Importance of inbound call center
An inbound call center has supreme importance for a business. Prospects and customers that wish to have business relationships, engage or report about a situation must have a chance to contact you and resolve their issues. These issues are not always about purchasing. And sometimes they’re really not. Demands of all prospective customers are achieving seamless insights about product & service.
Whatever you sell, your customer is an intelligent human being. There are no excuses for a marketer to think otherwise. When a prospective customer decides to spend their hard-earned money, they want to know exactly what they’re paying for.
Remember that the more money you request, the more convenient facts about your product should be.
The truth is that the more your business expands, the more inbound and outbound calls you’ll have, and vice versa. Successful handling of calls is not rocket science, yet calls must create a mood of trust and reliability.
Prospective customers want to have confidence that you’re not just taking their money and running away. Yet most of the businesses over the globe work like this, and this is too bad for them. Your business should be grounded on a strong professional ethic and eliminate the mistakes of losers. Customers want to know that you are credible and always in touch with them 24 hours a day.
If customers call you and achieve rapid response to requests, you’ll win true and undying love from them. They consider having lasting relationships with someone who is a word keeper.
And guess what. When customers calling to your office, receive what they need, and it’s happening over a long period, this is the proven way your business wins and retains them.
On the other hand, if people can’t reach you on different occasions, especially for a long period, that will drop your sales immediately. Thus none of the businesses in history survived unless their strategy was customer-oriented.
Reactive inbound calling technologies
Before using phone sales techniques that close any deals consider upfront technologies that help sell more with fewer efforts. That means your agents must have minimum manual work and maximum creative and intellectual labor. These days, great call center software, headsets, and good internet connection are enough to make this goal achievable.
All customers always call for specific reasons. Often they would not call to on obvious issues they could resolve by themselves. And, these issues consume most of the time of your agents. Now, Voiptime Cloud knows exactly what all customers demand, read to the end of this article, and find the real roots of issues, and your effective moves towards solutions.
To improve your inbound call strategy and reduce the efforts of customers and increase customer satisfaction, you need to decrease the time of customer journey to solution as much as possible. For example, you need to route prospects and customers with a relevant agent in your company.
The automatic call distribution (ACD) system does just that. Based on the customer account (ordinary or VIP), phone number (premium or not), personal information (name, address, etc.), history of calling (for example, frequent calls to technical or sales departments, of the particular phone number, etc.), the ACD system defines the best and fastest routing logic.
Frankly, since the beginning of ACD integration in call centers over the globe, it has generated billions of dollars. And prevented millions of customers from the long customer journey and hanging up. Notice that customers always hang up when they wait for too long in the queue or are routed to the irrelevant department or agent. Customer patience is a very limited resource, and every business owner should remember that.
Moreover, the ACD system integrated with the customer relationships management (CRM) system that already has all the necessary data about customers for qualified routing. For example, when you install software for a call center, your CRM system integrates with ACD, and all you have to do is wait for calls.
Minimize wait time and optimize the process
Customers waiting is the real enemy of sales and revenue growth. The more your customers wait, the better chances for hanging up and complaining. Reducing waiting is the next issue the company needs to solve. The long waiting time has several most common reasons:
- Poor call center software or ACD system;
- Not enough agents in a call center;
- High volume of calls, like seasonal picks or marketing campaigns;
- Agent’s absenteeism;
- Technical disruptions of a call center, such as electricity, telephony, and internet outages. As a result, incapacity to receive calls or contact with a customer.
There are more reasons that prevent streamline of the work of call centers, yet these are the most frequent. Actually, it’s easy to resolve them and agile processes at every touchpoint. You need to think about these factors listed above and resolve them one by one.
Investing in additional external telephony and internet lines, batteries for storing energy, and software for call centers resolve most of these issues. Read on.
Make important information easy to access
Prospects or customer's journeys for a particular goal must be effortless and neat. First of all, to accelerate sales, you need to inform prospects and customers.
Websites, magazines, newspapers, all other advertising materials must contain exact information or workable phone numbers, including in the case of outages. If you have any helpful information, highlight it in an easy-to-understand fashion.
Of course, when customers call you or send a message, agents must be in their places. Especially, during the working shifts, when customers call your office at the precise working time. You must answer or give a rapid callback or message. And if there will be no response whatsoever, that will offend them.
And offended customers buy less from you, complain more and go to your competitors. That’s not the way your inbound marketing strategies should work.
Base your inbound call center sales techniques from completed calls
Always look at your previous call center's successes. See the difference between inbound and outbound calling successes? Are they working for you, or do you need changes?
In any case, these experiences, about great and lousy outcomes, are the gold mine, and you need to apply them in the future. Sometimes agents are creative and make their own decisions in conversations with a customer. That’s great as long as it's profitable.
New or creative inbound sales call techniques must increase your sales and customer satisfaction.
Invest in self-service
One of the most valuable inbound phone sales tips you should apply - is investing in self-service. It does not grant presence across all channels but frees up your agents from a chore. Technologies and software actually work for you and reduce strain from agents on all levels.
For example, if there is an issue that customers could resolve by themselves, consider about interactive voice response system (IVR). This is a remarkable tool for call centers that reduce the tremendous amount of calling volume from agents. What it does, specifically, it lets customers resolve their issues through press-key mechanisms and pre-recorded messages.
Moreover, in the case prospects or customers need to speak with the alive agent, the IVR system will immediately connect them with an agent or department.
Companies that use this technology reduce strain from agents, keeping them energized during the day and give them only challenging assignments. And this is almost everything you need.
Track main inbound call center KPI
This could be one of the most valuable inbound call center sales tips in this article. It concerns tracking and monitoring crucial metrics and results. Key performance indicators (KPI) give you a big picture about conversations with customers. The main benefit of KPI is that it highlights the invisible sides of your call center. And call centers have many of them. The most common KPI’s are:
- Abandon rate. Abandon rate indicates how many customers hanged up before a conversation with a customer. If this rate is high, there are reasons for that. The reasons are either on the technical or agent’s side.
- On hold or queue time. When prospects or customers wait for resolutions after a conversation with agents. And queue time is the time that customers and prospects wait before a conversation with an agent. Reduce these waiting timings to a minimum.
- Time to resolution. This metric shows how long, on average, agents work on resolving customer’s issues. In some cases, it’s obvious to have a long time for the resolution of challenging issues. And no complain you’ll meet during these tasks.
- First call resolution (FCR). An important metric is that solution is solved within one call. If customers call to call center on the same issue, that decreases FCR rate and customer satisfaction (CSAT).
- Customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction indicates overall customer experience and whether most of their issues are solved or not.
Consider investing in agent training
If you have everything set on the technical side of your call center, it’s time to upgrade your staff. The best way to improve inbound sales calls is to arrange meetings for training sessions and practices. Some agents constantly develop their skills without any second thought. And other agents neglect any training sessions or studying whatsoever. To achieve sustainable results, you need to train both parties.
The most common inbound sales techniques and training sessions for call center’s agents:
- Work on the mistakes. Even experienced agents make mistakes. Yet every mistake must be defined, checked, and solved. If particular agents make the same mistake over and over again, managers must leverage their authority to compel retrain and deliver better performance.
Of course, the best way to solve a problem is a personal demonstration. The demonstration is always better than wise claims. Real-time training looks as follows: a manager initiates or receives a particular call that agents struggle to solve. During a call, a manager shows how to handle it. After the call, managers explain their actions step-by-step. Then they encourage every agent to do the same way. Until staff generates holistic ideas on how to handle calls by themselves in their unique way.
- Knowledge. Actually, there is no fundamental secret for successful inbound sales techniques, it's just a matter of work. The reason is the laziness of particular agents, which want to deliver a poor service. These consequences will be poor customer satisfaction, at least from a particular agent. Again, meetings and training on solving these issues will be helpful.
Knowledge must be complete and unified, which means agents must know their products and services and how to solve or answer a particular question. And how to use their software or technology.
Sometimes, especially newbies, good enough for handling calls, yet they lack knowledge about productive usage of software and hardware. As a result, they just struggle to find fast solutions or use technology profitably. Head of call centers needs to keep an eye on the newbies until strong confidence in their performance.
Develop proactive call center quality assurance process
Inbound call centers are valuable for any type of business. If everything works perfectly, that increases customer satisfaction and brand image. Also, it sustainably generates additional cash flow.
As a manager or head of a call center, you need constant review, monitor, and improve inbound sales calls and results. Specifically, you need to check KPI metrics, the volume of calls for a week, and the results of conversations.
Excellent inbound call center sales techniques
It's much easier to lure prospects or customers to make an order during inbound sales calls than in outbound calling. These prospective customers saw your promotional materials, magazines ads, TV or radio commercials, direct response packages, and now they're qualified enough for purchase.
It's different in your outbound calling strategy when agents must compel customers, warm-up, establish the mood of trust and safety, and after all this close a sale.
It's also true that the percentage of selling for an inbound call center is much higher.
Apply these basic communication rules for inbound sales calls
The first rule of every call center should be is that they must make their calls as personal as possible. If a prospect or customer calls to you and you know their name, address, financial, and other valuable pieces of information, you need to always use it.
If customers call you and hear their name, it creates a mood of trust and the imagination that “I’m someone special for these people, not just another prospect”.
Inbound calls and your conversation with customers with the purpose of the purchase will often be less than three minutes. The first impression is the best step towards selling. Depending on the first impression that the customer achieves in the first 20 seconds, grant 50% of success or loss of sale.
The first thing that every agent can make to improve relationships with prospective customers is to introduce themselves. The proper introduction and greetings should be like this: “Hello Mr. Jones, my name is Kelly from the sales department of Voiptime Сloud, how can I help you today?”.
Or it may look like that for a prospective customer: “Hello, the technical department of Voiptime Сloud, my name is Jane, how can I help you today?” As you see, it’s possible to make a call as personal as possible in both cases.
If a prospect calls you for the first time, after a call, you should place their name and address in your CRM or database to make future calls personal.
Avoid putting hot phone leads on hold
When prospects call you the first time, it's crucial to give them as much attention as possible and reduce on-hold or queue time to a minimum. These hot phone leads will build their impression from the first seconds of the call. And if you put them on hold for a long time, it establishes controversial feelings.
Customers call to achieve something from you. And they’re not always emphasized with agents from the beginning. The job of agents is to find the keys to a successful conversation and achieve the result.
Here are a few tips on how to build successful rapport with a customer:
- Identify the purpose of the call by active listening. When prospects or customers call, they have something in their minds. Agents must build their strategy of conversation based on the first words and emotional state of the caller. If customers call for a sale, they’re likely to be in a proper mood for conversations. However, calls from customers with angry attitudes, complaints require another strategy from an agent.
- Let them talk proactively. Especially important to let customers vent in situations when they have complaints or achieved disservice. They will talk, talk a lot, and with anger. Yet, the worst thing an agent can do in this situation is to interrupt them. Interrupting is a very scary tactic because it blocks the venting of customer’s emotions. As a result, a customer could explode and say offensive things and never have business relationships with the company.
- Show empathy. Empathy is a powerful weapon of agents for the successful handling of calls. In selling this is even more important. An agent needs to feel the mood of the customer to successfully close a sale.
The first thing that every customer will feel is the emotional state of the agent. When an agent is in a good and energized mood it’s the best environment for sale.
Ask open questions to understand the lead’s situation
It’s not easy to always understand a prospect and customer's goals. Moreover, it’s dangerous to rely on your own opinion about the situation all the time. To resolve this issue, you need to ask open-ended questions.
You allow customers to elaborate and explain some crucial purposes of their call. It’s vital when the agent is not sure about the issue or concern. For example: “Mr. Miller, you ordered the new MasterCard and you want to receive it as soon as possible, is that correct?”. The questions of that type will give a clue and the necessary outcome of a conversation.
Proven inbound phone sales techniques
How to do effective sales calls, and what strategy do you need to apply to generate revenue today?
When you sell something, it’s not enough to describe the features of your product. Moreover, it’s dangerous to do so. Customers that are interested in the product already know what a particular product or service is. What’s really concern them is what a product does.
They really want to hear how a particular product will improve their lives and the lives of their family. Is there a decent advantage for them to buy it? Or it’s just another garbage. Tips on how to sell particular products:
- Insurance. If you sell insurance, tell customers how much money they will save if they choose your insurance. Tell them that your insurance is more cost-effective than others. And don’t forget to include proofs.
- Solar. If you sell solar panels, mention how it will save money annually. Include in your speech exact facts about the average consumption of electricity in a particular region. Tell about the benefits of solar energy, that it’s not only cost-effective, yet in comparison with rising electrical bills it will be even more economical.
- Real Estate. Mention that house located near the police department (if it does). Or Mention that this particular district has a nice road that will quickly lead them to home and backward.
- Health care. When you're selling health issues, empathize with customers in the way you understand their health problems. Highlight that your services or care will restore health and the time wasted at the doctor’s office. These issues will restore the dignity that customers lost during uncomfortable or frightening conversations with medicians. In selling health supplements, mention that these supplements are approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- Mutual funds or the stock market. In investments, customers are really afraid to put large sums of money into investing. To compel them, you need to add real financial benefits. As an example, you need to mention that your company complies with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), so there are no losses on a legal side.
In the selling of any type, you need to add credentials to your sales pitch. Tell customers not only your toll-free number, yet tell them about your office’s number. Tell them about your exact address. Tell about your famous companies or customers you are working with for a long or short period of time.
Sometimes the mention of a famous company/person/celebrity adds high value to your sales pitch. Tell the customer that the mayor of a particular region approved your product as legal and that federal agencies checked you.
Selling value and not features are something that customers want to achieve.
In every niche of the market, demonstrate that you know everything about your product or service. A decent knowledge about the subject of selling will give you the edge in the conversations. Customers are intelligent, and they ask intelligent questions.
Yet they’re not experts in the products: manufacturing, packaging, delivering, legal issues, news, etc. And you as a seller must know all of these little pieces of information about your product or service.
Achieve knowledge about the usage of products. Know what the product does, including specific technical features, like electricity consumption, wattage, material, capacity, color, etc. All that you need to know because it's demonstrate to customers that you’re the expert in a particular product.
Every customer has an objection when they want to buy from you. All kinds of objections are usually related to the product, effectiveness, or the price you’re offering. In general, there are three main objections customers have about purchasing from you:
- Why your product or service is superior to others?
- Why should I believe you?
- Why do I need to buy from you right now?
The most dangerous objection of customers is a delay of the sale. If there is no urgency in buying from you right now, this factor of delays kills the process of closing a sale. With a factor of a delay, customers rethink your offer and can buy from your competitor because they were smart and add the factor of urgency to the sale.
For example, eliminating factor delay looks as follows: “If you buy a particular product or service today, you will achieve a 30% of discount. This offer is accessible on a limited basis, and you can’t achieve it tomorrow”.
One of the most profitable selling techniques on the phone is cross-selling. If the customer buys a product or service, you can sell additional equipment to the customer. Or if a customer purchased real estate, maybe it’s reasonable to ask for buying parking space. If a customer purchasing insurance for one year, it’s better to offer five-year insurance with a decent discount.
And it’s possible to cross-sell something whenever a customer calls you.
Adjust customer interactions based on the client’s specific needs
Interaction with a customer should be familiar for them. For example, If you sell real estate to lawyers or doctors to someone who is likely to have a bachelor's degree, it’s better to operate with words that will be considered highly proficient.
Many agents and heads of call centers ask the question: How can I dive into the mind of my prospect or customer? Actually, it’s pretty easy though, all you need to do is:
- Read the hottest magazines, books, articles, materials that your customer value;
- Interview customers and define main pain points;
- Arrange meetings with customers, talk with them personally, listen to them, watch them, and highlight the words they’re using.
If you do all these things listed above, you’ll achieve great ideas on how to sell to a particular targeted audience. And you’ll get an additional advantage over your competitors. However, if you don’t do your homework, your conversion rates will be decreased by tenfold. Therefore, knowledge about customers is the same important as knowledge about your product.
How to achieve bold cash flow this year?
This article showed you the real how-to tips on how to handle your inbound call center and specific techniques for selling to your targeted audience. All of these techniques are proved and generated millions of dollars for companies over the world. Especially, these techniques will be interesting for small and mid-sized businesses. Why is that so important for them?
Actually, Voiptime Cloud company mainly works with small and mid-sized businesses over the globe for more than a decade. We have strong business relationships with our partners, and we know how to flourish their businesses.
And firstly, our company is interested in keeping our partner's intelligence on the different types of subjects, regarding their business. In addition, we provide exact call center software that gives small and mid-sized businesses the real tool to increase their ROI.
Would you like to have remarkable call center software for a fair price? If so, click the get the quote bellow, fill the form, and our team will contact you as soon as possible. When we set everything, your call center will start work within 48 hours. Thank you.