4 Ways to Connect with Your Customer Over the Phone
Talking over the phone without body language and eye contact can be challenging. Even if it is easy for you to connect with your customers in person, you may find it hard to do the same over the phone. And when you don’t make a great connection with a customer, their perception of your customer service and your customer retention rates can suffer.
You can use a few tricks to make connecting with your customer over the phone a little easier. Here are four of them.
1. Match Their Energy
You should start all conversations in a cheery tone but change your energy as you get a feel for the customer. People who are calm and speak slowly may be off-put by those who are joyful fast-talkers, feeling that it is insincere. Similarly, people with a lot of energy and who just want to get to the point will want fast, concise answers. Matching a customer’s energy will help them feel understood and like they got what they needed out of your conversation with them. Also, don’t forget to show empathy and concern when upset customers call.
2. Repeat their Concern Back to Them
Connecting with customers is all about making them feel heard. The problem is, many customers, especially those of contractors, call when they are upset. They also may not know how to explain their problem.
One great active listening technique to ensure that they feel heard is to re-word their concern and repeat it back to them. For example, let’s say a customer calls you with a concern that they think their roof is leaking. After they’ve spoken, you say, “You have water damage on your ceiling, and you’re concerned that the water is from the roof.”
If you got it right, your customer feels reassured and that you heard their concern. If you didn’t get it right, then your customer has the chance to correct you, and you can prevent miscommunications that might save you time.
3. Keep Detailed Records
If you have more than a handful of customers, keeping records will help you remember what you need to in order to better connect with them. Keep digital customer records and add the work you’ve done for them to the file. Pull it up whenever you talk to them. That way, you can reference the last work you did for them when they call. Ask them how their new windows look, if they need maintenance done on their water heater, or if their rodent problem has cleared up. Customers will feel like you really care when you can reference their past experiences with you.
4. Make Time for Some Small Talk
Sure, you don’t want to be on the phone all day. But you also don’t want to seem like you’re rushing clients off the phone. Dedicate thirty seconds or more to non-emergency calls for a small chat, especially if a customer initiates it. Be sure to ask about the things that matter to them, whether it’s their kids or their last home improvement project. It only takes a few moments to build camaraderie with your callers, and sometimes that makes all the difference.
Connecting with customers over the phone can significantly boost your customer service. Keep working at it, and you should see great results. Check out the customer service HEARD technique.