Your company can have excellent organization, industry-leading products, and top quality management. However, without a foundation of excellent customer service, your company won’t succeed.
The good news is that connecting with customers doesn’t have to be overwhelming! Making a connection with customers is all about quality and consistency. A great time to practice these values is during phone calls with customers. Here are 3 simple steps that will ensure you are connecting with customers at every opportunity.
1) Choose your words and tone carefully
Word choice alone has an enormous impact on the success of any given interaction. Instead of telling a customer, “I can’t” or “I don’t know”, simply say “Let me find out for you” or “I’m going to put you in touch with a team member who can help”. Using positive, action-driven language will make all the difference.
The news your team has to deliver will not always be pleasant, but their word choice can turn around an entire conversation. Make sure the clients know you’re on their side and working to solve their problem. Other easy changes, like avoiding slang, can help make that good impression.
Your tone of voice is also incredibly important. “For call center agents, whose only connection to the customer comes through a phone line, things like the tone and volume of your voice along with the words you choose can make or break the relationship between a brand and its audience,” says Study.com.
This is where you can use the “smile and dial” technique that we’ve previously talked about. “Smiling while speaking on the phone has a huge difference on the tone of your conversation. Customers That Stick report people can hear the difference between different types of smiles, and that tone makes up 84% of the message of a phone call.”
2) Remember the details
When you’re working off a script during a call, it can be easy to fall into a routine and anticipate where the conversation will go.
This is a mistake, however. If you’re on autopilot, you miss the chances to make genuine connections with clients. Something as small as remembering a vacation destination shared on the last call, or checking in on any major life events the client has shared will make an enormous difference.
It’s a great idea to keep notes throughout your conversations with a client. You’ll obviously have a preexisting amount of data, like previous calls and other service notes. However, remembering the little things will go a long way.
All this being said, you need to keep it professional as well. A good rule of thumb is to match the tone the client shares with you. If they love sharing their personal lives, it’s appropriate to follow up with questions to match. If they are tight-lipped and all business, be professional and concise. It’s a subtle difference, but remembering details and matching the tone of customers will go a long way in building trust.
3) Follow up, every time
Here is where the other previous steps come into play. The best way to connect with customers is to build a solid impression and reinforce that impression with action. One of the ways you can assure customers that you’re serious about providing them with excellence is to follow up on every assurance, claim, and promise.
The worst thing you can do for your business is not follow through. If you tell a client they’ll be receiving a follow-up call, schedule it immediately to ensure it happens.
3 Contact Services says, “Customer service follow-ups have the potential to influence a customer’s overall experience with your company, and even affect their outlook on your business practices when giving reviews, either online or in-person…In order to truly deliver exceptional customer service, you have to show customers that you actually care—which is why a follow-up call is important and can make all the difference to the customer.”
According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, “Loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase,” so being reliable in your service and follow-through is a guaranteed way to build a great reputation and connect with your clients.
Follow these three steps to improve the quality and consistency of your customer interactions, and you’ll be sure to connect with customers at every opportunity.