Types of Customers & How to Approach Each One

Types of Customers & How to Approach Each One

Call Center

We are all customers at some point, and we all expect different things from our shopping experience. Some prefer to browse alone, while others need constant help and assistance to be happy. IT’s important to know what your customers want, and meet those expectations every time. Let’s explore 7 common types of customers, and how to approach each one with the biggest chances of a successful interaction and ideally, a sale!

1. Lookers & Browsers

Lookers are browsing your site or store, and are likely pricing out the different options. They are interested in a product, but haven’t chosen it yet. Dealing with lookers, means making your site or store look as attractive and intriguing as possible. Make sure your copy is compelling and innovative. Remove obstacles like pop-ups, ads and even AI chat-bots, as this can turn people off to your site.

2. Discount Hunters

93% of shoppers use coupons or coupon codes to get discounts each year. These customers want what they want, and they are seeking out the best price. While you can’t always offer the best price, you can give them added benefits that might overcome this issue. Make sure they understand the value in your product, by making your copy and prices clear. Show them the many benefits you offer, like excellent customer service or even free shipping.

3. Impulse Buyers

Impulse buyers have no plan, but do have a credit card and they are ready to use it. The best way to deal with impulse buyers, is to create a seamless experience for them, removing all obstacles. These shoppers love time-sensitive deals and crisp compelling copy, that makes up their mind for them.

4. Switchers

These customers are already involved with a competitor, and are finding their service wanting. They want to consider you as an alternative, and you must make this easy. First, determine what your competition is doing to turn off their customers, and then fill that gap within your own organization. These customers are looking for a long-term relationship, so show them how easy it is to work with you with great customer service and value for their money.

5. At-Risk Customers

58% of American consumers will leave a company due to poor customer service. These customers have purchased your product, but have abandoned it because they lost interest, went to the competition or got into something new. These customers can be identified by the amount of time between log-ins or purchases. To fix this issue, get in touch with them personally to ask what they need. This type of customer generally is open to discussion of their issues and pain points, and letting your fix them if you can.

6. Referrals

Referral customers come to you through a loyal customer, and expect great things of your service, before even using it. The loyal customer has made the sale, and know you need to live up to their expectations and the new customer expectations. Have a clear onboarding plan for these new customers, making the experience as smooth as possible. Referral customers love interaction and even first-time discounts, and when treated well, are sure to be your next loyal customers.

7. Unhappy or Dissatisfied

These customers are the most difficult to handle, and are not happy with you. You can find them in call centers, making complaints, and even putting negative reviews on social media. Deal with these customers carefully by taking them seriously. Reply to their comments on social media, using kindness and professionalism. Follow up with them after first contact to make sure you solved the issue. It’s critical that you are empathetic with these customers, and think of how you’d like to be treated in the same situation.

Every customer is different and has different needs. It’s important to tailor your services, products and communication to each type of customer, to achieve the best result. For help categorizing and optimizing for the best customer experience, contact the experts at ListenTrust today.

Different Types Of Call Centers: Inbound, Outbound, Automated — What They Are & Which Is Best For Your Business.

Different Types Of Call Centers: Inbound, Outbound, Automated — What They Are & Which Is Best For Your Business.

Different Types Of Call Centers

A call center is often the first contact a customer has with your business, and it’s critical that you choose the right kind of call center for your needs, and the needs of your customer. There are many different types of call centers, key among them inbound, outbound and automated call centers. What sets each type of call center apart, and how do you choose the right one? Let’s explore each type of call center and how they operate.

Inbound, Outbound & Automated Call Centers

Inbound call centers are commonly used to answer calls from customers as they come in. Tasks associated with inbound call center agents include payments, follow-up, tech support and basic help questions and answers.

Outbound call centers are responsible for outreach to customers, often with a specific purpose, and are sometimes called telemarketers. Using an outbound call center is great in situations where you need more lead generation, cold calling or even survey data from customers. This is also a great option if you want to do proactive outreach to customers.

Automated call centers greet customers with recorded messages and funnel them through a series of easy questions, in an effort to send them to the right representative or department of the company

Examples of Call Center by Industry

Every industry has different needs , and choosing the right call center is critical to meeting those needs. For example, the airline industry typically needs customer service agents with access to flight status, frequent flyer balances and a while array of information for each call. Healthcare call centers need to be able to set appointments, direct customers to the right physician, and know when to direct patients directly to the hospital. Retail needs agents who can facilitate a refund or return, or answer questions about company policy. No matter the unique needs of your particular business or industry, there is a call center to meet them.

The Importance of Call Centers

A Microsoft survey found that 90% of Americans factor in customer service when choosing a company to do business with. There are many reasons a company might choose to work with a call center. Perhaps they aren’t able to deliver the customer service that they want too, or they are getting too many calls per day, monopolizing time and resources. Call centers can free up staff to focus on more productive tasks, over fielding calls. In addition, most call centers operate 24 hours, meaning customers will always have a basic level of support. After you’ve decided what type of call center you will employ, it’s time to decide which service is right for your business . There are several elements to take into account when choosing a call center.

  • Size – Does the call center have enough staff to meet your business needs?
  • Security – Does your chosen call center have a good reputation and security practices to protect both company and customer data?
  • Cost – How much will the call center cost, and will you see a return on your investment? Will you use dedicated or shared agents, and how does this affect your business?
  • Experience – How long has the call center been in business and what industries have the worked with in the past? How does the call center handle reporting and data regarding day to day operations?
  • Location – Is your call center on-shore or overseas, and what languages will your call center agents speak fluently? Will agents be able to effectively communicate with your customers, leaving them satisfied after the call?

For more information on call centers, and how you can use them to boost your business and productivity, contact ListenTrust today.

Common Call Center Challenges & How to Overcome Them

Common Call Center Challenges & How to Overcome Them

Call Center Challenges

Call centers can be tough to manage, with an array of agents, scripts, clients, hours and languages. They are also a quickly growing market, expected to peak at $496 billion by 2027. When considering implying or building your own call center, it’s important to look at the common challenges associated with call centers, and how others have overcome them to create a successful and productive work environment that customers and staff appreciate.

A call center is where you expect to get answers, fast. Agents should have access to your data, and the answers you need – and they need it fast. In short, there are two main reasons to create a call center: Customer service and satisfaction and to generate more revenue. Let’s explore some of the most common call center challenges, and how they can be overcome!

1. Technology Issues

There is so much technology available for the modern call center, it’s hard to know where to start. CRM systems, management tools, auto or predictive diallers, and IVR solutions are just a few of the options you have when setting up a call center. It’s important to get the right, complementary technology that works together seamlessly, with no delay. Many call centers find that they have deployed too much technology without testing its usability, or that they aren’t making effective use of the technology they do have. The solution is simple – test out all technology thoroughly before deploying it, and work out all the bugs before your agents start using it with customers.

2. Customer Satisfaction

You could say that if your call center is suffering from low customer satisfaction, you don’t have a good call center. Customers dislike many things about call centers. Sometimes the scripts are uncomfortable and unnatural, technology slow or staff unprofessional. Sometimes staff simply isn’t trained well or doesn’t have access to the data they need to please customers and answer their questions. To fix this issue, train your staff carefully, and consider running customer satisfaction surveys, to see where you can improve. Ask your staff and customers for feedback to identify problems early.

3. Absenteeism & Unreliability

Call centers are tough places to work. You are presented with unhappy customers and issues daily, and it takes an endless amount of patience and empathy to get it right. This stress creates an environment where staff call our or leave frequently. This has become an especially big issue since the “Great Resignation” of 2021. To fix this issue, enforce strong policies around absenteeism. Be flexible with your employees with family or health issues that might cause them to be out. Some are even setting up call center employees in their own homes. Use the same empathy that you expect of your call center employees, when dealing with their personal issues (that we all deal with).

4. Productivity

A common issue with call centers is agent productivity. With a large staff, some potentially working from home, how do you track agent productivity and how do you encourage your staff? Some are overcoming this issue by establishing clear key performance indicators, or KPIs, or deploying remote agent management tools. Finally, you can’t ignore the importance of moral on a productive work environment. Find ways to motivate your staff to give excellent customer service each and every time by offering rewards, accommodations or even prizes. Recognize excellence in your staff, and elevate that person to train others.

Consumers are trending toward a huge appreciation of good customer service, with so much bad customer service available, and 80% of Americans say that a positive customer experience depends on speed, convenience, knowledge and friendliness. We are relying on call centers more and more, but without equipping your staff with the right technology and the best policies and management, you are setting yourself up for failure. Ultimately, all that matters is that you are pleasing your customers, and solving their issues – and prioritizing your customers means focusing on your staff and internal practices first.

For more information on common issues call centers face, and how to overcome them, contact ListenTrust today.

Benefits of Call Center Scripts & Best Practices

Benefits of Call Center Scripts & Best Practices

Call Center Script

Call centers are your greatest asset when providing excellent, one-on-one customer service, in an increasingly digital world. Customers will often never even visit your store in person, meaning their only interaction with your company will be online or through the phone. It’s important to maintain high customer service standards in your call center, to ensure every customer is dealt with fairly, kindly and quickly. Let’s explore how several professional call center script best practices can help you take the leap into world-class customer service.

What is a Call Center Script?

Call center conversation scripts are a pre-written guide, prepared with helpful information vital to successful customer service calls. Providing your call center agents with a well-written script is an easy way to train your call center representatives to deal with difficult customers, or to simply solve issues quickly and professionally. The use of a call center script is proven to reduce errors, and gives the agent the confidence and information to effectively guide customers through any process. Call center call scripts are also great for cold calling operations, as they make it easy and fluid to ask for customer information. But where do you start when developing an excellent call center script? Many companies choose to outsource to, or partner with, a professional call center service like ListenTrust, taking advantage of their years of experience, tried-and-tested scripts and superior call center technology.

7 Benefits of Call Center Scripts

Organization and uniformity are elements all companies hope to associate with their brand, and the right call center conversation script provides just that to your callers. Let’s take a moment to discuss the many benefits of creating a professional call center script, some of which might even surprise you!

1. Form a Better Impression

You have just moments to make a good impression when working in a call center. Most customers call with an issue or pressing question, and it’s important they are greeted with uniformity each time they call. When customers are greeted with professionalism and know they can expect excellent service when they call, they are more likely to be flexible, open up to the representative, and share more information. You have even less time to impress potential customers on a cold call, making it vital that you don’t simply launch into a sales script. Professionally researched and written call center scripts will help your customer service team make the best impression possible, every time they pick up the phone.

2. Promote Consistency

Consistency is important to the reputation of any company. Call center scripts provide a standard level of consistency, ensuring your reps have all the information they need for each call. When written and implemented correctly, a call center script can be designed to ensure you receive critical information at the beginning of the call, helping ensure all customers get the same advice, no matter what agent they speak to. This type of uniformity also helps speed up the customer service process, ensuring that each agent always has the answers they need right in front of them.

3. Improve Productivity & Effectiveness

Many businesses are asking themselves, how does using call center script improve your overall productivity and effectiveness? While empathy is important to customers, they also want their issue solved quickly and effectively. Call center conversation scripts help agents ask the right questions to get to the root of the issue fast. Having a well written call center script will improve productivity exponentially, by ensuring the answers to the most common questions, or solutions to the most common issues, are visible and available at all times. The longer call center representatives use their script, the more material they will remember, eventually making them your most valuable call center resource.

4. Boost Confidence

Agents are simply more confident when they have a call center call script or guidelines to follow. Instead of worrying about crafting the perfect response, agents can use their script to address the customer, while they get ahead of the issue. Ensuring that critical information is readily available for call center reps means they will sound more relaxed and in-control to customers, who will then trust their answers and solutions. Dealing with customer issues and complaints can be stressful, but a well written script takes away an extra stress of coming up with responses on the fly, making agents sound more professional and confident.

5. Lessen Mistakes

33% of consumers say a good customer service experience is strongly linked to resolving their issue in one single interaction, no matter how long it takes. We all make mistakes, but in a call center, when you have just moments to solve an issue and make an impression, it’s important to get it right the first time. Call center scripts help agents move smoothly past common issues and problems, and solve customer issues immediately. When agents fumble, mumble or give the wrong information, customer confidence drops like a stone, and scripts keep this from happening.

6. Reduce Training Time

Good customer service teams take the time to continuously train their representatives, helping them practice their responses in a stress-free environment. Scripts reduce the amount of time you must devote to training your team on the basics, and commonly asked questions, letting you focus your training on fine-tuning their sales or customer service skills. Great call center scripts allow agents to learn while doing, organically decreasing the time it takes to solve customer issues or make sales.

7. Improve Call Performance & Customer Satisfaction

Good call center scripts are developed based on past call performance and customer satisfaction. Be sure to review calls for good and bad elements, and bring these to the attention of the team, so they can learn. Take examples of great performance, and steadily incorporate the lessons learned into your script, which should evolve and grow as needed. Looking for guidance or a script-developing guru? For professional help crafting a customer-winning script, contact the experts at ListenTrust today.

Call Center Script Best Practices

Now that we know the clear benefits of using a call center script, we must explore the methodology behind scripting, and what elements to carefully consider when considering how to script within a call center environment.

Make it Concise & Skimmable

As the goal is to make information as readily available to representatives as possible, make sure the script is simply written, easy to read, and skimmable. The script should be simple enough for agents to eventually memorize, but should also contain all relevant information, without glossing over issues. If agents must pause, or put the customer on hold to find information, you’ve defeated the purpose of having the script. Try using bullet points, or create easy to read charts, to help agents identify and address issues quickly without the need to pause, search and read.

Revise it Often

Customer service standards and expectations change daily, and your business processes should be changing in tandem. Through trial and error, you will discover what types of issues your customers are having the most often, and what resolutions are the most effective. Your script should shift and change often, as customer needs evolve. Call centers are a valuable source of data on how customers are using and receiving their products and services. As your business uses this data to update or improve processes or products, you should be able to adapt your script to deal with new issues, or the most current questions.

Make them Adaptable

Call center scripts are not one-size-fits-all, and should be adapted for each customer and situation. Having different scripts available will help agents quickly assist customers, and will ensure a better customer experience. Take into account an agent personality when adapting scripts. If your agent sounds unnatural or forced with the script you’ve provided, work with them to adapt the script to a format that sounds more natural to them.

Be Flexible

Scripts are a critical element of setting up a productive and organized call, not a hard-and-fast rule for every agent and business. Encourage agents to throw out the script if it’s necessary to solve an issue or reach a customer. Don’t be afraid to change scripts as needed to make them more effective. For example, if your customers are experiencing a longer than normal wait time, incorporate an apology for the wait into your greeting. It’s important to let your customer service reps be flexible, as this is where you will likely get your best data on how effective your business, processes, products and customer service scripts really are.

Aren’t sure where to start when creating or updating your call center script? Reach out to the experts at ListenTrust today. ListenTrust scripting consulting services are proven to help clients optimize call center scripts and maximize on one of your most valuable resources, your call center staff.

Get Started by Contacting ListenTrust Today!

For more information, contact Tom Sheppard, VP Business Development, at: tsheppard@listentrust.com

How to Deal with Angry Customers in a Call Center

How to Deal with Angry Customers in a Call Center

How to Deal with Angry Customers in a Call Center

Dealing with difficult customers is an unavoidable part of any business. All issues, however small, must be dealt with quickly, ideally to the customer’s satisfaction. It’s important that your staff are trained to help customers navigate their issues and find a solution quickly and professionally. Focusing your energies training staff to deal with unhappy customers is important for several reasons including:

  • Polite and efficient communication and issue resolution will help you retain an unhappy customer
  • Positive reviews and feedback from customers can be used for future marketing campaigns and look great to potential new customers
  • Your company can develop better products and processes, to prevent the issue from happening again.

5 Tips on How To Deal With Angry Customers

Angry customers are actually your greatest opportunity! Over 90% of those who receive a bad customer service experience won’t patronize that business again, but 68% of those same consumers would actually be willing to pay more to a company with excellent customer service. This article will explore 5 tips proven to help when dealing with difficult customers.

1. Listen

Simple, common-sense solutions like actively listening to an issue from a customer, could make the difference between a successfully handled issue and lost business. When face to face with customers, nodding, making eye contact, and taking notes during your conversation will show the customer you are listening and taking them seriously.

Dealing with difficult customers via phone or text is a bit more complex, as active listening is difficult to display. In this situation, take notes and repeat the customers’ words back to them, to show you are listening. Avoid the impulse to interrupt, even if you can solve their issue immediately. Listening is the greatest asset in your customer service quiver, so don’t underestimate how powerful your silence can be!

2. Don’t Take it Personally

Even though it’s natural to get defensive in a stressful situation of someone else’s doing, good customer service requires an extra bit of self-awareness, allowing you to separate yourself from the issue. Try adopting a mindset of you and the customer against the issue, and focus on finding a solution, together with the customer. Using language like “I’d like to help,” and “If I’m hearing you correctly…” can show an unhappy customer that you take them seriously, and will work to resolve their issue.

3. Show Empathy

Have you ever tried to calm someone down by telling them to “calm down?” It simply doesn’t work, many have discovered it too late when facing an angry wife or customer. People find it very calming when someone takes on their cause and shows empathy for the problem, and the stress it causes. Validate the caller or customer by telling them that you see the problem and will work to find a solution.

Many adopt the mantra “sympathize, empathize and apologize” in their conversations with unhappy customers. You can also share brief stories to show that you have experienced this type of situation before, and understand why it’s so upsetting. Verbalize your sympathy, and try summarizing the pain points back when dealing with difficult customers, to show you have a good understanding of the issue and are considering different solutions.

4. Try to Remain Calm

It’s important to detach from stressful situations, to give yourself the best chance of a successful resolution. Try to match the unhappy customer’s level of frustration with an equal amount of calm and empathy for their issue. Watch your tone carefully for any sarcasm, as this type of reaction is sure to escalate the situation. Try these tips proven to help you stay calm in stressful situations.

  • Focus on maintaining an even tone at all times.
  • Remember that the customer is angry at the situation, not you.
  • Think about how you would feel if this issue had happened to you, and treat the customer how you would like to be treated.
  • Take slow calming breaths while the customer is speaking.
  • Smile as you speak. People can even hear a smile through a phone!

5. Offer a Solution & Follow Up

At this point you’ve listened and should have a good idea of what the problem is and how to fix it. It’s important to offer a solution that satisfies the customer. Many issues can be solved simply by listening and offering empathy, but be prepared to offer some sort of compensation for the issue. The cost of a refund or shipping a new product to your unhappy customer will be negligible compared to the bad publicity of a bad review or online complaint. By following up with the customer after the transaction is complete, you leave them with a good feeling about your company and the service you’ve provided during a stressful time.

86% of good customer service interactions turn a one-time customer into a long-term, repeat customer. Unhappy customers could potentially be your biggest brand advocates if their issue is handled correctly.

For more information on how to deal with angry customers, or for help getting a professional customer service call center up and running, contact ListenTrust today. ListenTrust serves a wide range of customers in most key verticals including FSI, E-commerce, retail, education, and the medical industry. Take advantage of our years of experience, or one of our many other products or services designed to enhance your brand experience and ultimately, profits, and contact ListenTrust today.

Get Started by Contacting ListenTrust Today!

For more information, contact Tom Sheppard, VP Business Development, at: tsheppard@listentrust.com

Call Center Outsourcing: Why Should You Outsource Your Company’s Call Center?

Call Center Outsourcing: Why Should You Outsource Your Company’s Call Center?

call center outsourcing
Call centers are responsible for all-important empathetic and effective customer service, making them essential to all enterprises. Businesses currently using call center outsourcing are loving lower costs, improved customer service, and a boost to their own productivity. Customers, domestic and global, love immediate access to assistance or information in their native language. Let’s explore a few massive benefits of using call center outsourcing services.

1. It’s Cost-Effective

Data shows that businesses can save up to 50% by taking advantage of outsourcing opportunities. Setting up a call center is expensive, and requires a great deal of infrastructure, space, and trained staff.

Because professional call centers are already equipped with the latest technology, you can get started immediately with very little initial investment. Call centers also share highly-trained agents who work faster and more efficiently, reducing your costs further. The massive shift in work structure brought about by the pandemic makes using outsourced call centers a more logical, cost-effective choice for most enterprises.

2. You Have the Opportunity Outsource to Customer Service Experts

Outsourced call centers employ customer service experts, trained and skilled to handle all customer eventualities with grace and professionalism. Professional call centers have tested and proven processes and training designed to help their representatives understand your business expectations, customer pain points, and can even suggest appropriate customer engagement strategies for your business.

Call center staff are trained to deal with a large volume of calls, emails, and inquiries on many different platforms. Customers contact an enterprise for many reasons, chief among them complaints or questions, which must be handled with delicacy and professionalism. Special training and on-the-job experience dealing with tense or confusing situations is another major benefit of working with outsourced customer service experts.

3. Offer 24/7 Support

Our “new normal” calls for 24/7 connectivity, making it essential to work with larger and more universally available teams with the ability to service many regions. Customers appreciate 24/7, 365 coverage, which conveys extreme dependability, and businesses love the security of knowing processes are running seamlessly outside business hours.

Offering 24/7 support also has the potential to open up new markets. Many businesses are asking themselves, “Why growing businesses should use call center outsourcing?” Times of growth and change require the most comprehensive support for both customers and staff, and call center outsourcing services let staff focus on the business of growth, and customers focus on the business of enjoying your product.

4. Improved Productivity

While your product or service might be stellar, if your staff is overwhelmed by critical customer service functions, they are typically unable to focus on future innovations or initiatives, sales, production, or distribution. For example, successful marketing campaigns bring in a flood of new business, paired with an increased call volume that has the potential to overwhelm your staff. Call center outsourcing enterprises are designed to easily handle enormous call volumes, a feature that will certainly be appreciated by growing companies.

Call volume is highly dependent on time, rising and falling as your chosen markets wake and sleep. Businesses with a multi-regional or global footprint typically struggle to stay connected after business hours without using a professional call center to handle business or requests at odd hours. Many are choosing to task call center outsourcing services with answering FAQs (frequently asked questions), while more complex issues are handed off to in-house staff.

5. Offer Multi-Lingual Support

Studies show that 67 million American-based consumers speak a second language at home, and only 63 million are bilingual with English language skills. Even an English-speaking country like the United States has a very large number of non-English speaking customers in need of support. Employing multi-lingual customer service reps creates an environment of trust and easy communication between your enterprise and your customers, both domestic and international.

360° customer support and international language skills also have the potential to open up new, global markets to your business. Outsourcing your call center means you are no longer tethered to a single location or domestic customers, even those native to your own country. Reach out to a new market your competition can’t reach or explore what new products and services you are in a unique position to provide to both the domestic and global market.

For more information on how call center outsourcing services can save you money, please your customers, and open up new markets and opportunities, contact ListenTrust today. ListenTrust serves a wide range of customers in most key verticals including E-commerce, retail, education, and the medical industry, just to name a few.

Take advantage of our years of experience and bilingual call centers, or one of our many other products or services designed to enhance your brand, brand experience, and ultimately, profits.

Get Started by Contacting ListenTrust Today!

For more information, contact Tom Sheppard, VP Business Development, at: tsheppard@listentrust.com