How to personalize customer interaction via phone

Great customer service is one of the essential aspects of modern business. Finding the right approach to easily win the trust and increase loyalty on a long-term basis is the goal of a vast majority of companies. However, to accomplish these goals, companies have to provide a personalized experience. The problem is, if we take into account how technology intertwines through many business processes today, customer interaction is rarely conducted in person. We have phones and all the other online communication channels, that sometimes it may seem cold and uncaring. Even so, there is a way to close the gap between businesses and their clients. You can work on your support more closely to personalize customer interaction via phone. As a result, this will increase their satisfaction and improve the way how they are perceiving your company.

But even more importantly, it can help guide your business into that next stage of success and growth. Personalized interactions lead to higher engagement with customers. And higher engagement leads to increasing your conversion rate. In this article, we focus on the ways how to personalize customer interaction via phone.

7 efficient ways to personalize customer interaction via phone

In general, the point is to convert all the phone calls into revenue. Conversion is the goal when a sales agent is trying to convince a potential client to use their service or product. And it’s also a goal when a call center is trying to provide support for existing customers so they don’t turn to competitors. No matter what channel of communication you are using overall, you want them to end with a call.

So, to convert those calls, you will have to personalize customer interaction via phone. People want you to treat them as individuals rather than just as one generic person in a line. And while CRM software solutions are incredibly helpful to make the entire process more efficient, there is also a human aspect of interaction that must not be disregarded.

Business representative communicating with a smile in a personal manner with a client over the phone.
A CRM system can improve business efficiency, but the human aspect adds a personal flavor.

To help you accomplish these goals, here are some of the guidelines to personalize customer interaction via phone:

  1. Don’t overcomplicate the answering process
  2. Gather the customer data
  3. Try to match agents with customers to personalize customer interaction via phone
  4. Address customers properly in a way they prefer
  5. Learn the art of listening
  6. Small talk can make wonders
  7. Listen to feedback

1. Don’t overcomplicate the answering process

Many companies are using automated systems to improve their customer service. They have various bots and answering routines that supposedly should make things easy. However, many make the same mistake trying to rely solely on the systems. While software solutions like automated chatbots are incredibly useful, don’t forget that your customers are calling to talk to a person. They don’t want to communicate with machines, especially if there is an overwhelmingly high number of steps until someone “answers the phone”. Creating too many “please press #1 for this” steps only increases your bounce rate and makes your customers annoyed.

2. Gather the customer data

Knowing certain information about your customers can help you personalize the calling experience. For that, you will need a solution that will collect all the available information and present them to agents at the moment of calling. However, this is not limited only to basic information like names, addresses, and such. This should also include information about their preferences and previous experiences with your company.

If they are calling multiple times for the same issue, this can be a sign you are not providing them with proper solutions. Or, if they are buying a certain type of product, you might be able to offer them some recommendations. Either way, you will need detailed logs of the activities, which can be gathered by using advanced CRM systems.

3. Try to match agents with customers to personalize customer interaction via phone

Gathering data has other purposes as well. For example,  you can try to match customers with agents they prefer. Or with those who have been the most helpful before. Another point is that not every agent is the same, and not all customers are the same. If some customers prefer longer conversations you will need a way to know which agents are more suitable for this. Or, if someone is angry, who is the best choice to handle the situation. There are two approaches here:

  • either track and create customers personalities
  • or, train your agents to react differently, depending on the situation

Even though this may seem like a huge task, it’s surprisingly helpful for providing better service and more personal experience.

4. Address customers properly in a way they prefer

While many will advise you to address your clients by name, there is a catch here. Not everyone likes to be addressed the same way. Some people might be preferring a formal conversation and want to get the job done as soon as possible. While others might like the more casual approach that makes them feel relaxed. While one group has nothing against using the first name, others might find it inappropriate.

Again, you can use previous data you have been collecting over time. Or, your representatives might simply ask them how do they want you to call them. So, it’s not only important to use names to create a more personal experience, but it’s also important to know how and what part of the name to use.

5. Learn the art of listening

Customer service agents.
People want to feel that other people are truly listening to them.

There is no point in talking to an agent if it will feel like talking to a machine. If you want to provide a more personal experience, the communication has to flow in both directions. The first step in accomplishing this is to learn how to listen to your customers’ needs.

If you will just generically repeat the same scripted sentences, regardless of what they are saying, you are not exactly providing any help. Also, it’s not the right time to “play smart” or to try to promote something if customers are simply asking for help. Remember, everyone’s problems are their priorities, and unless you are very helpful they won’t listen to you either.

6. Small talk can make wonders

In reality, after waiting for the operator to answer, after all those automated requests, and all the music that annoys over time, people are eager for conversation. They want someone who appreciates them, listens, and answers their question. And if that person is friendly, even the worst problem can be solved surprisingly fast. Not to mention they will have a completely positive opinion about the company, brand, and its services. Allow your agents to break the ice with small talk if the situation is proper. One simple “How are you sir, how’s the weather in Minnesota?” really sounds friendly and personal, without harming the service.

7. Listen to feedback

Finally, how would you know you are going in the right direction? Of course, by asking for and listening to feedback. And this doesn’t concern only agent-rating. If you want a fully personalized experience via phone, ask your callers for opinions or sent them automated campaigns and requests. And don’t forget to report them back. Once people see that you, as a company, show appreciation and place effort to make changes, they will know you care for the customers. They will feel valued, respected as individuals, and will trust you in the future.

Person on laptop.
Be patient, provide answers, and show you appreciate your clients’ opinions.

Personalizing customer interaction via phone used to be a useful suggestion. But today, it has become one of the most essential and powerful marketing approaches. If you want to provide a positive customer experience, even without meeting in person, combining modern technology with a human touch is the only promising direction. And ConvertMore offers a solution that can bring you one step closer to that.

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