There are many reasons why customers (even the most loyal ones) may leave your business to head over to your competitor. Maybe your rivals offer a better range of products or services, or maybe their pricing is more competitive than yours. Or it could be that you aren’t offering anything new to your target market. But perhaps nothing turns away customers quicker than receiving poor customer service.
One of the most common ways that businesses lose customers is over the phone. A simple phone call can help you win or lose a customer, which is why it’s important that you make every telephone conversation with your clients a professional, pleasant, and productive experience. In order to keep you from losing customers over the phone, follow these tips:
1. Be courteous
If proper phone customer service can be summarized in one word, it would be "courteous". Treat every caller with the utmost courtesy whether or not they are being polite themselves or being irate. Adopt a positive, enthusiastic, and natural tone so callers will be comfortable speaking with you. The adage to "smile while talking" might be a cliche, but it is actually very effective.
2. Never miss a call as much as possible
Not all callers are patient enough to wait for the twentieth ring before hanging up. Most customers whose calls don’t get answered by the fifth or sixth ring will immediately hang up the phone and move on to the next company. To ensure that you don’t miss calls along with the opportunities that come with it, be sure to invest in a feature-packed Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system. VoIP phone solutions integrate advanced calling features that will help you to never miss a call again. These include Find Me/Follow Me, Call Group, Simultaneous Ring, and more.
3. Keep your word
If you tell a customer you will give them a refund, follow up with your manager, or return their call within a specific timeframe, be sure to stay true to your word. Should something happen that will keep you from fulfilling your promise, update your customer immediately and inform them of the situation. Customers are more likely to trust you and come back to you for future services if you keep your word.
4. Use hold music wisely
Being put 'on hold' is definitely every caller’s least favorite part of contacting a business. But perhaps nothing can be more unbearable than being placed on hold while listening to boring elevator music. To make the 'on hold' experience more interesting and less irritating, customize your on hold music. Try playing music tracks your target audience would enjoy. You can also use a combination of music and advertising messages to entertain callers and keep them on the line. Of course, it's always best to ask the caller’s permission first before placing them on hold.
5. Leave the caller satisfied
All’s well that ends well. It’s important that you end a conversation in which all concerns and queries are addressed and answered. Offer any relevant information the customer might need in the future, and make sure he or she is satisfied by asking if there’s anything more you can help him or her with. Ending a conversation on the right note helps create a loyal, satisfied customer, which will translate to repeated business.
Talking to customers on the phone may not be the easiest task, as you can gain or lose a client in an instant. So make sure to follow these tips to help keep your customers and make them happy.