software for sales teams to help train staff, resolve issues, and improve customer experiences.
Be Mindful Of Hold Times
There are going to be instances where you must place a customer on hold to resolve their issue, enter data, or process orders. However, being on hold for too long is frustrating. Therefore, businesses must find practical ways to keep wait times to a minimum. Below are a few suggestions to consider.
- Determine whether you have enough customer service representatives to handle inbound call volume. Analyze call volume at different times of day to determine when you need more reps. You can hire in-house or outsource your customer service needs to a call center.
- Develop a knowledge base that provides quick solutions to common problems and regularly update as new problems and solutions arise.
- Offer alternative methods of communication like your website, email, chat, or social media.
- Suggest providing a callback instead of waiting.
Finally, if you do have to place a customer on hold for longer than usual, check back regularly to inform them that you value their time and are doing the best you can to resolve the matter. You should also ensure that you acknowledge the inconvenience with an apology. This step ensures the customer doesn’t feel ignored or forgotten, eases their frustrations, and reduces the likelihood of a severed relationship.
One call can be the determining factor in whether you retain or lose a customer. While it’s impossible to please every customer all the time, you must be committed to doing your best to continue improving to meet their expectations. As much as it took to acquire a customer, the last thing you want to do is lose them, especially when it’s something that could have been avoided. Use the advice above to strengthen your customer service calls and increase customer retention rates.