1. Channel your inner Mom and Pop
“How’s your son, Daniel? Is he still headed to Notre Dame in the fall?”
It helps to think of Mayberry when speaking to a customer on the phone. How would a receptionist or business owner in Mayberry greet a caller? It would be exceedingly friendly, and would probably involve a little small talk about the customer’s life and interests.
The Cheers theme song comes to mind: “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.”
It shouldn’t get deeply personal, but if the customer has mentioned it to you before, it’s nice to bring it up and show them that you remember your last conversation. Treat your callers like your business is a mom and pop store to better engage them and make them feel appreciated.
2. Don’t stop smiling
Did you know that smiling actually gives your voice a positive, friendly inflection? Studies have shown that callers notice when the speaker has a smile on their face and when they do not.
Keep a smile on your face when speaking to customers on the phone to set the tone for a positive, engaging interaction that they will want to repeat. It’s an example of something you can do to engage customers without getting salesy or implementing a major change.
3. Use active listening
We talk about active listening a lot because it’s that important. Listening to customers isn’t good enough–you have to listen carefully, paraphrase and repeat their points or concerns. Then, you should respond in an empathetic and understanding way.
Using active listening on the phone helps your callers feel heard and appreciated. It makes them more likely to engage with your business and become repeat customers. You can never go wrong giving too much attention and care to your customers!
4. Act natural
It takes time to develop real, lasting relationships with customers. If necessary, fight the urge to rush through and try to create a loyal customer right away. Take the time to listen to and get to know your customers. Ease into it like you would a (healthy) new relationship and you’ll engage your customer better in the long run.
Engaged customers have a reason to come back to your business or use your services again. They feel they’ve made a personal connection with your company and they’re one step closer to becoming a loyal customer and brand ambassador.
How do you work to engage customers on the phone?