05 November 2014

7 Costly Mistakes Your Employees Are Making and How To Fix Them

Imagine this: Your home’s hot water heater bursts, and water is flooding your house. You’re desperate for help and in tears as you call a plumbing franchise’s 800-number.

You: “How can I stop this water? My house is flooding!”
CSR: (In monotone) “What is your zip code, and have you used us before?”

You: “Please, how do I stop the water? Then, I will answer your questions!”
CSR: “What is your address?”

You: “I need to stop this water! Do you have someone that can help me do that now?”
CSR: “I need to ask a few questions, and then my scheduling screen will come up and I can see my availability.”

You: “Please let me speak to someone now who can help me with shutting off the water! Then we can schedule an appointment.”
CSR puts you on hold: “Bridge Over Troubled Water” begins playing.

You say a few “choice words” and hang up, surely calling a competitor.

As a customer, you’re livid. But as a business owner, are you cringing yet? What if that situation (which really happened, by the way) played out at your business? Would you be in-the-know if your CSRs treated potential customers the same way? Here’s an inventory of seven things your CSRs are probably doing wrong and ways to fix them.

1. Using The Wrong Tone Of Voice

Many CSRs are either monotone (as in the example above), which translates as regretting the phone even rang. To your potential customers, that sounds awful, and it’s enough reason to hang up and call a competitor who can help. On the other hand, some CSRs are overzealous: answering the phone too animated, talking too fast, and overwhelming your potential customer.

2. Rote Reading From A Script

It’s important for your CSR’s to stay the course with their scripts to get the desired end result. However, your CSRs shouldn’t read scripts verbatim—they need to customize the experience to the script, not the other way around. In our example above, we see exactly why customizing the experience to the script wins or loses business: the CSR was trained to follow a script and didn’t break that “role,” which ended up costing a call. Had the CSR actually helped the customer instead of following the script, they probably wouldn’t have lost a customer.

3. Making Customers Hang Out In Dead Air

Today CSRs have to toggle from one screen to another throughout calls. This back-and-forth can slow down the call process, so it’s important that your CSRs remain engaged in conversation the whole time. This is another way to personalize the customer’s experience, and it prevents the customer from feeling abandoned and asking the dreaded question, “Are you still there?”.

4. Presenting Price Before Building Value

Before they can talk money or try to “sell,” your CSRs must build the value of your company. They can do this by giving prospective customers plenty of information so those prospects know exactly what to expect and what can be gained from your product or service. By providing value to your potential clients, you’re building trust and setting the bar high enough that your competition pales in comparison. It’s important to train your CSRs to work on their presentations and not just jump straight into answering “How much does this cost?”.

5. Not Listening To What The Caller Is Actually Saying

Everyone knows (and dreads conversation with) that person who keeps talking, even when someone else is asking a question or making a valid point. In polite conversation, it’s annoying. In business, it’s deadly. Here’s what you can do to make sure your CSRs are actually listening to your callers:

  • Listen to the concerns, the situation, and the real reason for the call. It may not be what you think it is.
  • Ask appropriate questions and probing questions to reach a resolution. In many cases, the caller may not have experience with the product or service, which means the CSR needs to listen to their concern or inquiry without assuming.
  • “Walk a mile in their shoes,” and consider the situation from their perspective.
  • Never be condescending or belittling to a caller.
  • Remember, customers are calling to fulfill their needs; not yours.

6. Speaking Unprofessionally To The Caller

This common problem has two extremes: using slang and using terminology your callers don’t understand. Both are isolating to the customer, and both could cost your company the call. Maintain a professional, polite, and empathetic tone throughout the entire call. Here are eight more ways your CSRs can maintain professionalism (even with tough calls).

7. Not Handling Objections

If your CSRs operate in an inbound appointment/sales type of call center; they need to learn how to handle objections. Callers object to appointments and/or sale when they don’t feel all their questions or concerns are answered. Your CSRs should be able to respond with a value-building script that answers questions, puts callers at ease, and leads them toward resolution.

How would you use your extra $1 million?

Business owners and CEOs are often told they can solve problems with their CSRs with call recording—but that’s not enough! Call recording alone won’t notify an owner or manager of a situation that just happened, it won’t give you a second chance, and it won’t bring in more customers.

Instead, your company must have someone listening to every single call in near real-time. With that information, you can correct, train, and save any opportunities missed on a particular call. Our system has helped companies put back more than a million dollars on their bottom line—money they would have otherwise lost, even with call recording. And that number is just a starting point. If every company utilized the system to its fullest potential, the amount could be in the millions—recovery can be worth as much as $25 million!

Fix Your CSRs Problems & Solve Your Customer Pain Points

The CSRs you hire and train are the CEOs to your callers. How they handle their calls is the first impression your company makes, and it could be the only chance you get to earn a customer. In any industry, the first 15 minutes after a missed opportunity are critical. In that time frame, we will provide you an analysis of the call and alert you when there’s missed opportunity. Here are the specifics:

  • Callsurance immediately sends out emails with call data, notes, the call recording, and an explanation why the opportunity was lost. Most industries need this information in 15 minutes or less in order to save a call. Anything past an hour means you’ve probably lost the call and the opportunity. With Callsurance, you can also enter revenue data to keep track of your advertising and marketing ROI.
  • The real-time power of Callsaver and our Resolution Center gives you the chance to immediately save these opportunities and record your success rates.
  • Our Scorecards, much like a coaching guide, help your call center managers pinpoint training opportunities with all CSRs. Training is easier and more effective when you have specific customer calls to reference—you can see exactly how your sales are being lost, and then provide training to your employees to correct the problem.

Let’s talk about how you can recover your missing profit. Give us a call or contact us to find out just what you need to do to correct your CSRs’ mistakes and prevent them from happening in the first place.