Your next customer is calling now! You need the sale, you may need it badly. But your customer has needs too! Customers facing an emergency have urgent needs. They may be distraught, not listening well or overwhelmed.
Here is a checklist of superior customers service tactics to build real trust and close more sales:
- Create a written checklist for employees who serve customers over the phone.
- Include the minimally required information to be collected in bullet form, so no one has to remember what to ask.
- If you have a business tagline or most important descriptor build it right into your phone script so your team repeats it on each call.
- Slow down a little. Take the time each caller requires to help them feel important and confident they’ve called the right team.
- Care: Actually care about the person calling. Customers smell phony or bored a mile away.
- Listen: Answer customer’s questions directly.
- Empathize: Your customer is likely in distress. Take a moment to acknowledge their worries and to share authentic reasons why you can help (For example, “Don’t worry, we’ve been doing this for twenty years.” “I can be there in 15 minutes, would you like me to come over now?” “We win nationwide awards for our service.” “Don’t worry, we guarantee satisfaction.”)
- Repeat a customers question back to them to capture attention and build trust. “Mam, you’d like to understand our process, is that right?” Then, answer the question succinctly.
Deploy these techniques after the phone has rung to improve future results:
- When you’re asked a question that you do not know how to answer, make a note of it. Brainstorm potential answers with your team later to improve future results.
- Call new customers back one week after the job is completed. Thank the individual for their business and ask if they have time to answer a few questions. Ask only three questions, and say thank you if appropriate — but do not comment on the answers you receive. Simply thank your customer again for their generosity and time:
- Why did you select our company to serve you?
- Are you happy with the outcome of the job we completed?
- Do you have any suggestions for ways we could have improved our service?
- Call customers who did not close the sale with you one month later. Thank them for contacting you and ask them if they’d have a moment to answer just three quick questions; especially encourage them to be frank and let them know that their input is important to you. Ask as follows:
- Why didn’t you select our company to serve you?
- Are you happy with the outcome of the job you completed with another vendor?
- Do you have any suggestions for ways we could have improved our service and won your business?
- Analyze the input you receive. Even the information gleaned about your work performance is important to customer service. Watch for common high points and input to incorporate into your customer phone script.
- Secret shop your phone crew, so that you have a thumbnail overview of their performance. This is especially important with outsourced after hours phone services. Lavishly praise your best service pros, sharing detailed examples of what they’re doing to go above and beyond for customers. Hold regular training and role play sessions.