Catalyst

Get personal with your customers

Ankit Jain | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on November 19, 2015

The personal touch: Ignore phone calls at your own peril APATSARA/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

When they are complaining, there’s nothing they find more annoying than talking to an automated voice at the other end of the phone



Customers are often seen connecting well to businesses that offer a human touch to its customer relation services such as phone calls, compared to text-based versions such as email and chat.

However, the popularity of phone calls has received a setback, as it is considered to be adding to the company’s cost and is also considered unmanageable. Yet, I have always felt that calls are a synchronous form of communication and give their users an edge over others in terms of understanding the customer’s grief better and resolving things much faster.

Just do it!

To give a better perspective, when I see more than two threads in a mail chain, I just get on a quick call with the customer. This not only reassures the customers but also ensures swift resolution for their grievances. I cannot imagine myself or anyone responding to 5-10-mail-long thread with another mail. I always ask my team to pick up calls and resolve problems immediately.

This decreases the resolution time and boosts customer satisfaction.

To build strong customer relationships, consumers need to connect with you and you need to connect with them. The easiest way to do this is on the phone. 

Businesses started looking at phone calls as an unorganised mode of communication in the absence of a proper call management system, despite their being full of advantages. However, the perspective is slowly changing with the growing acceptance and reputation of cloud telephony and managing call communication systems.

It is now similar to managing chats and emails with amazing ticket platforms such as Freshdesk, Zoho or chats with Zopim and Olark, which are mostly seen to be easily managed and analysed.

The feel-good factor

In addition to that the businesses can also make their customer feel important by introducing phone call services to their company and further, by being more personal in your interactions with them. The personal call services can be further enhanced with the sticky agent feature in the calling system, which directs a customer to the same service agent, each time he or she calls. This way the customers feel more important and consequently respond with greater loyalty.

This is when the foundation for building a great relationship is laid. Talking about customer relationship, the personalised communication set-up can be further enhanced with CRM software to the call management system. It’s a lot easier to meet customer requirements when you have all their details, including call records, available in one place.

Small and medium businesses and start-ups today must understand the significance of managing calls for their businesses, and recognise that the necessity is not just limited to call centres or BPOs. They must know how small businesses and entrepreneurs track customer calls missed by their employees because these missed calls directly increase sales pipeline leakage and lower customer retention.

Additionally there are some basic insights business owners look for, like whether their teams are making enough sales call or if support teams are picking all customer calls.

Phones are primarily designed for individual communication, but when we see a business with lot of individuals with a separate phone number for each, I believe that it needs something more than a regular phone. You may want to talk to a specific person or department and that should definitely not imply a customer looking for the phone numbers of those numerous employees. Though PBX has been a long-time solution now in the mobile market people need something more advanced and mobile. Cloud-based call management system is an upcoming and an unmatched solution to counter the situation. The biggest advantage in call-based communication is the voice system, which is a more human way of communication. Voice, unlike text, retains the emotion with which it was said. Running a business in India, I have learnt that how a matter is presented is more important that what is being presented. E-mails cannot build similar connect between companies and consumers as calls can. People buy products and services based on emotions and businesses make deal on the basis of trust and this is where emails and chats cannot compete with the power of call. So next time when a business thinks about easy ways to retain customers, they should think about more personalised human engagement of customers and avoid missed calls.

Ankit Jain is CEO & Co-Founder, MyOperator

Published on November 19, 2015
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