When the phone rings at your small business what happens? There are a number of scenarios that can happen such as the call is answered immediately, there is an auto attendant that directs the caller or hold music. All this is vital to the caller experience that your customers or stakeholders experience. It's important to know which one your small business is projecting day to day.
Why caller experience matters
It's possible that as business owner you haven't thought much about what your caller experience offers your customers. As many just install a system and tend to forget about it or remember to improve it based on their individual needs.
Caller experience matters because:
- Phone is still a much used form of communication and consumers would rather speak to a person rather than live chat or website services.
- Customers who call in are already tuned into your business and are often in their 'buying' stage so it's vital to connect with them.
- Customers hate to wait on the phone for large periods of time and will often hang up.
Most sale leads from advertisements are closed via the phone yet many small businesses fail to optimize their calling experience. It's time to consider which experiences your customers are receiving when calling your small business, here are some scenarios that shape your caller experience
1. Long wait times
Customers hate struggling to talk to an actual operator when calling into a business, in fact 60% of customers hang up when left in silence on hold. Callers like to be engaged and made to feel important so when unable to speak to a human they feel enraged and unimportant. Customers feel as though your business doesn't care about providing a good customer experience for them.
Customers call a business to talk to a person. So if you provide negative customer calling experiences - where they have a hard time connecting with a representative in a short amount of time - they will simply hang up.
2. No professional messaging
Failing to provide messaging with an auto attendant or personal greeting and make your business appear unprofessional. Silence on the other end of the line is normally indicated of 'fly-by-night' operations and can hurt the reputation of your business. If your messages are stale and offer expired offers or even incorrect hours or locations, you and your business will not be taken serious by your target market.
3. Customer experience
The most important reasons why customers call in is to check business hours, make a reservation or schedule an appointment, schedule an appointment or inquire about inventory and availability/booking information. It's important to have this information readily available when a customer is calling in, this can take the form of a recorded message or number options pointing to the various enquires.
A call-in to your business can be a signal to how your other competitors operate. Poor customer service can give a reason for callers to look for an alternative and leave a bad taste in general meaning that they will not call or consider your business in the future. It's ideal to look at how your competitors are managing their phone messaging and make sure you provide more engaging on-hold messaging and a better overall experience for your customers.
How to improve the caller experience
- Update your on-hold messaging so that:
- Ensure that callers are never left in silence, use on-hold messaging or music
- Make it easer for customers to access information with professional greetings.
- Direct callers to other sources of information to make it easier and more efficient. This can be done with FAQ sections or other avenues.
- While callers are placed on hold take this opportunity to offer discounts and inform about any imminent closures or changes to services. Customers love to be informed.
- Callers want to talk to real people. Use auto-attendants and interactive voice response menus to quickly route calls to specific teams to decrease wait time.
While it’s often overlooked, the calling experience is a major customer touchpoint that shouldn’t be forgotten or ignored. Don’t neglect this opportunity to wow your customers, improve your branding, and increase your sales.
Get started with better call flows and customer journeys with bOnline phone speak to an expert on 0203 697 4166.