Modern businesses have a number of methods for connecting to their customers and business clients and partners, and recent innovations such as the Internet, e-mail, and live video chat have expanded an office worker’s options considerably. But despite that, the telephone, an invention of the 19th century, is still very much relevant. For the human mind, there’s no substitute for hearing the intonations and emotional content of another person’s voice, even if it’s by telephone instead of face to face. A lot of money and effort goes into market research every year, and many results show that conversations done by phone bring in big results for companies. This includes inbound sales calls, as well as inbound marketing, “warm” outbound sales calls, working at a customer service call center, and related fields. An inbound sales call center is where, as the name suggests, inbound sales calls are received, and these inbound sales calls are important to handle correctly. Workers at a call center receiving inbound sales calls are tasked with keeping current customers happy, and in many ways that’s even more important than winning over new customers among American consumers.
How to Treat Customers By Phone
It can be safely said that customers are quite demanding about how they are treated by phone, whether they are dealing with a company for the first time of if they are a loyal customer of several years. New customers expect the company to make a great first impression, and ongoing customers may feel that they’ve long since earned good service over the phone. In fact, many studies show that just one instance of bad customer service, just one, may prompt a customer to quit dealing with a company. Customers don’t always say it aloud, but they innately expect good customer service without fail, and expect it as a matter of course. No sensible company would be unhelpful or rude by phone, after all. The subject of customer service technique is an entire topic on its own, but in short, sales call experts will build a rapport with their customer, listen carefully to the customer’s needs and interests, provide helpful but compact information, and use a pleasant and conversational (but still professional tone).
Newly hired customer service and sales call employees will soon learn that keeping a current customer is much more profitable than making new ones. Not to say that new customers shouldn’t be contacted, but employees will learn that it’s much more profitable to make phone sales to existing customers than new ones. A new customer may cost several times more money to bring on board than keep a current one, and current customers are certainly interested in the company and may buy its products or services many times. Treating an existing customer well by phone may be the company’s biggest source of revenue, and studies can confirm this. In fact, a study done by Bain and Company has shown that increasing customer retention rates as little as 5% can increase profits by 25-95%. That’s a generous and highly efficient return on investment, and call center managers may regularly train their employees to make that kind of profit increase possible.
Better Phone Conversation Quality
It’s clear what makes for a good phone conversation. But what might make a phone conversation go bad? One problem may be ambient noise, when a call center employee is in a room with many other people doing the same job. This noise may make it difficult for both parties in a given phone conversation to hear each other, and having to ask “could you repeat that?” many times may frustrate both parties. Ambient noise may also increase a worker’s stress levels and make them more prone to accidents, and that may negatively impact their performance and attitude by phone. A customer may take offense to that and hang up.
In the office, soundproof phone booths may be used to circumvent that problem. Other employees choose to work remotely at home, where they may enjoy a quiet and controlled environment. This may also reduce stress levels and work error rates. As a bonus, at-home phone employees don’t have to spend time commuting, and may use that time for extra work.