For many of our customers, their first contact with our business is over the telephone. Our inclination could be to raise our voice or speak more quickly. However this seldom will resolve the difficulties and more likely make things worse. Note this excellent technique …
When talking to an elderly customer or working with someone who is struggling with the language be sure to match their pace. If they are speaking at a slow pace you too should answer slowly and calmly. The same principle holds true (up to a point!) for people in a hurry. Try to reply in a timely, concise, cut-to-the-chase manner while still being courteous.
This is an excellent reminder. The phone call has so very many Moments of Truth. Many times just remembering the simple stuff like matching the pace of the caller can pay off big time. (Make sure your phone skills are up to par with this Strategies for Success Special Report Using a Telephone Format.)
P.S. How do you adapt to your customer’s circumstances? Please share your techniques below in the comments.
4 thoughts on “Communicating despite challenges over the phone …”
One of the tactics I employ is just being courteous, I feel like a person can never say please and thank you too often. I also say sir and ma’am
Anther strategy I try to use is asking a few relevant questions and then listening. Just shut up and listen. My customers let me know what they want, need, and expect from a contractor. Then all we have to do is simply give them what they want!
One of the things I deplore is the frat boy approach. Never will I allow any one in my company to use surf lingo. I hated it when I was that age, and I feel even more strongly about it now.
I want to be treated with courtesy and respect when a contractor talks to me over the phone!
Carpet Cleaning Las Vegas
Some clients tell me that I set myself apart when I answer the phone at all.
Fiber Clean Carpet Cleaning of Raleigh
Having the right person on the phone makes all the difference too (if they are answering it – Dan is right).
I can’t believe the change we’ve seen in the number of booked appointments once I joing the business and took over that role 3 years ago.
In the past we had a cell phone in the hands of a trusted friend who was a stay at home mom and then a client who was the same. We really didn’t do quality control or “secret” shopping. We didn’t know when they did or didn’t pick up the phone, if the kids were screaming in the background or if they were rushed. We know they didn’t take the time to educate the customer about our process and the features and benifits to the customer. If someone wanted a quote, that is what they got and the call ended. If someone was comparing prices, then we wouldn’t get the job – because the didn’t know the difference between us and the next guy. Our phone “moms” didn’t have a vested interest in the business. There was no “priming the pump” in terms of trying to upsell or discuss protection at the time of booking the appointment.
Looking back, we certainly would have been more sucessful with a script (to overcome objections especially), secret shopping ourselves, and paying a comission to the person on the phone for booked jobs and upsells. All the things SFS tells you to do!
Everyone makes good points above. (And I like Dan’s succint post!) However, just to focus on one sentence of Jay’s: “Another strategy I try to use is asking a few relevant questions and then listening.” Jay, I couldn’t agree more. In fact, if you go check out our SFS phone script you will see we’ve formalized this concept into a very nice phone script that, as Meg will attest to, turns “phone shoppers” into Cheerleaders.
You can find the phone script here: http://www.strategiesforsuccess.com/1750/resources/special-reports/using-a-telephone-format Just like everything else on this site- there is no charge for the download.
Let me know what you think.
PS Meg, I feel your pain. I hope to see John AND you in May at the Langhorne SFS!