Any experienced business owner can attest to how important repeat customs are to success. According to Small Business Trends, the average repeat customer spends around a third more than new customers. And a 5 percent increase in customer retention can boost profitability by up to 95 percent.
Although acquiring new business is important, investment in retention impacts the bottom line just as much, if not more.
Customer service is a core component of retention and telephone etiquette ties in closely with it. This article will show just how important etiquette is when it comes to engaging customers over the phone and retention in general.
The Importance of Professional Phone Etiquette
Whether it’s reporting a mistake in shipping or calling to schedule an appointment, phone calls can very well be the first interaction a potential customer has with your business.
According to Harvard Business Review, first impressions happen in a split-second, and they’re very hard to change. Starting strong can mean the difference between a repeat customer and a lost one.
Preparation is key here. Yes, a straight-up no-nonsense script can be helpful, but the representative also needs to be prepared for a variety of situations — even for new issues that your business may not have encountered yet.
Speaking of preparation, business call conversations can also be a platform to show just how much your representatives, and therefore your business, know about your stuff. A well-prepared and knowledgeable representative can win customers over, even if they are calling because of an issue.
Your customer service team should be knowledgeable enough to answer questions about your products and services. They should also be up to date with your company policies and even industry trends. Their expertise can make or break the customer experience during phone calls.
This also means that your team should have contingencies for not being able to answer questions. Offering a callback can be one of these.
According to SalesForce, businesses have up to a 55 percent chance of selling to an existing customer, compared to a new one. And telephone conversations are among the most effective avenues for doing this, especially during the lockdown.
With excellent phone etiquette and the swift resolution of concerns, a representative can easily earn the trust of a customer and reinforce their initial decision to invest in your products and services. These representatives can then proceed to sell them more of your offerings.
Phone Etiquette Tips
The following phone etiquette tips can improve your customer service and retention:
- Respect — Although empathy is ideal, representatives should also always be respectful even when they do not understand the plight of their caller.
- Communication Skills— Clear and unambiguous language is a surefire way to get a caller’s trust and achieve a speedy resolution.
- Knowledge — Product, business, and even industry knowledge are irreplaceable because callers can often tell if they are speaking to an expert.
- Accountability — Finally, the ability to admit a mistake or take ownership of an issue is a sign of a trustworthy business. A show of genuine accountability arguably resonates with customers more than a praiseworthy product.
Phone etiquette is important to businesses because these conversations are an avenue to show expertise and upsell. They are also a good way to earn the trust of a new or repeat customer.