As your business grows, you might start to feel spread out thin. As businesses develop, managers and CEOs become concentrated on guiding the company instead of tracking its daily activities.
One segment of your business that will require continued monitoring is the performance of your customer service representatives (CSRs) and your after-hours answering service. These individuals are a vital contact point with customers, and there’s a lot you can learn from them. Here’s why continued call monitoring and call scoring are important.
Listen Directly From the Customer
As a business owner, it’s easy to get tunnel-vision about the business and how your customer thinks. Listening to recorded calls between your CSRs and clients allows you to understand their exact pain points and how they react to new products or services.
As you listen to calls, you may realize that their biggest worry isn’t the one you’re trying to solve. For example, your brand messaging might focus exclusively on price, while customers are more focused on service quality and safety. Altering your message to align with consumer needs, you’re able to increase conversions and ease their fears quicker.
Call Monitoring Can Identify Shortcomings in Your Training Process
What’s the best way to train your customer service team? Most companies have a set script that their CSRs stick to, and then receive additional training on proper phone etiquette and company products. While these steps are a great start for new hires, it’s rare that all of the problems and situations your CSRs face will adhere to the script.
Listening to these recordings can show you how your customer service team reacts when they need to go off-script. Do they handle stressful situations well when the customer is aggressive? What happens when the customer is overly friendly and wants to keep them on the phone for a long time? You may decide that your team needs additional training on soft skills as well as product offerings.
Business teams will set up monthly seminars to train their team on CSR skills. Each month will have a new theme, from handling aggression to introducing product options. This way learning is a process for all team members, regardless of their time at the company.
We saw this not too long ago with one of our clients in the HVAC business. After listening to calls, the business owner identified that his customer service reps needed training. He invested in call training for his employees and was able to close more calls and increase revenue the following year.
How to Identify (and Rectify) Lost Opportunities
Treat your CSR recordings like the game film of Monday morning quarterbacks. Your goal is to listen and learn what went right, what went wrong, and how everyone involved can improve. For example, why was a customer representative unable to close a deal? Is your team unintentionally frustrating your customers and creating unnecessary friction instead of helping them?
After monitoring a number of calls, another one of our HVAC clients changed his after-hours answering service. It turned out the answering service was telling potential customers to call back the next day instead of scheduling appointments while having the customer on the phone. He identified he was losing out on significant revenue-generating opportunities with every after-hours call and took immediate action to fix the situation.
There are also solutions that will allow you to monitor other factors like the level of agitation in a call, awkward pauses, and other conversational markers. You can use these to create milestones for your team, allowing you to make the most of their call time. Set a goal to increase the number of conversions through calls by five percent and decrease angry customers by 10 percent either monthly or quarterly. These additional happy customers can result in thousands of dollars in additional income that you would otherwise be losing.
Observations into the Customer Experience
It costs five times as much to acquire a customer as it does to retain one. For every customer you lose through a poor customer service experience drives up your cost per acquisition, raises your overhead, and limits the growth of your business. We understand that listening to calls may not be part of your daily routine, but they can provide phenomenal insight into your business and help you retain and convert more prospects.
If you haven’t started listening to calls, set aside 30 minutes a day to listen to a handful of them. Monitor your CSR team and their improvement over time. This small step will help you identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities within your team.