Sometimes, it feels like we live in a world that just doesn’t care. And sometimes that’s true.
Millions of people are working jobs that they don’t enjoy. They’re working to put food on the table and pay their bills.
They do their job because they have to, not because they want to.
We interact with people working these jobs almost every single day.
Whether we’re ordering food from somewhere, or calling up customer service, we’re interacting with people who would most likely rather be doing something else.
The end result is, for the most part, people’s experiences with companies are mediocre at best.
But, we put up with mediocre experiences, because we need whatever the company provides to us.
Although this may be painting a dreary picture, there is definitely a silver lining.
Because so many people don’t care, when we do interact with someone who DOES, it makes a WORLD of difference.
Almost everyone has their own story of good customer service. A time when a company showed they really did care about the individual. They cared enough to not only make a problem right, but do it in the way that was best for the customer.
When this happens, it’ll usually shock the person it happens to. More often than not, showing a customer that you care, even just a little bit, will turn them into a customer for life.
A customer for life is a customer who will buy from you, and keep buying, for as long as they live. And they won’t buy from your competitors.
In most cases, they’ll tell everyone they know about it as well.
And in our modern era of social media, it can even go viral, which can literally make (or break) a business overnight.
The thing is, it’s not very difficult to get customers for life. What you need to do, is know exactly what your customers are looking for and then personally tailor to the individual.
The best way to do this is to train your sales and customer service staff to use specific techniques, which I’ll outline shortly and couple them with call recording.
Using these techniques will give your customers a much more personalized experience, and through call recording, you’ll be able to find out what’s working across the board and what could be improved.
You’ll also be able to train new hires with the best practices you’ve learned after trying these techniques out.
Technique #1: Bring a Fresh Slate to Every Interaction
Working in a call center isn’t easy. Especially customer service.
A lot of people who call in for customer service aren’t happy. They put all the blame on the person on the other line, even though in most cases, they didn’t have a single thing to do with it.
After answering calls like this every day, a customer service employee may be tired and irritated. This will inevitably lead to an even worse next call and likely another dissatisfied customer.
Train your sales and customer service staff to approach each phone call like it was the first of the day. Don’t bring any baggage into the call from any previous calls.
Through call recording, you can measure voice tonality and determine whether or not your employees are following through on this.
Technique #2: Eliminate Holds and Waits
This one isn’t possible for every company. However, for a lot of them, it absolutely is.
What’s the one thing customers hate more than anything else? Having to wait on hold to talk to someone.
It’s very, very rare for an individual to call up customer service and talk to a human being right away.
But when that does happen, the impact is massive on the customer. In fact, eliminating holds, in and of itself, is a fantastic way to create customers for life.
I remember calling into 1-800-CONTACTS once, to fix an order. I expected to be waiting on hold for at least 10 minutes.
Instead, I was immediately greeted by a human being, who fixed my problem within 5 minutes.
I have never ordered contacts from anywhere else after that point, nor do I plan to.
If a company as big as 1-800-CONTACTS can provide that kind of experience, chances are your company can too.
Technique #3: Smile When Answering The Phone
This technique is very powerful, but so often overlooked.
Many organizations make the mistake of not teaching their customer service staff the importance of body language.
Because all the interactions happen over the phone, it’s easy to think that body language isn’t important.
But even though the interaction is happening over the phone, how you’re holding your body has a direct effect on how your voice sounds.
If your brow is furrowed because you’re frustrated, even if you try and sound happy, you’re going to come across as irritated.
If you’re smiling when you answer the phone, you can’t help but sound friendly and enthusiastic from the very first second.
It’s very easy to determine how your employees are answering the phones using call recording. If they sound happy and excited, you can bet their body language is matching that as they speak.
Technique #4: Be Sympathetic Yet Firm
There are many individuals out there who will call into customer service with an inflated sense of entitlement.
These are people who may have been wronged at some point throughout the sales process (which you can potentially pinpoint with call recording), and feel you owe them something in return.
In some cases, these individuals are right. And it’s a good idea to give your customer service staff some flexibility, so they can properly reward and reimburse customers when appropriate.
In some cases though, the individuals are wrong, and don’t deserve what they think they deserve.
In this case, by being friendly, sympathetic, yet firm, you can actually increase the customer’s respect for your organization.
Through call recording, you can know EXACTLY how a customer’s interaction with your company has been.
You can easily go back and replay a recording to decide if a customer is right to be demanding what they’re demanding.
If not, you can often use their own words to show them how they’re being unreasonable.
If you do so in a friendly manner, you will often find these defiant customers back down and even apologize. Although this can seem like a negative reaction, they’ll remember and respect how you handled yourself and likely continue buying from you.
Technique #5: Appreciate Your Staff
The final technique has little to do with call recording but the results will be reflected in the recordings of successful calls.
Working on the phone is tough. So, in order to get the best results possible you need to make sure your staff feels appreciated.
If they enjoy working where they’re working and like the company they work for, they’ll be much more patient on the phones… even if the customer is giving them a hard time.
These simple techniques will help you provide a much better experience to the customer calling in.
Most of them aren’t exactly revolutionary in and of themselves. But since so many customers are used to having horrible experiences with companies, showing that you care, even just a little bit, is going to go a long ways.