How To Keep Your Customers On The Phone
Sometimes, your customers may leave you for a rival for a reason completely out of your hands, maybe they offer a better deal when it comes to cost or their range of products simply appeal to them more. These are understandable reasons, however if a customer where to sever their ties to you because of poor customer service, then it becomes a problem. Thankfully, there are ways to ensure that this doesn't happen to you.
One of the ways many businesses lose customers is through their phone lines, this can be down to a multitude of reasons, ranging from inadequate redirection, to lousy agents, to something as simple as a bad connection. All of these are terribly frustrating and while your competitors are dangling metaphorical carrots in front of your customers faces, it can make things that much more difficult in the long run.
Keep Your Employees Happy (and your customers)
The first place to start is with your employees; of course, you can't control everything they say but it is important that they remain courteous and respectful at all times with a polite tone of voice then this is a good base to work with.
Giving them the right tools for the job will help massively, there's nothing worse than having a system that is slow, clunky or flat out doesn't work from an employee-perspective. Ensuring that they remain frustration free will mean that a positive attitude can be retained for longer, and this will feed into their performance overall. Using a VoIP service will ensure your telephony is at the cutting edge of the latest technology, as well as being wholly reliable and user-friendly. There's no need for extra phone lines either, it simply connects to your indoor Wi-Fi or office wireless solution and makes calls via the Internet.
Try Not to Miss A Call
Not everyone has the patience to let the phone ring, even less have the time so it is vitally important that your agents are able to answer as many calls as possible, as quickly as they can. The majority of callers who have not been answered by the fifth or sixth ring will more than likely hang up move on, possibly to your rival. With a VoIP service, calls can be forwarded to other devices (or to multiple devices at once) so the likelihood of missing the call decreases.
Keep Your Promises
When it comes to keeping your word to a customer, it is of vital importance that this is followed through with by your staff. Whether this is something as simple as promising a call-back or giving them a refund by a certain time. If you're consistent with your promises, and the speed of your delivery is deemed acceptable by your customers, they're more likely to return to you in the future and continue using your services.
Consider Using On-Hold Music/Messages
Probably one of the worst things about contacting a business is being put on-hold. This can happen for various reasons, the staff member is collecting or inputting information, or they have to confirm something with their manager, whilst you're on the other end waiting.
Thankfully there are ways to make this experience less annoying for your customers; instead of dull and overused 'lift' music, make an effort to think about your target audience and find suitable music you think they would enjoy. For example, if you're audience base is primarily under the age of 30-40, then using classical music may not be the best idea. Likewise, using modern popular and electronic music may not be the best choice for an audience base mostly over the age of 40-50.
Using certain types of music can be expensive in some cases, so it may also be useful to occasionally use spoken messages during the on-hold breaks. These can vary depending on your business but for example, if you are a retail store, you can record one of your staff speaking about promotions currently going on in your shop. Not only is this a useful way to market your business but you can even include on-hold specific promotions as a thank you to the customer for holding. Ask them to quote a word for 10% off their next purchase for example.
End The Call On A Good Note
If you can leave the customer satisfied at the end of a call, with all their queries and concerns answered, offering any relevant information the customer may need for the future or if there is anything else the agent can help the customer with. This can help create an element of loyalty and brand recognition on behalf of the customer and may help bring them back to your services once again in the future.
For your staff, having to deal with dozens, potentially hundreds of customers per day can wear even the best agents down after some time, ensure their jobs are made easier by using the correct phone system that remains consistent and easy to use as well as generally keeping morale up in the office, this will flow into their performance and thus into the customers perception of the business. Put all of these elements together and you should be able to retain the majority of your customers on the phone and ensure they remain happy and satisfied.