This is part two in a two-part series. Read part one here.
In part one of this two-part series on growing your small business using your telephone, we discussed ways to be more present for your callers.
Year after year, customers say this one of their biggest issues with businesses — they want to speak to a real person, not to a recording, no matter what time of day it is. Being present is just step one, though, the ultimate goal is to develop a following of fully engaged customers. Gallup found that fully engaged customers are worth 23 percent more than the average customer, so by simply improving your customer engagement you can dramatically increase your bottom line in no time.
Give these engagement tips a try:
Can the scripts and speak plainly. The 2015 National Customer Rage Study was designed to figure out exactly what upset customers to the point of rage. Not surprisingly, enraged customers said one of their biggest pain points were annoying catchphrases like “Your call is important to us, please continue to hold.” (80 percent of respondents), “That’s our policy.” (75 percent) and “We are currently assisting other customers. Your call will be answered in the order it was received.” (74 percent).
Instead of throwing meaningless canned phrases at them, speak to your customers plainly. A full half of the people surveyed said they’d much prefer every-day language in interactions with businesses.
Make sure they don’t call back. That is, make sure they don’t call back right away. Customers hate it when they aren’t given a full answer to their questions or have to call several times to get all the information they needed the first time. Sometimes, they simply don’t know what they don’t know — but that’s up to you and your customer service team to uncover.
Providing the information customers request initially is just the beginning, you should also ask probing questions to determine if they’re going to need additional information or related products, if they’re placing an order. A customer that leaves a conversation fully armed is a customer that’s closer to being fully engaged.
Call customers for feedback. Your phone is good for more than just incoming calls — you can initiate outgoing call, too. When customers call with complicated issues or questions, have your phone staff or answering service note their name, telephone number and reason for calling.
Within a few days, you should call them back simply to ask if there’s anything else you can do to help them. Don’t be annoying, but do make sure they know you heard them — and leave a message if necessary. It’s a small thing you can do to help increase customer loyalty and engagement and it’s a great way to show your customers you really care about them.
Customer engagement can do much to increase sales and grow your business, if you’re dedicated to it. According to a NewVoiceMedia study, a full 70 percent of customers surveyed are going to become more loyal the better your customer service becomes. Almost as many (69 percent) would recommend your company to others, 49 percent would use your company more often and 42 percent would spend more money with your business.
The key to growth with your phone is improving the customer experience. Do that and your company will expand as far as you can imagine.