One of the telltale sounds of a booming business is ringing. Customers call in to order products, ask questions, and voice concerns come throughout the business day, and employees do their best to answer each one personally. By that same token, when a business environment goes silent, it could signal that something is amiss.
If that deafening silence exists in your office, read this blog. In it, we describe a few reasons why customers aren’t calling and what you can do to fix the problem.
Your Phone Number Is Invisible
One of the most common reasons people don’t call is (thankfully) the easiest to fix. Your phone number needs to be accessible to anyone browsing your website. That means that every page should contain it—not just the Contact Us or Home Page.
When most people find your website, they are unwilling to search hard for a number to call. They can just as easily type in their search term again and find another company that makes the information more accessible. Don’t let those customers slip through your fingers. Instead, place all contact information (storefront address and phone number) where your customers will intuitively find it. These locations include the top or bottom of the page or at the end of your sales copy.
Give your clients the necessary information to call you, and they will call.
Employees Don’t Have Proper Phone Training
Hiring managers have many concerns when they take on a new employee. Previous work experience, academic history, reliability, self-motivation, and interpersonal skills combine to make the perfect team member. Since there are so many important considerations, managers may not take phone skills into account. Big mistake.
Customers who engage with improperly trained employees may feel frustrated, annoyed, or even confused by the end of the conversation. No business owner wants clients to associate their business with those emotions. To avoid this outcome, only allow people with exceptional phone skills to answer calls. Select employees who exhibit:
- Proper grammar at all times. Most callers do not appreciate hearing incorrect grammar or slang they do not recognize.
- Deliberate and varied speech patterns. Many people don’t want to call businesses because they worry they won’t understand the person on the other end of the line. If someone speaks too quickly, callers leave frustrated. However, this has a double-edge. Employees can articulate every syllable, but if they don’t vary their tone of voice, they can sound robotic.
- Sympathetic demeanors. Irritated, frustrated, and confused customers are not necessarily fun to deal with. So choose an employee who has the patience and understanding to make each caller feel valued.
- Product knowledge. In addition to their positive demeanor, all representatives must understand your business’ products or services. If they do not have the necessary technical knowledge, they should know to whom they should transfer the call.
Follow these common-sense requirements to ensure your employees represent your business in the best way possible. If your office workers cannot fulfill these requirements because they are busy with other projects, contract a call center that can. Call center employees undergo continuous education to help them understand your products and give the personalized interaction your customers want.
Customers Don’t Like to Wait
Waiting is an odious activity. And with technology that allows us to get, see, and learn about nearly anything at the touch of a button, waiting on the phone seems more tedious than ever. If customers have to wait on hold for even a few minutes, they may look elsewhere.
The phrase “Please hold. Your call is very important to us.” rings false after a few minutes. Even that classic on-hold music won’t please listeners for long. Most customers believe that if you do not answer their call quickly, you do not value their business.
If you search #onholdwith on Twitter, you can see real-time frustration for yourself. This hashtag has constant popularity because people want a place to express their irritation—don’t let your business become a target of that bad advertising.
After Business Hours
Even if you never place customers on hold, you may have to close up shop for the day, weekend, or holiday. But that doesn’t mean that customers have stopped needing assistance. Make sure that someone is there 24-hours a day, 365 days a year to answer every call. If that does not seem feasible for you, use professional answering services. They take care of those late-night phone calls for you.
Once customers know you cater to their needs and schedule, they will be more likely to use your business.
Whoever answers your phones represents your business. So give that interaction the best chance for success. Make your number easily accessible, use trained staff, and never keep clients waiting. For help completing these three tasks, consult with a professional answering service.