Managing Sales Strategies at a Call Center

Despite the rise of e-mail and social media like Twitter, people still often want to talk to a live person and hear their voice for business and personal matters alike, and this is certainly true for any business that expects to often communicate with its customers and potential customers. An inbound sales call center is a place where employees receive phone calls from customers who want information or to place orders or otherwise interact with a representative of the company. A customer call center may be for inbound or outbound calls, and in the case of outbound calls, “warm” calls can be made when the customers expect phone calls for assistance or updates on products, and a marketing call center can help raise awareness of a product. However, this is person-to-person communication, so naturally, good social skills are needed for the employees at an inbound sales call center to be the most effective. When working at an inbound sales call center or when making outbound sales calls, what strategies should the employee keep in mind?

Customers and the Phone

Being able to talk to customers effectively over the phone is very common and can often make or break a company, so for this reason, many studies are done every year to track trends in customer behavior and interests, as well as the strategies of employees at an inbound sales call center. This information can help businesses make more effective tactics for reaching out to customers. A lot of money is riding on this; a sales funnel is largely impacted by the quality and quantity of sales phone calls with customers, and estimates show that nearly $1 trillion in consumer spending will be influenced by calls placed to businesses. A lot of money can be made or lost by the quality of phone conversations at an inbound sales call center, for example. It has been shown that customer retention is vital, and a consistent customer can be much more price-efficient than trying to make a new one, and phone call quality may be what keeps a customer on board or drives them away. A study done by Bain $ Company, for example, determined that boosting customer retention rates by as little as 5% may increase profits by 25-95%, a significant increase. This can save money, too; estimates show that it is 25 times more expensive to bring on a new customer than to maintain an existing one, and for these reasons and more, 72% of businesses say that improving customer experience if their top priority.

Making the Call

An employee at an inbound sales call center will have to have people skills to work well with customers and keep the company’s profits smooth. Inbound sales calls and warm outgoing calls are all about customer experience. For example, 62% of companies say that they view customer experience delivered by contact centers as being a competitive differentiator, and nearly 70% of all buying experiences are based on how the customer feels that they are being treated.

An employee at an inbound sales call center or an outbound call center can base all their behavior on knowing their customer, and what they are looking for in a product and helping them fix any problems, answering questions, or providing advice or guidance when desired. The call center employee should not only know what their customers want on the business side of things, but people skills count, too. Customers want to be listened to and want to know that the employees understand and appreciate their questions and concerns. While many call center strategies may exist, some basic ones may include listening patiently to the customer and affirming that they have been understood, and interrupting the customer or contradicting them may be a bad idea. The call center employee should give clear directions and details when asked, and make sure that they stay on topic and always have a patient and friendly tone of voice and choice of words, to suggest that they genuinely care deeply about the customer’s questions or complaints. Restating questions and getting to know the customer personally can help build a rapport, and this can make the customer feel more comfortable with making a purchase or becoming a repeat customer.

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