Inbound calls come in all shapes and flavours.
Do you have a process for effectively handling these calls?
If you rely on inbound calls as a critical element of your customer acquisition, it would make sense to have a structure for dealing with these calls.
"But sales scripts are too inflexible!"
But there is a difference between a script and a framework.
Frameworks are easy to follow, effective, and provide a great customer experience.
This framework allows you to successfully structure your inbound calls.
Scripts will be abandoned within seconds. But a framework allows sales agents to keep on track, no matter what the customer throws at them.
Scripts require an agent to focus on reading from the script. But a framework is an easy-to-remember, high level structure that frees the agent up to focus on listening to the customer in a natural way.
This framework covers a wide range of customer service scenarios, but is most suited to inbound contact centres that focus on sales, conversions, and upselling.
What is an Inbound Contact Centre?
An inbound contact centre is where the majority of customer calls come in to a company. This is in contrast to an outbound contact centre: a company cold calling out to reach potential customers.
It is important to capitalise on these warm leads, as inbound calls are from customers who have expressed an interest in buying your product or service.
Inbound contact centre agents should always target the buyer’s needs, rather than focus excessively on your own needs.
So, what tactics can an inbound contact centre use?
Sales Techniques for Inbound Calls:
Building a rapport with your customer is crucial.
You’ll need to develop a trustworthy relationship with them so they feel comfortable and relaxed. Most people don’t like to be sold to. Customers want reassurance that this is the right product for them (or not). Once trust is established, buyers will relax and be open to your sales representative’s advice and recommendations.
Customers now purchase products that offer the best personal support and buy from companies with established credibility, reputation and trust. This is a very important factor to remember throughout calls.
The desire to purchase can be expressed as such:
Reliability + Trust = Desirability
So how do you build reliability and trust with a buyer over an inbound phone call?
Inbound marketing builds the trust and credibility required for desirability. Desirability for your product, when nurtured correctly by a reliable and trustworthy representative, will lead to a sale. The best way to nurture buyers during an inbound call is to use the following sales methodology:
Identify Connect Explore Advise
Listen in order to identify. People that listen to their customers without making any assumptions or conclusions before they’re finished have a much better understanding of their needs.
Why is this important? It is important for customers to have trust in your business. Someone who only needs to explain themselves once has a much higher level of trust in the seller, compared to if they had to repeatedly re-explain themselves. It shows that the seller has listened and understood the problem.
Once you have identified the customer's needs, the next step is to connect.
Common telesales advice is to smile before you answer. The release of endorphins from smiling will allow a customer to subconsciously detect your happy persona, even over the phone. Although this may sound clichéd, there is strong evidence behind this approach.
Another useful tactic to improve connection is to stand up while talking to customers. If you stand up you’re more expressive, and this can be heard in your tone of voice.
Establishing a connection with your customer is vital for closing sales. Remember: people buy from people.
Building rapport by having engaging, appropriate and empathetic conversations will earn the attention of your customers. They will consider you to have valuable insight and to be trustworthy and reliable. Robotic voicemail or IVR systems are impersonal, can give poor first impressions, and can lead to customers feeling impatient.
Open calls with a professional but friendly greeting. Establish a connection by using the customer’s name intermittently throughout the conversation. This personal conversation makes people feel valued, liked and respected.
Positivity will create a much happier conversation. Answer enthusiastically with a can-do attitude and people will have more trust, loyalty and respect for your agent and more importantly your business.
Once the customer finds you trustworthy, you may then explore further into their interests and desires.
During the exploratory stage you can cover many different areas. These can include setting an agenda of what they will cover in the call, recap previous conversations, look at challenges, the positives of the product, negatives of the product, a timeline of when they want to purchase and any budget restraints.
It is also important for a seller to understand why the customer wants their product; is it for them, a family member, personal or work related? Having a deeper understanding of their motives will empower you with tools to better engage with your customers and tailor your advice on a product to suit their individual needs.
The final step is to advise.
Agents should now have a full understanding of your customer's needs and desires.
Advice from a seller is paramount in establishing the product knowledge relevant to your customers’ needs and also adding value to their purchasing journey. But it is important to remember that this stage is about empowering and educating your customer. A good seller will be able to present the product or service in a way that will allow the customer to imagine its realistic use, without feeling the pressure of a pushy sale.
Agents should also give advice on any supporting products, since not all customers will be knowledgeable in the area. At this stage customers are most likely to be looking for specialist knowledge that they are unable to find online, giving the seller a great opportunity to demonstrate the value and knowledge of your company.
Companies that can provide educational, inspirational and entertaining content through an easily accessible communication channel for their customers are becoming the frontrunners of consumer choice in the marketplace. There is increasing demand from consumers for great customer experience throughout the buying process, and an adoption of inbound marketing through attracting, engaging and delighting customers online is crucial to the survival of organisations.
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