5 Customer-Losing Phone Mistakes an Answering Service Can Prevent
Customers are easily turned off by negative phone interactions. Here are the 5 mistakes that cost you sales that an answering service can help you avoid.
About 72 to 80 percent of customers hang up the phone when they are directed to voicemail. This simply means that many customers would love to get help on the phone when they call for the first time.
As a business owner, it can be hectic to receive phone calls when other issues need your attention. Moreover, it is critical to note that the way you handle customer calls determines whether they will be sticking with you.
Most customers expect immediate response or help when the contact a business. Unfortunately, this is one of the areas where many businesses tend to perform poorly.
However, some of these call mistakes can be avoided for good by using a phone answering service.
Stay with us to learn more.
- Long Hold Times
This is a common mistake that is almost prevalent in many businesses. Unfortunately, when this happens frequently, it can lead to negative phone experience, inclining your customers to choose your competitors.
That’s the last thing you want to happen.
There is nothing terrible when customers are placed on hold to listen to those dreaded marketing words and music over and over. The truth is that no one likes that.
One Google survey revealed that about 32.2 percent of customers think that they should never be put on hold.
Typically, if your hold times are exceeding a few minutes, you want to consider working with a phone answering company. These services can have a few dedicated agents working to help your customers whenever they call.
A good service with a reliable calling system can reduce the hold times significantly thus improving your customer service.
- Asking Unnecessary Questions
Naturally, you will be put off whenever a person asks you irrelevant questions or request redundant information.
For example, if you get calls from existing customers, you don’t need to ask about their names, location or services. Instead, you can simply use their unique service ID or phone number to retrieve their information from your database.
That will speed up your customer service, and it’s what customers like.
Answering service use efficient systems that track and records your client’s data. So, the next time they call, you won’t need to ask the obvious questions again.
The focus on helping the customer or solving issues instead of requesting unnecessary information.
- Unprofessional Service
When you pick up the phone, avoid answering the traditional way, “Hello.” That makes customers confused about who they are talking to.
Instead, you should start by saying something like this: “XYZ Service, this is Peter. How may I help you?” or “Thank you for calling XYZ Service. This is Peter. How may I help you today?”
Unfortunately, this a common mistake that many businesses and startups that don’t use professional call agents make.
Also, don’t be unfriendly and rude even when an irritated customer calls. Try to handle the case professionally and help the customer to calm down.
If you feel this is something that you can’t do, then answering services can help keep your clients and ensure a professional experience for every customer.
Their trained agents understand the right etiquette for handling every type of customer.
- Being the First to Hang Up
This is bad, and you don’t want to leave your clients with a cold feeling about your business.
You should strive to ensure that the customer hangs up first. Don’t cut them off from the last questions or words.
This tends to happen if you have other customers waiting on line or you are rushing to complete other tasks.
First impressions matter to new customers, so if this is how you will be treating them, then you are on the losing end.
Human instincts are designed to make swift judgments and you customers will likely view it as a negative experience when you hang up first.
The good thing is that you can avoid this mistake once and for all by working with an answering service. They will help you set the right tone for your entire customer experience.
- Using Phone Answering Machines
You might be saving money when using an answering machine, but bear in mind that this will come at a cost: Losing customers.
A real person in customer care is better than a voicemail. Many customers complain about the poor service they experience whenever they get prompted to leave a message or make mechanical choices to get to a real person.
Some answering machines usually have complicated procedures, and this can leave callers confused and frustrated about your customer service. Ideally, it’s often refreshing to talk to a real person, knowing that your call is important.
If you don’t have time to personalize your customer service by answering every call, a phone answering service is your best friend.
Choosing a Phone Answering Service
Now that you understand how a call answering service can help your business, it helps to pick the right one that serves your unique needs.
The service should give you a simple upfront pricing without any hidden charges, such as setup fees and contract cancellations with fees. Find out if the answering company charges extra fees for 24×7 service and holidays.
When choosing a package, the company should give you comprehensive details and features of each package to help you understand what you are paying for. Important features to consider are call recording system, web access to calls and messages, appointment setting, call screenings, and voicemail.
The service must have trained agents who understand your business and industry well. It should also guarantee privacy and confidentiality, so their staff must be trained on non-disclosure of confidential information.
The Bottom Line
Streamlining your customer service to bolster efficiency is helpful in any business. Unfortunately, not all business have the resources and time to provide quality service to their clients.
This is the reason you need to work with an answering service that acts as an extension to your business. They not only help to avoid phone answering mistakes but also work closely with your support staff to deliver the best experience to your customers.
In the long run, you will find that using the right service is worth the investment.