Using Communication To Build Your Business
Updated: Mar 19, 2020
The following is an article “Using Communication To Build Your Business” by Marc Primo.
In this digital age we live in, it is easy to forget the basics and focus too much on online marketing efforts such as websites and social media. But recent studies have concluded that when it comes to customer support, consumers still prefer to speak with a real person over the phone rather than an anonymous social media manager.
One study revealed that phone calls handle 68 percent of all customer communications versus just 3 percent for social media. With this in mind, the following tips can help ensure that your telephone communication skills are up to par and will help build your business while retaining customer satisfaction:
Be on-call, all the time — You might have perfected your online presence with a great website and engaging social media content but these will only arm your marketing artillery 50 percent of its overall potential without a dedicated phone line. Establish a hotline for customers to call, preferably 24/7 if you can manage it, and make sure the number is clearly displayed in all your traditional and digital marketing collaterals. And if you succeed in doing that, then you can be sure that you will receive a call from one of the 68 percent who prefer to deal with an actual person than an automated system. That said, it goes without saying that your phone agents should be well-versed and trained in handling phone complaints and inquiries, because all it takes is one wrong answer to send your customers’ business elsewhere.
Follow the 2-minute rule — As a rule of thumb, in business or otherwise, it is impolite to keep the person on the other end of the line waiting for more than two minutes. Some companies even find this too long, with one minute becoming the standard, especially since most calls nowadays are made from mobile phones. If you are a large company, keep in mind that chances are most callers already have to wait several minutes before they are able to speak to a live agent, so the last thing they want is to be put on hold yet again. Unless the customer’s request or complaint legitimately calls for it, avoid making them wait too long that they become impatient, hang up, and resort to social media to vent their frustrations about your customer service.
Keep canned messages to a minimum — When an irate customer calls a telephone hotline, they are looking for compassion and somebody to hear out their woes. This is your opportunity to show them you really care about after sales service by lending an ear rather than passing them on to a series of voice recordings. A good way to appease disgruntled customers is to start by stating you understand their concerns and that you are there to find a solution to their complaint. From there, outline what options they have and manage their expectations by providing an action plan so that they are assured that what you are telling them isn’t just hot air.