Customer Retention and Loyalty
Once a customer has pondered long and hard on your product/service, there is no guarantee that they are going to purchase it. True story. Just one little glitch and they will be gone like early morning mist in the first rays of the sun.
Until that sale has been recorded and they are walking off with that package in their mitts, gripped firmly to their breast, or that online purchase has gone through, there is ‘many a slip twixt card and skip’. Apologies for the mangled idioms, but I’m sure you get my drift, right? What I’m saying is that nothing is assured until the Fat Lady sings, all those chickens are hatched, and the bird is in your hand, so to speak.
When a customer comes to you to try to resolve their query, do not use scripts — unless it’s an outline.
Think of those irritating PowerPoint presentations where the presenter reads the entire slide instead of using them as a guide to underline his/her knowledge of the subject.
There is nothing more irksome than having a series of prompts when none of them address your query. Customers call because they want to converse with a real person, a human being who will answer their questions, even the uncommon ones.
It ain’t over until the Fat Lady sings…for customer retention
Kinda like a doctor. If you go to your local medical practitioner with a specific query, say for a strained wrist and he starts rattling off all the medical lotions and potions you can use for a tummy ache, you are not going to be amused, are you?
Well, that’s the same when it comes to a service call centre. It’s not a case of one-size-will do, you want a specific solution to your specific need.
Build rapport and try to connect with your customers to retain their loyalty
Right from the get-go customers are more inclined to make that purchase if they can establish an emotional connection with a consultant, which would fail dismally if the said consultant is reading a script. Consultants must be natural and act like human beings, after all, they are, right? A customer expects to get information fairly quickly and values personal contact, that’s why they are calling in the first place.
Up to 60% of customers favour calling small businesses if they have questions or concerns regarding their offering, or are interested in an offer, according to data from the research by Bright Local.
If they are taking the time to call you, you can at least have ‘real’ people answering their queries and not imposing ready-made conversations on them.
FOMO is a great leverage point.
At the most, scripts should be pointers to guide the conversation, to cover the most important issues. Improvisation has never hurt anyone, more so when it comes from a knowledgeable source, so make sure your consultants know their stuff and can field unexpected questions. It’s more authentic and good for relationship building. You don’t want to leave them thinking you are merely interested in making a sale (even if you are!!)
If you really want people to buy your product, right at the beginning of the conversation, while introducing yourself, ask them about their well-being, comment on topical and current situations (eg lockdown); how they are coping etc, make them feel comfortable and at ease.
Research has shown that sales increase significantly when customers are asked about their well-being. It gives them a chance to ‘feel the waters’ and see if there is a connection. It might even be subliminal to them, they just know they want to be heard, to connect with an empathetic ear. An experiment conducted among waiters showed that positive comments increased the tip by 27%! This also applies to a telephonic conversation. Small talk shows that you are in no hurry, you have time to ‘shoot the breeze’. No script can ever accomplish that.
Be authentic, dammit!
This is strengthened further when you ask (or remember) a client’s name and interject it appropriately within your conversation.It’s kinda like the TV series ‘Cheers’ – “Where everybody knows your name”. It creates a sense of familiarity and puts customers into a more receptive vibe. If you fear that you may offend the client, use their title: Mr/Miss etc.
Bear in mind that customers often call companies to ask questions about the product to explore the market, so this is an opportunity to explain the unique selling point (USP) of your product/service. Price unfortunately plays a role here so if your product/service is not cheaper, explain why. Your transparency may win them over.
And when push comes to shove, leverage the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO), why they need your offering, why they’ll be worse off without it and why yours is the way to go.
Before one can say ‘Jack Robinson’, the sound of the purchase will ring like angelic bells in your ears, which can only be obscured by the Fat Lady singing…