Brands may spend millions of dollars on advertising their products and services, but one nasty customer review can spill water on all of their money and efforts. Word-of-mouth or organic marketing is one such boon as well as a bane for any business. In the world of advertising and marketing, customer opinion and reviews top all other marketing efforts by a huge margin.
But how to achieve such trust and brand authority in your business?
One such factor is the quality of your product or key services your business offers, and the second influencing factor is customer service.
Be it while collecting lead, or after purchase, if your customer service agents are warmly handling every incoming lead and customers, then your brand is sure to gain the benefits of word-of-mouth marketing.
And luckily there is no magic trick to achieve such popularity, inculcation of few basic conversation tips can help your business attract such word-of-mouth praises on a daily basis.
Let’s go through 7 such best tips which every customer representative should follow:
1. Address the Customer by Name
Over 70% of customers expect a personalized experience while they are interacting with a brand. The road to personalization starts by addressing the customers with their name.
“A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language”
It is one of the most widely quoted maxims from Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.
By addressing customers with their name, one can make the connection with the customer in the first minute itself, which eventually helps to smoothly sail the conversation ahead in the right direction.
So, before starting the conversation give a genuine effort to know the name of the person, and if you regularly receive calls from existing customers then integrate your calling system with Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
CRM eases up your work by letting you know the details of every incoming call on your screen including the name of the customer.
These little efforts add a lot of value in your every conversation which is indicative of the fact that your company values every call and customer.
Always address a customer by first name in place of using words as Sir/Mam.
2. Be a Problem Solver
Many times, contact center agents are so engrossed in achieving their weekly and monthly targets that they forget the base fact of customer behavior that –
“The more you push a customer to buy your product the more they repel from your sales pitch.”
Instead of pitching your products’ quality and features, pitch how it can solve their problem in some of the other ways.
Products or service addresses a pain point of customers’, so rather than jumping to the sales pitch, focus on the problem resolution. But to achieve this, one needs to undergo a paradigm shift, and focus on the whole process from customers’ eye.
To understand the pain point, ask questions to customers and get the full picture of the scenario.
Once all the information is collected, measure how to can solve their problem with your product and service. And when the iron is hot, strike it and start your pitch.
One important fact to keep in mind while selling your product is making sure you sell value instead of price, i.e., don’t over-focus on the price, explain the value your product is adding.
Don’t jump to your sales pitch directly instead ask questions from customers and try to solve customers’ problem with your product/service.
3. Be an Attentive Listener
Miscommunication is one of the worst nightmares a company can dream of. Not only it affects the profit inflow, but its long-term effects can leave the company in splits by hampering the company reputation.
But how to ensure your company does not go through such a nightmare?
A simple answer lies in attentive listening.
Actively listening to customers helps you understand their problem, perceptions, and feedback. It largely eliminates any chances of miscommunication.
Good listeners also follow a practice of affirming what they heard by reiterating the conversation summary at the end of the call.
As already mentioned, don’t assume what your customer wants, listen to them and understand their precise requirement. You never know how you also may get a solution to the problem itself.
Apart from avoiding miscommunication, listening attentively also helps your business grow by understanding the setbacks of your company along with the evolving customer’s perspectives and needs.
Listen to what your customers want to share or explain, apart from smoothly solving their queries, it helps you gain valuable insights and feedbacks from customers.
4. Stay Prepared to Handle Unforeseen Situation
Agents are trained thoroughly on how to handle varying customer queries and problems, but what if a query/situation comes up out of the blue which agents mind wasn’t prepared for.
These unforeseen situations can vary, you may genuinely not know the answer or maybe your company actually screwed up something, or the customer screwed up, but the severity of handling any such situation lies in your hand.
Well, a simple formula to all this situation is to not lose patience or panic but remain open and adaptive. If the situation arose due to company’s mistake, then be humble and accept, and if customer screwed up then never try to play the blame game as at the end of the day you as a company will be at a loss rather than the customer.
Don’t delve on the problem. Shift your focus from blame to solution. Pay attention to the measures which can heal the situation, and if you don’t have an answer to their question be honest enough to admit the same and take help from your senior or experienced colleague to help you find a solution.
Remain calm and don’t lose your patience. If you get stuck in middle of any unexpected circumstances, remain solution-centric and shift your focus from problem to solution.
5. Be Your Product Expert
You cannot sell what you don’t know.
What if a customer is looking for a specific feature in your product and you have no idea if it really exists in your product or not.
Understanding your product in depth is crucial to your role as a contact center agent and to the company as a service provider. You are the face of the product for the customers, so guiding your customers in the right direction is your major responsibility, as they rely on you for every guidance.
And if you are not well versed with the product’s feature then solving customer queries will become a burdensome task for you. This will take a toll on the company’s profits as well as will drastically hamper the trust quotient of your brand.
Have in-depth knowledge of the product you are selling.
6. Become Empathetic Towards Customers’ Problem
Empathy is a basic of every human interaction and when it is a conversation between a company and customers, its importance increases to a greater extent.
It is essential to make your customer feel important and understood so that they can confide in you and trust you with their problem and your solutions.
To inculcate an empathetic tone in the conversation put yourself in the customer’s shoes and think of their problem as your own and then immerse yourself into their emotional mind space which will directly affect their decision making.
If your customer feels acknowledged and appreciated, then the chances of customer retention also multiply.
By abiding by this approach, you as a customer service agent will be able to handle the customers in a much better way.
To assure them of your empathy you can start your sentences with
“I can understand how frustrating it is when…”
“I’m so sorry to hear that…”
Keep an empathetic mindset while conversing with your customers to easily understand and work on their problem.
7. Keep a Note of Your Tone and Language
As famously said by Maya Angelou,
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”
Merely using a positive language and tone in conversation can influence your whole sales pitch. Nothing can disappoint a customer than a customer service agent with a bad usage of language or rough voice tone.
Language and voice tone is a very crucial and basic part of every conversation, you use a positive tone but choose negative words or choose positive words and talk in a negative tone, both kind of conversation pattern affects your interaction badly.
It is important to keep a balance of tone and language in your conversation to make an unforgettable impact on customers mind, so that even if they do not buy your product, but they remember you as a trustworthy company. This gain can help you attract customers with word-of-mouth publicity.
Keep a perfect balance of the positive tone and language in your conversation.
The road to world-class customer service can be easily traveled by inculcating these 7 tips in your customer conversation every day. Keep your customer experience at the top and see the magic of word-of-mouth advertising working in your favor.