How Phone Presence Can Increase Customer Satisfaction and Retention
In a time where we have access to fast, endless information at our fingertips at any given moment, people don’t have time to waste. People’s expectations are high for how information is shared and received. When it comes to user experience over the phone, people want efficiency and ease. They also want to feel cared for. The #1 way a company can prove they care is by having kind and quick responses to customers – giving them a resolution in a matter of minutes.
So how exactly can phone presence increase customer satisfaction and keep them coming back for more?
No Long Waits or Dropped Calls
How many times have you had a friend or family member tell you about a terrible customer service experience they had? Probably a lot. People tend to share bad experiences more than good when it comes to customer service. They want to help save people from having a similar bad experience.
Having a call center that puts people on hold right away, or drops calls, is fueling that negative fire and customers won’t come back. A survey conducted by Velaro showed that most people are not willing to wait on hold for even a minute, if that. The infographic to the right shows that a whopping 90% of people surveyed had a limit to how long they would wait. In fact, 32.3% said they wouldn’t wait at all. If they receive no answer or get put on hold they would hang up. These numbers are huge and that’s bad news for customer retention.
Making sure every call is picked up is the first step. If you absolutely have to put someone on hold, ask them kindly first, and if they say no try to resolve their problem as quickly as possible. Offering a call-back service is something people are willing to accept. This can be done with a person, or there are automated services that will give that option in the menu as well. Having a well-organized plan as well can help avoid long wait times, and dropped calls.
Converting Calls to Appointments
A customer wants to get all their issues resolved in one fell swoop. Treating a customer service call as an opportunity for future appointments and sales is the way to achieve customer retention. In the case of service calls at dealerships, when a customer calls in, it’s possible to schedule out their maintenance a full year in advance. Not only does this free up future calls, but the customer feels cared for, and that they received great service. They know they don’t have to follow-up in the future, or receive any calls for appointment reminders. Everything is done then and there.
A customer calling in with one question, may not actually know everything they need. It is the job of the agent to listen and resolve a problem but also educate and leave the customer feeling more informed than when they called. This gives the opportunity to upsell, schedule future times, offering call back service and text reminders.
Customers Want to Feel Cared for
There is one thing to simply help a customer resolve the issue they had, it’s another to curate the conversation in a way that wows the customer. Like many of us, I’m sure when we are setting up to call a company’s customer service team, we may not be overly excited. There’s no guarantee good service will be received, so expectations may be pretty low if it’s their first call. Take advantage of those expectations and blow them out of the water.
A customer wants to feel cared for, which means going above and beyond a simple Q & A. Offer more information, more knowledge, ask if they know about all the services offered. Some of this may seem obvious, but it’s important to pivot a way of thinking towards the customer being tended to beyond the scope of the call, and not just being nice and helpful to them.
Keeping Up with a Fast-Paced World
The infographic at the start of this article is a few years old, and though the basic stats are still very relevant, time and technology continue to speed up. More and more companies offer chat or text options for customer service. This is pretty in line with how people talk less on the phone, and more than ever via text or social media. With everything being accessible super quickly, and right from our phones, customer service speeds are expected to be just as fast and just as efficient. It’s crucial to be able to face the fact that people don’t want to waste time, as it shows by so many people not willing to be put on hold.
Having solid customer service means getting to the point, answering the question, informing the customer and having that entire call be under 5 minutes flat. Offering text reminders, and call-back service rather than being put on hold are going to become the norm and will be the minimum expectation people have in all future correspondence. Keep it short and sweet!
Service success, it begins with a call.