As your local business expands, you might start to feel more stretched out. As businesses grow, managers and CEOs become more high-level and focus on guiding the company instead of tracking its daily activities.
However, you still need to keep an eye on one aspect of your business — monitoring the performance of your customer service representatives (CSRs) and your after-hours answering service. After all, these individuals are on the front-line, and there’s a lot you can learn from them. Here’s why call monitoring and call scoring are important for SMBs.
Listening Lets You Hear Directly From the Customer
As a business owner, it’s easy to get tunnel-vision about the business and how your customer thinks. This happens all the time with tech companies, when they remove start menus or ditch headphone jacks because they think they know what the customer wants. 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.
Over time, you may discover that their biggest concern isn’t the one you’re trying to solve. For example, your brand messaging might focus exclusively on price, when customers are more concerned with service quality and safety. By adjusting your message to align with consumer needs, you’re able to increase conversions and assuage their fears faster.
Call Monitoring Can Identify Holes in Your Training Process
How do you train your customer service team? Most companies have a set script that their team members stick to, and then receive additional training on 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.
Smart 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.
You Can 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 call scoring 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.
Phenomenal Insights into the Customer Experience
It costs five times as much to acquire a customer as it does to retain one. This means 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. Mediagistic offers call tracking, call monitoring, and call scoring solutions as part of our advertising plans, allowing you to monitor your CSR team and their improvement over time. This small step will help you identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities within your team.
Kristin Damous is a Project Manager at Mediagistic, and she’s the company’s resident call monitoring and tracking expert. Not only does she have an MBA, but she also has over 10 years of account management and customer service experience. Connect with her on Linkedin.
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