Gain a competitive advantage, let your customers talk to humans - Boffix

Gain a competitive advantage, let your customers talk to humans

April 24, 2018  /  Lizzie Sullivan
Letting your customers talk to human gains you a competitive advantage

Do you have time to give your customers a human voice?

When it comes to your business phone calls, humans want to talk to humans. They don’t want to hear an engaged tone, hold music or the dreaded dead tone of nothing. Nor do they want to hear you answering their call from a building site, whilst shopping or at the pub. If you offer poor customer service or take the easy option of always responding in written form, you are effectively handing your customers over to your competitors.

Technology advancements

We live in a world where technology has taken over from humans. Voices have been replaced with emails, texts, chatbots and forms. We are all guilty of avoiding a conversation or failing to make that dreaded call in person and instead opting for an easier softer way. Customers want it all and now. They don’t want to wait, nor do they want to be ignored. With competition hot on your heels use this to your advantage and treat your customers with a personal, human touch.

Social Media Complaints

Unfortunately, social media hasn’t helped in this area either. We can now post and share content without having to speak to a single person. And worse still, we can now attempt to communicate with groups of people rather than give a personal service. There is nothing stopping a disgruntled customer from posting negative feedback for the world to see. Ensure you are listening to what is being said about your company and plan how to respond.

Intentions versus day to day reality

No company sets out to provide poor customer service. When first planning your business, you may have dreamt of offering the best customer service, always being available to address your customers needs. However, as your business starts to grow, reality kicks in and you become embroiled in a battle against time. Sadly, customer service is often the first element that gets automated or ignored altogether. But without your customers, you wouldn’t have a business. Customer service needs to be at the top of your priority list.

Back to customer basics

Stand back and question how your business is doing in terms of the service you provide. Are your customers happy with the service levels you offer? If in doubt take the bull by the horns and ask them, but be prepared for honesty, you may not like what you hear. If unsure start with your own expectations. Put yourself in your customers shoes and plan to offer this level of service.

Customer Service Training

Whether you are a one-man band or have a pool of resources at your disposal, ensure that everyone has customer service training. This doesn’t need to be complicated or drawn out. Provide a simple guide on what your business defines as excellent customer service.

  • Tone of voice and sound – what is the tone of voice of your company? What does it sound like? Video is one of the top types of content that gets the highest level of engagement and interaction. So, get ahead and map out the voice that defines your company.
  • Timeframe to respond – how quickly can you respond to customer queries? 0 to 4 hours is the ideal target. Track response times and aim to get better overtime. Be realistic, there is no point defining a strategy that you are unable to meet from the outset.
  • Response guide to difficult questions – document and provide your team with a list of typical questions and outline the ideal responses. Don’t leave your team sitting silently on the phone, instead arm them with the responses in advance.
  • How to deal with difficult customers – hanging up or putting the phone down is no longer an option to dealing with difficult customers. Why? Because they have the capability to name and shame you on social media. Avoid this hassle by providing your team with training on dealing with irate customers.
  • Escalation process – ensure that you have an escalation process set out. Regardless of how well trained your staff are, there will also be the exception. Ensure they know who to turn to when they need support and plan to deal with this type of customer quickly.
  • Communicate your business plan – keep your staff up to date with what your business is doing, product & service changes, marketing strategy etc. If you’re planning a promotion or launching a new product or service, ensure your team is fully informed in advance.

Alternatives to doing it yourself

If you feel it is beyond the capabilities of your inhouse staff or you just don’t have the time to offer the levels of service you dreamed of, then opt for outsourcing your business calls to a third party. A Virtual Receptionist is a great way to ensure that your calls are being handled in a professional and timely manner. Boffix can help you by answering your calls for you. We work with you to map out the level of service you want to provide and how you want your company to respond. We save you time, money and we provide a human voice that can set you apart from your competitors.

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