The dangers of missing (and messing up) customer calls for startups
Founders. You need to know what is happening in your startup.
To bring context, you need to beware of the malfunctions happening with your customer communication and experience.
Tell me if you agree ㄧ in working with a startup, there are times when scattered communication processes doom the entire day.
It gets worse the
day night its after-effects show up in the sleep; more like nightmares.
For me, sometimes it’s a dark basement where my team lead suddenly spooks me out and asks, “is the sales performance evaluation report ready?”
Or sometimes, a melting summer day where I’m sitting on the floor of a burning-hot open ground and struggling with performance reports on my laptop.
For people like me (and most entrepreneurs) who overthink work, sleepless nights are common.
But does it have to be this way? I figured, not really.
So, from the code I manage to crack from those nightmares every time, the answer is pretty much alike ㄧ we need tracking and alignment of all things communication (or anything about work that’s worrisome).
Here’re the unforeseen events a scattered communication can cause (and how to win over):
Missed customer calls haunt the month end numbers
Your startup may be somewhat (or whole lot) dependant on calls as a mode of communication. However, have you wondered what’s the inside story of your calls?
Nearly 80% of business enquiries arrive over calls. Let’s get real, calls are the most direct, reliable, and quick medium to converse.
Say you target to generate 1000 prospect enquiries by month end (with marketing, growth hacks, or possibly anything).
Here, if phone is the medium for potential customers to reach out and make an enquiry with you, can you afford to miss them?
Let me tell you, you might not even know you missed them. (that’s injustice to your budgets and efforts)
Because you may be tracking your lead gen activities. But are you tracking those yearned customer calls? Too bad if you’re not till yet and have no plans for future.
So how to keep your month end numbers real?
By now, you may have realized how your month end efforts look like when you’re clueless about the incoming call activities.
And this is how your actual report (not assumptions) look like when you are tracking your calls.
Great work. Your call report shows the activity of your enquiry calls. The missed ones sure hurt.
It’s not your fault though. You may have less manpower to handle the call volume; your team might be off for the day; or just weird, your callers called you at 1.30 AM.
So, I won’t forget to tell you how you can save new incoming calls in the next month; coming up*
Once you start tracking calls, you won’t have to survive on inaccurate calculations or simply hypothesizing about what really happened all month.
For now with real call and agent performance data in your hand, you’re doing better than being in a state of question mark. Don’t you think?
Bad experience ∝ bad customer review ★☆☆☆☆
When you try to deal with another business for your requirements, and end up frustrating over no response nearly every time, you feel like giving it back to them right?
Your prospects/customers might feel the same when you are unavailable for them. And there you see your timeline filled with outrageous reviews the next day.
At this point, you think it’s easy to call those customers back, sort their query, make it up to them, request them to delete their review, and expect a happy ending?
To sound positive, this might actually work for you; but only sometimes. What about the others?
There was a point a couple of years back when our customers had to say this:
Spare yourself the horror and prep to attend your customer calls systematically.
So how to keep your customers calm?
Now you might wonder, “we ourselves are a small team with even fewer sales agents. How do we cope with growing customer expectations?”
*Here it is. You need not necessarily hire people (and bear another expense) when you can simply attend the calls real-time and get back to missed calls on time with a small team and one virtual number.
How it works? It tracks the incoming call and simply keeps it rotating amongst all agents until one of them says “hello.” Plus a virtual number can take as many calls at the same time.
With say just five agents to attend the calls and one central (virtual) number for callers, you can ensure your 1000 calls aren’t going abandoned.
For the calls you wonder arrived amid the night or got missed during the day, of course you now have absolute logs and callers’ data which you can use for follow up calls, and remarketing later.
For us, it feels great when customers take the initiative and acknowledge us.
You can now save your missed calls and missed customers. (told you I won’t forget)
Think your sales/lead report will appear different now?
Non-contextual talks & wait time are customers’ (and your) foes
If by now you are thinking, “how many things do I possibly need to fix?”, here comes yet another.
Apologies there. You know business is no easy game right!
Let’s say you run a reputed language coaching centre having full-time/part-time batches for German, French, Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, and Korean (my latest learning).
A customer calls to enquire for Spanish, weekend batch commencing October mid.
Case #1: Your agent who answered the call handles the French and German department and has kept the caller on hold meanwhile he looks for the Spanish dept. representative.
Case #2: The agent took time to answer the call and is now taking too long to fetch the details and respond to the query accordingly.
Case #3: Worse. Clueless as your agent is, the customer hangs up on you.
So how to become customer-friendly?
Let’s modify the same scene in two cases after you set an IVR (interactive voice response). There you go.
So I want to polish my intermediate Korean speaking skills and I choose to reach out to your centre.
On a busy Monday afternoon, I call +91 98100 xxxxx, your institute’s single point of contact (virtual) number.
My call is answered in one ring. Great.
I heard a quick greeting assuring me I called the right place. Good going…
Case #1: The agent who answers the call handles the French and German department. Effortlessly, he transfers my call to the Spanish dept. representative without making me wait at all. Well that took a jiffy.
Case #2: The IVR allowed me to choose on the telephonic menu like press 1 for German, 2 for French, 3 for Spanish, 4 for Arabic, 5 for Japanese and 6 for Korean. Simply pressing ‘6 for Korean’ connected me with the right agent.
Time to refine some language skills. 🙂
What makes any business a success is its ability to empathize with customers, get in their shoes, and understand what they really feel.
And when customer communication is at stake, zealous businesses go all the way.
Start saving your calls and customers now.
P.S. If you’re wondering if all of this a big deal and really necessary to survive in the business world, try remembering your bad experiences as a user/customer.