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Today’s world revolves around effective communication. Despite the digital age we inhabit, speaking on the telephone to customers, stakeholders, and clients remains one of the most effective ways of adding value to, growing, and protecting your business.

Here are my top three reasons why the telephone is still relevant, and how you can make sure you’re getting the most out of yours!

Maximise Orders With Your Silent Sales Team

When you’ve got someone on the end of the telephone looking to buy, it’s the perfect opportunity for your team to upsell. Like all of us, your customers have an overflowing To Do List, so if you can give them what they need in one fell swoop, they’ll probably bite your hand off.

Problem is, if you don’t tell them about how you can help them, they’ll go elsewhere. Your sales team need to know how to speak to customers, ask relevant questions, and then quickly connect the dots to make them an offer they can’t refuse.

Not only that, but favouring a reactive approach over a proactive one can limit the potential of your business.  If you’ve ever sold anything to anyone, there’s more than likely a whole database of information ready to be put to good use.

Get in touch with customers that haven’t ordered in a while and remind them you’re still around, waiting to help them out. If your employees can make that customer feel special and communicate a solution to their problem, you’re almost guaranteed to see them buying from you time and time again!

Build Trust, Make Money

Every organisation has some sort of accounts department, or at least one employee responsible for collecting monies owed. Communicating effectively with customers at this stage is absolutely vital to avoiding misunderstandings and sustaining positive business relationships.

How you speak to people about money can be make or break, especially in competitive markets where customers can vote with their feet following unsatisfactory communication. Employees need thorough and regular training on the way that they approach clients, especially when talking about money. This includes saying the right thing at the right time!

Finance and Accounts teams can avoid sticky situations by asking open-ended questions that get customers talking, identifying ways of solving problems, gaining commitment from customers, and (above all) providing a great level of service no matter how old the debt. Customers judge you based on how well you treat them when they need your support the most, so be friendly, open and consistent in your communications with them and you’re more likely to achieve the desired result.

First Impressions Count (And Second…And Third!)

Most likely, interactions with your internal telephone team is the first real-time communication a customer will have with your business.

Whether that comes in the form of making an appointment, finding out more information about an account, promoting products or services, or reaching out for repeat business — the telephone should be the first tool in your sales teams armory.

Really take some time to look at how effective your company is at using the phone. Is it being used at all? Are your employees confident in using it?  Is it being shunned in favour or e-mail communications?

Most importantly: Is it working for your business?Your phones are powerful and consistency in using them is the key to improving interactions between your business and customers. That consistency begins with training, coaching, and regular feedback either from internal sources (such as line managers)  or external trainers.

Audrey Bodman is a Telephone Training Specialist at Outshine Telephone Training & Resources Ltd www.telephonetraininguk.co.uk. She delivers telephone training to sales and customer service teams that create positive, long-lasting results. For more information on getting training for your business, contact her on: 0785 5213591.