Outbound calls can be a challenging task for even the most seasoned call center agents.
There are so many possibilities of things not going according to plan, that it is an area where companies often fail to fulfill their true potential.
In fact, raising conversion levels on outbound calls is one of the primary goals of modern organizations and something that the best call center software today are designed to help out with.
Getting an interested customer in an outbound call center is a game of tenacity and quick thinking.
Agents need to be patient, accept the reality that not every cold call is going to be met with an affirmative response, and be willing to carry on regardless of previous outcomes.
Secondly, scripts for such purposes require extensive planning, testing and strategic approach in order to make just the right impact, whenever you do get a chance to create a proper impression.
To keep customers interested, agents need to employ a variety of tips and tricks to keep the conversation flowing, highlighting the main selling points, allowing the customer to gauge their requirements, using the right call center software and establishing clarity of communication.
In this article, we will discuss some of the best ways to get customers interested in outbound calls, and how that translates to an elevated level of call center solutions.
Adhering to these principles will help a company maximize its revenue through increased sales.
1. Start off strong. Initial impressions are created within the first minute of the call.
Agents need to clarify who they are, what they represent and why they are calling as soon as they can, so that the customer can then move on to the more important part of the conversation – details about the product.
If, however, the customer will say “no” regardless of your efforts, it will become clear in the first minute itself, and the agent can move on to the other customers instead of wasting time and resources on a certain negative.
2. Use references if applicable. If the person on the other end of the line has purchased from your company before, it is important that you remind them of that history.
This is more likely to make them trust your brand and pay more attention to what you have to say.
If the customer has never purchased from you before, you need to research where your products come in useful in their lives, either in a personal or a professional capacity, and then pitch it as that specific tool.
3. Clarify the purpose of call. There is no point in beating around the bush with a cold call.
Agents must ensure that the communication is clear and comprehensive, and the customer knows exactly what they are trying to sell.
If the customer does not understand the point of your call, he will not be interested to listen to whatever you have to say. No matter how great your product is, you need the customer to be attentive in order to make a sale.
4. Ask open-ended questions. The overwhelming majority of customers are unlikely to either say yes or no immediately. They require convincing and they need to decide for themselves if the investment is worth of it.
In the initial stages of a phone call, it helps to ask open-ended questions to gauge the interest level of the customer.
These questions do not have to be very specific and do not need to directly lead to a hard sell.
On the contrary, they are meant to understand the customer better and see things from their point of view.
5. Make optimal use of technology.
Investing in the right software tools goes a long way in establishing the success of a company.
Of course, there are a whole lot of tools available, but companies need to research the return on investment before they zero in on a purchase.
Not every company requires the most expensive high-end tech available, and as such it may cause an unnecessary drain on the resources of the organization, when more cost-efficient software would do just fine.
Identifying the optimal technology is one of the major factors in getting the right customers interested in your product.
6. Highlight your benefits. Once the agent understand the customer’s needs, he needs to talk about the features that his product provides, and show how those features would prove to be beneficial in solving the problems that the customer currently faces.
At this point, agents could go beyond merely explaining the features and talk about a real scenario where the product helped out, whatever legacy it might have, share customer testimonials, etc. to make the customer understand its benefits.
7. Listen to your customer. Attentive listening is a skill which separates the great agents from the average ones.
If you listen to your customers, there are many cues that help you determine your next step.
Voice intonations betray interest levels, choice of words indicate positivity or negativity of mindset and time spent on the call shows a willingness to understand.
All of these factors are essential to determine the best way to push that sale through.
8. Assign repeated customers to the same agents.
Over time, customers and agents get to know each other on an informal basis, and this relationship can spur better business associations.
Therefore, customers are more likely to be interested if they are talking to an agent they are familiar with in some capacity.
This helps them be more relaxed, more open to the idea of investing and more curious about what your product has to offer.
Assigning repeated customers to a different agent every time hinders clarity of communication and could lead to customers moving away from your product for lack of consistency in approach.
9. Build a repository of FAQs. Over time, the same queries get repeated again and again.
It is a waste of time and resources for the agents to repeat the answers for the same queries.
Therefore, companies should build an FAQ page where the most common questions are answered, so that customers can first look their problems up on that page, figure out whether the solution is already available or not, and then proceed to speak with an agent if necessary.
This helps the customer as well because it rids him of a lot of inconvenience associated with due process.
10. Give customers self-help options.
Customers are often more keen to figure out the solutions to problems by themselves, rather than have to go through the process of calling up an agent, describing their problems, looking for expert opinions, waiting for a resolution and hoping for the best.
That is why customers are keen to check your products out if you have resources online that allows them to help themselves.
11. Go off script if necessary. In certain situations, agents need to be given the autonomy to go off script and direct the conversation as they see the fit.
Such conversations should be monitored for quality of results and implemented in future scenarios as well, should the results be positive.
Agents often have a hunch about what might work, arising from direct communication with the client, and they should be allowed to carry it out to a reasonable degree.
12. Build personal rapport with the customer.
Sales happen because a customer trusts a brand.
To the customer, the call center agent is his most direct representative of the brand.
Therefore, if he has a connection with the agent, he will more likely be persuaded into a purchase.
Thus, it is important to build rapport with the customer so that they can be more relaxed and informal while making the decision to invest in your goods or services.
13. Set up further correspondence.
Cold calls very rarely see a sale on the very first conversation.
The first call is generally made to build up interest, with subsequent calls aiming for a close after satisfying the customer’s queries and assuring him of the benefits of the product.
Therefore, the agent must take the initiative to set up the next contact and then positively follow through on the appointment, to keep the lead alive and the conversation moving towards a sale.
14. Have domain knowledge. Agents must know everything about the product they are selling.
This extends to knowledge about any similar products by competitors and how this one holds better.
They must be in a position to answer any query that the customer might have.
In case customers want detailed technical explanations that the agent cannot provide, he or she should bring an expert on the call and have the question answered by them.
15. Anticipate the common objections.
It is but natural for an agent to face some resistance in trying to make a sale.
However, it is helpful for them to study the common objections beforehand and have relevant answers prepared for them, so that they can maximize their chances on the call and customers are also impressed by the promptness and comprehensiveness of the responses they get to their queries.
A shared repository of common queries and their best answers help the entire team provide better service.
16. Know your customer.
Modern call centers have the technology to collect enormous amounts of data about each customer and curate their unique profiles to understand the best strategy to adopt in order to convince each individual.
Agents should know the traits of the customer thoroughly before they make a call, and approach the entire conversation in a manner backed by the data to help boost their productivity.
Knowing the customer is essential in formulating the proper approach to take.
17. Get a reaction.
Before an agent can move ahead with the attempted close, he needs to be sure of the likely outcomes.
For this, it is important he tries to elicit a response from the customer when he talks about the product.
Simple questions such as how valuable the solutions are, what they think about the product, whether they deem it a good investment or not, can indicate the reaction of the customer.
If the reaction is decidedly negative, there is a little point in trying to close the deal, and that time might be better used elsewhere.
18. Go for a close. Once all the chips are in play, agents should try to close the sale as efficiently as possible.
Dragging a conversation on, even after the customer shows interest is a bad idea, because with more time the customer is likely to evaluate alternative options and may opt out of investing in your product .
At this stage, agents need to ask direct questions about the sale, with the confidence that the customer is willing to go through with it.
19. Keep avenues open for further selling.
Every customer is potentially a long-term client.
Agents must see to it that the relationship does not end with the customer making a purchase.
They have to be vigilant in maintenance, provide quality customer service and follow up efficiently to be in the reckoning when the needs for further products arise.
Agents should always communicate in a manner that leaves open the possibility of future associations as well.
20. End on a positive note.
Regardless of what happens in the conversation, agents need to end the call positively, thank the customer for their time and attention and express interest in staying in touch as well as doing business with them in the future.
This creates a positive impression about your company and makes it more likely for that customer to return to you the next time they need something you can produce.
Thus, we can see how telemarketing software solutions in terms of outbound calls can be drastically changed for the better by employing strategies that aims at customer-centric approaches and take data-driven decisions.
The strategies and tips that are mentioned in this article will definitely help you take your company to the next level as well by providing a more nuanced form of conversation in outbound calls and maximizing your conversion rates through better utilization of call center software solutions.