Making a successful call to a customer can be a little like creating an improvised dance. Based on the relationship with the consumer, the conversation may develop in unexpected ways. Nevertheless, there are certain things that our callers can do no matter what to greatly improve the likelihood of retaining a lost customer. To take the dance metaphor a bit further, you may not know the exact moves you’ll make, but practicing rhythm and specific steps will certainly make your success more probable. So how can one best prepare for the consumer reactivation dance?
- Be Prepared – At Unitel, the people who make calls to your consumers are well trained in what products and services you offer. That way, they’re not caught off-guard by unexpected questions or concerns. When you’re prepared, you’re more confident, and that comes through on the phone.
- Be Patient – Many inexperienced (or jaded) callers sound like they’re in a hurry. This makes the consumer feel like they’re not important. Patience shows that you care and are willing to take the time to really make this conversation count.
- Listen Carefully – Don’t just take in the words, but really listen to what they’re saying. When they said they didn’t “like” the product, did they mean it didn’t work right? Did it not fit their lifestyle? Did it look funny? Did it have a strange smell? Sometimes there can be clues as to what the real problem is.
- Ask Appropriate Questions – At Unitel, we understand the value of questions. Many companies are all talk; they have long speeches prepared explaining the value of your product. That’s a lot of wasted breath because if you ask the customer the right questions, you can often focus your approach based on what they say.
What Makes Unitel Different?
Have you ever received a call from a company where the person on the other end of the line was clearly reciting a script? How about a conversation where it was apparent that this person didn’t really know anything about the company? If you’re like most people, those conversations probably didn’t make you feel valued. If anything, you felt especially cheapened because not only was the company intruding on your free time, they didn’t even have the courtesy to have someone knowledgeable call you. They just outsourced the job to some random person with a phone. That’s no way to treat a customer that you want back. At Unitel, we understand this, and our entire business model is centered around doing things differently.
- Our concierge consultants are thoroughly trained on your services and products. That way, they can speak intelligently about your business. The customer can ask questions, and those questions can be answered accurately.
- The people who contact the customers are specifically assigned to your account. By focusing on your company, the consultants are almost acting as an extension of it. They get to know the ins and outs of how you function so that they aren’t just learning the technical specifications of your products, they’re learning what you’re really all about.
- Our calls are personalized. Our callers don’t work from scripts. Our entire process operates on the idea of building a rapport and an emotional connection with the consumer. Our callers develop a trust and a bond so that they can get a real sense of what the customer wants or needs and how they can best help them.
- We stand behind our services. We are compensated on a strictly pay-for-performance basis. You only pay for the customers that we bring back. We literally put our money where our mouth is.
Changing the Telemarketing Game to Stay Relevant
In a digital age, telemarketing can sometimes be perceived as a dinosaur, a means of communication that is no longer relevant. After all, with social media and email available, why use the telephone? It can seem like an inefficient and outdated way to contact inactive customers. Poor telemarketing companies have failed to change, and for them, calling customers is quickly proving to be futile. However, progressive companies like Unitel who are willing to adapt to the current communication climate are able to demonstrate how powerful this tool can still be.
Changing the Conversation
Search “telemarketer” in Google, and it won’t take you long to find negative feedback as well as directions for how to get on the National Do-Not-Call Registry. What leads people to these negative comments are telemarketers who resort to cheap, outdated, and frankly insulting tactics. Tricks and deceptions that are used to hook callers or to convince them to illegally sign over credit card information only serve to sow seeds of mistrust. Even companies that are being honest would often fall into the trap of only highlighting positive traits, asking leading questions, and generally not being open and honest.
Understand Where Customers Are Coming From
Companies like Unitel who understand how to properly connect with customers know about these preconceptions, and actively seek to dispel them. They work with customers. They’re open and honest even if it means occasionally highlighting a flaw or addressing a legitimate concern. They ask questions that are straightforward and helpful. This puts the consumer at ease, not on the defensive. Sales is not an inherently deceptive business. You’re trying to sell a product, and presumably the customer wants it. Turning it into a game of “trap the consumer” doesn’t help anyone in the long run. By changing and adapting, we’re ensuring that we can help your business succeed for a long time to come.
When is a Customer Just Not Coming Back?
Unitel prides itself on its ability to bring back customers, and our success rate demonstrates that no other performance marketing company even comes close to matching our results. Customer retention is a tricky prospect, but in many instances, our concierge consultants are able to find out why the customer lost interest in your business, and they are successful in bringing them back. That being said, there are a number of reasons for a customer simply not being won back over.
- The Product or Service Didn’t Fit Their Lifestyle – There may not have been anything wrong with your product at all, but it just didn’t fit the needs of that particular individual. Our consultants can explain the other services that your company offers, but it may just be a bad fit.
- A Change in Financial Circumstances – Unfortunately, some people may face an unexpected loss of income for a variety of reasons, so they are forced to make financial cutbacks. There may be no way that the consumer can responsibly afford to purchase your product. Our people make every effort to try to accommodate their changed circumstances, but sometimes there’s just nothing to be done.
- A Terrible Customer Service Experience – A faulty product can be explained away as a fluke, and people can be understanding. However, bad customer service often leaves an extremely bad taste in someone’s mouth. if the experience was especially poor, there may be nothing that a caller can do to change the consumer’s mind. This is why strong connections with customers are so important.
- Lack of Availability – Sometimes customers are leaving because a competitor moved closer to their home or they moved out of the area. There are ways around this such as special offers and home delivery, but some consumers aren’t willing to go for that route.
Keeping Customers while Keeping it Real
No business is perfect. There’s no way that your company is going to please 100 percent of the people all of the time. Sometimes a customer will catch you on a bad day. In some instances, forces beyond your control will result in a product malfunction. In still other cases, the customer may be entirely at fault because they came into the business with a bad attitude. Retaining customers doesn’t mean that your business has to be perfect. In fact, part of what demonstrates a company’s professionalism and success is how they manage difficulties and setbacks. These are some of the ways that you can do so.
- Be Available – The more of a presence you can be, the better. Have customer support staff available. Be open with customers. Make an effort to connect with them. The more available you are, the more quickly and efficiently you can handle problems should they arrive. A person who comes away saying, “There was a problem, but the owner was incredibly friendly and helped me solve it immediately,” is going to have an even more positive experience than someone who had no problems at all.
- Admit Problems – Some salespeople will deny that a problem exists in the hopes that it will quietly disappear. All this does is make the customer feel foolish, angry, or both. Problems are perfectly natural, and your way of handling it says a lot about your integrity and willingness to help solve them.
- Handle Complaints – When a customer has a complaint, see it as an opportunity to improve. Early complaints may be able to help stave off a problem before it really begins to develop, resulting in a stronger business in the long run.
- Communicate Constantly – Be up front with the customer when handling problems or concerns. By freely talking to them and treating them as an equal, a bond of trust is created turning a potentially negative experience into a positive one.