Incoming calls: how to handle customer expectations
09 Oct 2016
The way a company handles its incoming calls is an excellent indicator of its values and performance. Indeed, even if – in the wake of the internet boom and the democratization of certain messaging applications – there are now many ways to communicate online, the telephone remains an essential tool and is still the method most often used by the majority of customers who want fast and effective contact with a business. Even today, therefore, it’s essential for any organization to implement an effective strategy to handle incoming calls from customers.
Reduce wait times
Above all, it should be noted how important it is to reduce customers’ online wait times. In this context, any incoming call should receive a virtually immediate response. That assumes, upstream, an effective presence to answer the calls and make the caller feel appropriately welcome. Along those lines, even if interactive voice services are undeniably useful – even indispensable – in certain large companies, dedicating a physical person to this task can ensure better first contact, thereby improving the company’s brand image. In addition, the customer should never be under the impression that your phone line is unavailable or “out of order,” hence the appeal of relying on a quality external service if you don’t think you’ll be able to ensure the workload.
Ensure that the first contact is well equipped
Without a doubt, there is nothing more frustrating for a customer than having to be passed from one speaker to another, along with the extra wait times that that implies, before receiving a specific response. It’s especially annoying when it’s a question considered to be basic by the caller. To avoid this type of frustration, any incoming call management strategy should therefore consider providing the company’s first interface with all the necessary tools to respond to most customer requests. In the case of a collaboration with a call centre, this aspect is even more important and requires special attention. Of course, certain sensitive information can’t be subject to this rule, but these cases should remain – as much as possible – exceptions.
Have a response pattern oriented towards “customer experience”
The way a phone conversation proceeds should meet certain standards, not only to provide appropriate answers to customer expectations, but also to optimize the company’s brand image. In this context, it’s essential to develop standardized response patterns that guarantee both active listening and specific responses to each caller. Indeed, listening to the customer already largely addresses their concerns, and that lets you provide an adequate and precise response to their expectations.
Modern, adequate infrastructure
These days, Interactive Voice Response, CTI (Computer Telephony Integration), and other modern tools are practically indispensable for proper incoming call management. In addition to optimal call quality, they ensure that requests are processed faster and more effectively. Of course, acquiring and using this type of infrastructure is clearly an investment that not all companies can afford. If this is the case, relying on the services of a competent call centre is recommended.
Ensure proper call qualification
As much as possible, every call received should be processed individually, with a specific identification of the caller’s expectations. When the latter is a customer of the business, precisely qualifying the call and monitoring it is essential so that you can carry out the necessary follow-up.
It goes without saying that effective, quality call processing requires an investment of time and energy in order to respond to demand while ensuring that you make a good impression. Groupe Marketing International compensates for this investment by offering our partners unparalleled quality and personalized service while reducing the associated costs. GMI’s specialties include, among others, handling service calls, satisfaction surveys, and customer complaints, in addition to processing product orders and sales, loyalty programs, warranty monitoring, online forms, and much more.
Micheline Durocher, Groupe Marketing International