Making your Phone a Secret Weapon
One of the most common challenges that we come across with our clients is that they feel like their marketing is driving effective leads but they are not seeing it hit their bottom line.
So, what’s happening?
Many times the challenge is that they are driving the leads that they are looking for, but they are leaking them when it comes time to book the appointment or close the sale. Every organization knows that marketing can be expensive and that they are spending a lot of money in order to make the phone ring with these opportunities. It is absolutely paramount that your team answering the phone is armed and able to convert that business. Customers, especially new customers, are not going to keep trying to call you to get your services- you need to convert them on the first try!
When we work with our clients, there are several areas that we focus on to make sure that this challenge is being overcome every time:
Are your customers connecting? One of the easiest ways to lose that hard earned lead is that your customers are not reaching someone that can help them. Whether it is voicemail, hanging up on hold, or a phone experience that is confusing, if that customer does not reach a knowledgeable member of your team that can help them, you are likely to lose that business opportunity. When connection is a challenge, your organization is making it more difficult for that customer and that can immediately lead to leaking opportunities.
What is happening during that conversation? When your customers are connecting, the ball is in your team’s court on making sure that this conversation is converted into business. From setting appointments to closing a sale, how this conversation is tackled will make all the difference on the final outcome. Many organizations struggle to measure and manage what is happening on the phone which can make this a moving target to improve. It is important to invest time and resources on making sure your team and your managers are armed with the ammunition to execute the conversations the way that they need to be.
Does your experience align with your campaign objectives? This sounds obvious, but many times the culprit in losing a potential customer is that the experience that they have on the phone with your organization does not align with the campaign methodology that drove them in the first place. Where you are sending those calls, how the answering team member is addressing them, and how high of a priority they are for your organization will dictate whether your campaign is truly optimized.
How are you training your team? For most of our clients, what we often find is that their team wants to do well on the phone, but isn’t always sure the best way to tackle certain situations. From overcoming objections to effective scripting, it is very important that you are regularly working with your team on their phone skills. Developing effective phone scripts often can have a negative connotation of making the conversation “too robotic”, but this can be avoided. If scripting is done well, this gives your team a baseline on how to handle certain objections or situations so that there are clear internal expectations. Over time your team will become more and more comfortable with these scripts and they will become second nature. An effective training and management approach further accelerates this goal.
So where should you start?
When starting a project with our clients, we always recommend that the first place they focus is making sure that their customers are reaching someone that can help them when they call into the business. At the end of the day, if that is not happening, the dynamic of what happens later on the call is not going to be as important as the conversation will never have occurred. Looking at your telephony technology solution, routing design, and the strategy that you are deploying to answer the phone will get you started on driving improvement.
We understand that every organization is going to have their own unique challenges, so when analyzing this problem, its best to combine best practices with solutions for the unique needs present at your organization. Whether it's a connection issue, dealing with objections, or unclear inbound and outbound phone handling skills, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation to learn more about our phone management program.
Reach out to us today to learn more about how Oak Street can help your organization!
-Matt Cooke and Alex Ritz