Image of a man in a shop having an effective phone conversation with a customer

3 Critical Things to Master For Effective Phone Conversations with Your Customers

Posted on July 11, 2017 · Posted in Customer Retention, Customer Service

Deliver a superior customer experience to your callers by mastering these three conversation components.

 

There is no question that some people have the gift of gab. However, just being a naturally talented talker isn’t enough when you are trying to have a successful conversation with a customer. For this, you need practice, skill, and a touch of strategy to create that consistently rewarding experience you want your business to be known for.

Here are a few key areas you can focus on right now to improve the effectiveness of your phone conversations with your customers so that it is a beneficial encounter for all involved:

Be Prepared

Callers are looking for answers. They are calling you for assistance. Connecting with someone who doesn’t know how to help or is unable to provide answers can quickly sour a caller, which sheds a discouraging light on your business. This can easily be avoided by arming yourself and your team with information and the ability to make decisions in line with your company values. Identify standardized responses to common questions to keep your message on brand and provide the reassuring level of confidence a caller is looking for.

You can take your preparation even further and create a standard script that is used by your team to get the most value possible out of each call. Start by creating a friendly greeting that asks if you can get the caller’s name and number in case the call gets disconnected. This demonstrates that you think it’s important to make sure they are taken care of, and it’s also beneficial as you’re able to collect valuable contact details. Continue working through your script until you’ve gone through each of your most common types of calls. Finally, when you reach the end, consider a standard sign off like thanking them for their time and asking if there is anything else you can help them with today. Creating this kind of practiced, consistent experience can speak to your company’s level of professionalism as well as help to prevent awkward silences and some of the verbal hiccups like saying “Ummm…”

Choose Language That is Positive or Neutral

Words can carry positive or negative energy with them that can impact how your message is received. Although you can’t always control how your listener is affected, you can choose to communicate in ways that positively steer the energy of a conversation. Choosing language that is positive can go a long way to keeping a happy caller engaged in dialogue or calming an angry caller so you can focus on assisting them.

It’s true that not everything you say to a caller can be communicated positively. There will eventually come a time where the information you have for a customer won’t be what they want to hear. When these situations arise, be sure to focus on at least keeping the charge of your language neutral. Try not to focus too heavily on what can’t be done or where the fault lies. Instead, inform your customer of the facts while expressing an understanding of how these facts may impact their situation. If you can’t offer a positive alternative to these facts or a consolation, you can still be empathetic and demonstrate that you care about their experience.

Demonstrate Being a Fully Present Listener

The University of Harvard has recently conducted a study showing that talking about yourself may be inherently rewarding to the human brain in the same ways money, eating and having sex are. This means that by simply allowing a caller to talk about themselves, you are significantly increasing the likelihood that they will leave the call with a positive outlook on how the conversation went.

However, simply sitting there silently and waiting while they share about themselves won’t be enough to keep them engaged. Instead, you can double down on the positive experience for your caller by demonstrating that you hear them and understand what they are saying. A simple way to do this is to repeat back to them a key point they made. You can connect with your caller even more by expanding on something they expressed and telling them that it makes sense to you, you understand where they are coming from, or even briefly share an experience of your own that is similar to form a connection.

Mastering these basic communication strategies with callers is critical to creating successful phone calls that leave your customers feeling fully heard and supported. Creating that kind of phone experience for your callers isn’t always the most simple challenge, but it’s so important to brand your business phones with professional, helpful encounters.

Many businesses choose to outsource some of their call handling functions to partners like us. Our well-trained, virtual receptionists have experience providing a high level of customer care at a fraction of the cost it would take to hire someone in-house. Contact us today to learn how you can take your customer call experience to a whole new level.

 

More posts you might want to check out:

 

Communication and Customer Service

 

How to Communicate with Your Customers

 

What Happens When The Customer Is Wrong?