5 Ways To Provide Excellent Customer Service Over The Phone

Depositphotos_10284014_m-2015Providing customer service in person isn’t quite the same thing as providing customer service over the phone. While there are obvious similarities, it’s important to note that facial expressions, body language and hand gestures go out the window during a phone conversation. As a result, it’s vitally important for customer service agents who work on the phone to be experts at inflection, tone and pacing.

That’s not all. Sounding nice and using pleasantries is only part of what makes for an excellent customer service experience over the phone. There are a number of specific techniques that should be used by all phone agents in order to provide the best customer service experiences possible. If you’re a call centre manager, it would certainly be advantageous to pass along the following suggestions.

Here are five ways to provide excellent customer service over the phone:

1. Acknowledge the customer throughout the call. By this, we don’t just mean that you should use the customer’s name – which you should definitely do. It’s also important to acknowledge the specific comments made by the customer. If he/she points out a problem with your product or service, you should respond by informing him/her that you’re empathetic towards the concern. If he/she reports satisfaction, be sure to offer your show of gratitude. It’s important to show all of your callers that they are valued.

2. Be an active listener. Many customer service agents become complacent in their roles because they get used to saying the same things over and over again. This can be dangerous. You never want to automatically assume you know how to resolve a caller’s issue. Be sure to listen so that you can make out the specific and unique concerns or requests of every customer. By actively listening, you’ll be able to better pinpoint solutions to problems the first time they are raised.

3. Don’t keep customers waiting. Does anyone like waiting? It doesn’t matter if you’re in a checkout line, at a red light or in a calling queue, waiting is never all that much fun. Do your best to answer calls quickly and minimize hold times. Of course, putting callers on hold will certainly be necessary from time to time. Just be sure to inform your caller of how long you expect the hold time to be and do your best not to keep him/her waiting any longer than the time given.

4. Be positive and upbeat. This may sound like a no-brainer tip. It’s pretty obvious that you should be friendly, right? But, keep in mind a point made earlier. Many phone reps get so used to the monotony of their jobs that they end up sounding like monotone robots – especially by the ends of their work shifts. Do your best to take small moments between calls to remind yourself to be energized during each call, treating them all like your first one of the day.

5. Don’t ever feel that you’re above an apology. In more cases than not, the problem had by your caller will not be one that is your fault. Nevertheless, apologizing on behalf of your company will generally be necessary. Sometimes, it’s important to apologize simply for the inconvenience that comes with having to make a call to correct a problem. Your empathy will go a long way in satisfying the customer, often retaining him/her after a dispute.

At SIClytics, we offer business owners a number of helpful services that enable them to better manage their call centre employees so that customer service over the phone can be vastly improved. They include Live Call Monitoring and Lead DaFeeder. For more information about these and other great services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.

Getting The Most Out Of Your Advertising Efforts

Red horseshoe magnet attracting some chrome balls from a crowd, white background

How can you tell if you’re getting the most out of your advertising efforts? Well, the simplest and most basic way to determine if your marketing budget is being spent the right way is to determine your return on investment. ROI is the definitive way to figure out if you’re advertising correctly. Did you spend less money on the advertising than it made you? If the answer is yes, you’ve taken some worthwhile steps. If the answer is no, it’s time to switch up your tactics.

What are some of the ways to maximize ROI? Well, it all depends on your business and its needs. What are your main objectives? Is it to increase sales? Is it to grow your customer base? Chances are it’s a little of both considering that no business owner is in business to not regularly increase the amount of money he/she makes. Therefore, it’s wise to focus on the aspects of your business that need the most help.

Generating leads is a very important objective when you’re spending money on advertising. It has been argued that focusing on generating leads is a lot more important than branding. Naturally, it’s important to establish a good reputation and have a strong brand identity, but you don’t want to spend a lot of your advertising dollars on avenues that seek to simply build your brand image. It’s important to generate ads that elicit calls to action.

What are calls to action? This is where you generate responses to your ad campaigns. Your marketing should be focused on getting people to contact your company for the products and services that it offers. There are various ways to do that, of course. Your promotional material should always include your website. The call to action is to get people to log on to the site. Your company phone number should also be made clear in your ads.

Your advertising efforts should also be focused on a specific target audience that is most likely to support your business. Your message should apply to people who are actively seeking the products and services that your company offers. Speak directly to the needs of the people who make up your target audience and you’ll be a lot more likely to get responses to your advertising efforts.

How important is it to engage with your target audience? In today’s business world, it’s very important. It’s wise to have a live chat feature on your website so that its visitors can make direct and immediate contact with representatives of your company. We’re living in a very tech-savvy world so the more you’re able to communicate with people online, the more likely it will be that you’ll engage with members of your target demographic.

Heavy use of social media is important. Regularly posting blogs and liking and commenting on other posts is essential to getting your brand recognized. Again, the point is to generate interest in your profiles so that people visit them. Making direct contact through e-mail marketing is also an effective way to elicit calls to action. By reaching out to potential customers in this personal way, you give yourself the opportunity to develop more personal relationships.

How important is call tracking to measuring ROI? It’s critical. This is why SIClytics offers call tracking services that are designed to measure the incoming and outgoing calls that are made using your telecom account with approved SIP vendors. By having our services assist you by giving you the information you need to improve your marketing efforts, you will be able to get the most out of them, maximizing your ROI!

For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com. Be sure to ask us about our 30 Day Money-back Guarantee!

5 Ways To Improve Customer Service At Your Call Centre

Portrait of young casual call centre looking at the camera

Call centres are busy places. They often incorporate upwards of 20 or more employees in an environment that is noise-filled and full of energy. In many cases, this can be great for business. The more enthusiasm in the air, the more motivated phone agents will be to contact leads and make sales. Then again, the atmosphere of a busy call centre can provide many customer service representatives with overwhelming feelings of pressure.

No one said working on the phone was easy. At least, no one should. It’s a tough job to be a telemarketer. It requires a lot of patience and persistence. But, most of all, it requires a very pleasant and professional attitude. When a phone agent allows him/herself to get frustrated to that point that it can be heard during his/her calls, it will inevitably paint a poor picture of your business.

Providing reps with adequate tips and advice to improve their customer service, therefore, is a constant task of a call centre manager. Here are five ways to improve customer service at your call centre:

1. Hire intelligently. To be fair, running a call centre that is known for its excellent customer service really does begin with the hiring process. Just because you may need a lot of people to fill seats, it doesn’t mean you should be hiring just anyone off the streets. Call centre reps need to be people persons. Assess the personalities, not just the experience or skill sets, had by the candidates applying to work in your call centre.

2. Train appropriately. There’s no good reason to rush your new hires on the phones. Some call centres implement training programs that take upwards of a week or two before any actual calls are made. It’s smart to take the necessary time with your new hires to ensure that they are job-ready. That way, you’ll be able to minimize the giving out of incorrect information, the mishandling of customer complaints and other poor attempts at providing customer service.

3. Offer incentives for performance. The call centres that are known for being the most fun to work for are also generally the ones that are the most productive. A fun and productive place to work is usually one that offers incentives for performance. Create teams within your team and come up with weekly and monthly contests that reward them for hitting certain targets like providing the best examples of customer service and making the most sales.

4. Provide regular feedback. Keep in mind that feedback isn’t just telling your reps about all of the mistakes they’re making. It’s of vital importance that you acknowledge jobs well done. A big benefit of providing feedback is the confidence that you instil in your reps by reminding them of how much they’re helping your brand to earn its sterling reputation. Regular pats on the back can go a long way!

5. Give your reps opportunities to make decisions. Firstly, it’s very important to be crystal clear about your customer service polices. Be definitive about what is acceptable and what is not. Then give your team members the ability to make decisions based on the guidelines you’ve given them. If they are given the authority to make certain business choices, such as offering customers goodwill credits, they will feel more empowered, confident and secure in their jobs.

This only helps to improve customer service at your call centre! And, at SIClytics, we believe we have the perfect tools to help you to provide the best customer service possible. Contact us and ask us about our Telemarketing Reporting, Live Call Monitoring and Lead DaFeeder services. They’ve all been known to vastly improve call centre operations. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.

The Many Hidden Benefits Of One-Touch Dialing

Businesswoman wearing headphones touching a symbol

The easier you’re able to make life for the members of your staff, the better your team will perform. It seems like a simple logic. But it’s not one that is implemented as often as you may think. As a result, some call centre managers experience the frustration of having teams that aren’t performing to the best of their abilities. Such call centre managers, by the way, are often the ones that have their phone agents performing manual dials to make their calls.

By today’s standards, that is an archaic practice. There are many reasons why your phone agents shouldn’t be manually dialing phone numbers that they’re reading off sheets of paper. The first, and perhaps most obvious, is the time that it takes to punch in each and every digit. Consider the fact that each Canadian phone number is ten digits long – including area codes, of course. Multiply that number by the number of calls each phone rep makes per day.

How much time do you think your team is spending dialing numbers during the course of a work day? Let us fill you in – regardless of the amount of time, it’s too much! There is a way to circumvent all of that time wasted and significantly increase the productivity of your call centre staff. It’s called the Lead DaFeeder Dialer! And one of its most significant functions is that it provides you with one-touch dialing.

The Lead DaFeeder Dialer is a simple web-based telemarketing software that makes call management very easy. It has greatly improved the ways in which small and medium-sized businesses manage their telemarketing, customer acquisition and political survey strategies. Rich with features, this awesome service is known for both increasing sales and improving customer satisfaction.

How does one-touch dialing provide so many benefits? In addition to the time being saved by not having to manually dial numbers, the Lead DaFeeder Dialer also allows your staff members to keep comprehensive notes about each of their clients. That way, when the lead is dialled in future, the phone agent making the call will have access to information that will help for the call to go a lot smoother.

Imagine the difference between attempting to decipher scribbles on random pieces of paper and easy-to-read notes on a computer screen. The Lead DaFeeder Dialer effectively works as on online filing system that categorizes leads using various dispositions. Being able to separate “not interested” parties from those who may have simply been busy the last time calls were made to them helps for your phone agents to adequately navigate through their most important leads.

When it comes to saving time, the Lead DaFeeder Dialer isn’t just a time-saver by way of offering one-touch dialing. It also assists your team in spending more time calling potential clients and less time annoying disinterested contacts. This great service also allows you to upload your own campaigns. For example, you can easily have your staff contact members of specific business types of your choice when you have industry-specific campaigns.

Your reps can also schedule either “public” (anyone on your team can make the call) or “private” (made only by the rep who made the previous call) callbacks. This significantly increases the potential of getting a lead on the phone, as specific times and dates can be set to meet their times of availability. If you’re running a call centre, the Lead DaFeeder Dialer can certainly help for it to perform at its best!

For more information, please don’t hesitate to call SIClytics at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com. Keep in mind that if you’re not completely satisfied with our services, you have the option of cancelling them within 30 days thanks to our 30-day money back guarantee!

5 Tips For Creating A Team Of Top-Notch Telemarketers

Multi-ethnic business people using headset in a call center

If you work in the world of telemarketing, you know exactly how hard a job it is to be on the phones. Especially for those who practice cold calling, going to work every day can be tough sell. The most experienced call centre managers know, however, that the telemarketing industry is thriving and has proven to be a very rewarding line of work. This is especially true for phone agents who have mastered how to build rapport with the prospects they call each day.

But how do you build a strong rapport? How do you even maintain a confident and friendly approach to each phone call when you are so often met with objections? Experience helps, of course. But it all comes down to implementing some specific rules when it comes to handling your day-to-day calling duties. If you’re looking to turn your team of phone agents into highly talented sales representatives, you may want to pass along the following suggestions.

Here are five tips for creating a team of top-notch telemarketers:

1. Allow your staff to implement their own personalities into your script. Many call centre managers have their phone agents read scripts to their prospects verbatim. And while it’s always important for your team to relay accurate information, you don’t want to create robot-sounding individuals who get lost in the monotony of their work shifts. Allow each member of your team to inject his/her own affable personality into the script so that it comes off as more genuine.

2. Get your team to focus on providing unique solutions. Most often, telemarketers attempt to highlight the benefits of the products and services they’re selling. But they don’t necessarily highlight how what is being offered will benefit the specific people they’re speaking to. Encourage your team to ask probing questions so that they can learn more about their prospects. This will allow them to curb their approaches to selling your product or service so that it aligns with the unique needs of each lead.

3. Offer ways to gain the trust of gatekeepers. Regularly, telemarketers are blocked by individuals whose job it is to protect his/her boss/decision-maker from taking unwanted calls. Getting passed the gatekeeper is one of the most important jobs of a telemarketer – and the most savvy of phone workers do it best. It’s important to sound authoritative while remaining friendly. Be in control of the conversation but don’t reveal too much information. Focus on building rapport until you’re granted access to the big cheese.

4. Place an emphasis on objection-handling skills. Telemarketers are likely to hear the words “not interested” more than any other two in the English language each day they go to work. Developing a positive mindset about how to overcome such an objection is the first step to dealing with rejection confidently. Try not to interrupt or jump into the conversation too quickly after an objection is made. Attempt some probing questions, express your understanding and work to keep the conversation going in a relaxed manner.

5. Monitor your team and offer regular feedback. It should go without saying that you need to monitor the calls that your team of sales representatives are making. Listening in to calls to ensure that they are implementing all of the techniques that you’ve taught them will help you to keep everyone on track. Offering feedback to both boost self-confidence and correct certain mistakes will also prove very valuable to your organization.

At SIClytics, we offer Telemarketing Reporting services that enable you to track the results of your telemarketing team’s efforts. As well, our Live Call Monitoring services allow you to listen in to calls and even whisper information to your phone reps while they are on their calls. This immediate form of feedback helps your team to better succeed in the early stages of the relationships they develop with your client base.

For more information about our services that can help you to create a team of top-notch telemarketers, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.