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Why Have My Customers Stopped Calling?

By Bailey Renee

You’ve got a great product. Your marketing plan is prime. Your brand is easy to identify. You’ve got a great reputation and people need your services. So, why isn’t your business getting the calls it deserves these days?

In a technical world filled with so many different ways to communicate, research has shown that most people are now hesitant to contact businesses via phone. These days people prefer to make contact through indirect platforms, like social media or email. With this shift in communications you’d think that people preferred to talk to machines more than another person. Not true! In fact, most people can’t stand having to go through the motions of “speaking” with AI answering services. We are social creatures by nature and prefer the human experience.

Alright, so we know people want to talk with other people instead of machines. Yet, folks are intentionally straying away from using the most personable means to connect with your business in today’s technical world. The phone. With this in mind, you might now be thinking that your callers are trying to avoid someone. But, who are they trying to avoid? And, why?

Statistics show us that 51% of customers are likely to stop reaching out to a businesses once they experience bad customer service. So, where does this bad customer service come from? Chances are it all came from that first impression over the phone. And, we all know how important first impressions are.

After that bad customer experience from their first impression, more than half of those individuals are more likely to switch to a competitor. Yikes!!! More than half of those callers that received poor customer experience have already moved on. This is bad for your business. Not only could you lose a new client to a competitor, but many of those people still want to be heard after receiving the bad customer service. This often come out in rather passive aggressive ways. They're likely to start leaving negative reviews on your review pages or expressing their frustrations and dissatisfaction on social media platforms. This invites a lot of undesirable attention to your business. But, what can you do to fix this?

Consider this…

When receiving calls, those who answer the phones might not understand what it means to make a human connection. Right there, the conversation has just begun and there is already a disconnection between your business representative and the caller. This makes the conversation impersonal and undesirable. Understanding this is half the battle. 

In this article, we will review the other half of the battle. We will discuss the main reasons as to why human connection ends up lost in the conversation and why new or even existing clients stop calling your business. But, we'll do more than just tell you the why. We'll also help show you what you can do in order to gain back their calls and their trust.   

The Disconnect

Nothing tells the caller "you’re not special" more than sounding disconnected over the phone. This is a common affliction for those who answer calls regularly in any business and it’s easy for these folks to become flat and fed up with caller inquiries. The less the agent answering the phones shows genuine interest and concern, the more the caller feels insignificant or frustrated. It’s completely understandable. After all, would you really want to hold a discussion with someone who shows up to the conversation without anything to contribute? Of course not! You’d much rather save your breath for someone that wants to be present with you over the phone. Without the proper training and a healthy culture to support those who answer your calls, you’re bound to find yourself stuck with a case of the cold call center blues. For many businesses this is one of the biggest reasons why new or existing clients are lost to competitors.

A State of Customer Experience survey by Genesys found that 40% of customers wanted "better human service". I mean, what person doesn’t want to be treated more like a human being? And for humans, a little empathy goes a long way. If you want to be certain that your business provides the best possible customer experiences over the phones, it helps to have the right tools and tone to convey that message.

Helpful Hint: No matter who answers the phones for your business they should consistently be genuine and present in their conversations. Always pay close attention to the language used and display a sense of empathy when talking with callers. Remember the golden rule. Speak to your callers as you wish to be spoken to.   

"Hold Please"

Keeping a caller on hold or transferring calls repeatedly communicates a lack of interest to the caller. They start to feel helpless and even alienated. This often results in those negative outbursts on social media which, can damage your reputation. Many in-house receptionists feel burdened by the number of calls they are required to answer and often end up transferring calls, repeatedly. A bad practice for good business. If you’re experiencing a large influx of calls and you only have one person answering phones, it might be time to consider other options.

Partnering with a live receptionist agency who treats your business like it’s their own is an excellent solution to avoiding repeat call transfers, reducing on-hold duration, and enhancing effective communication. Eliminating repeated call transfers will increase customer satisfaction metrics and help you improve your brands image.  

Helpful Hint: Transfer calls only when you can’t fix the problem or answer the caller's inquiry yourself. Don’t keep the caller on hold for more than a minute. Most individuals begin to get restless after 30 seconds on hold. Always insure the caller that their call is important by keeping the communication flowing. 

Poor Training And Unsure Answers

Even the friendliest and most polite person on the phone can upset a caller if they’re always reaching for answers. This can happen because of a few factors, but more often than not it is due to a lack of quality training and resources. An agent answering phones should be prepared for most kinds of queries and problems a caller may ask for assistance with. Those that answer your business’ phone lines should understand proper etiquette and always have a contingency plan when they can’t resolve a situation on their own. Not knowing what to do or say when a caller presents a problem never assures the caller of your business’ competency. Think about it. Would you feel confident about someone who never seems to have the answers? Of course not!

Of all these reasons, seeming unsure about the business ranks as the highest offense concerning conversations over the phone. Properly trained agents answering calls can handle these situations, resolving the callers concerns quickly. Quality quick fixes keep people calling in.

Helpful Hint: Be sure that the person answering your business calls are confident in their speech even if they don’t have all of the answers themselves. Callers are bound to have questions that need a little research, but the worst move a representative can make is seeming unsure of themselves. Remember, if act like you belong there, even if you don't have all of the answers, callers will feel confident that they’ve contacted the right place.

To Keep Your Business Connected, Hire A Live Receptionist Team

As you can see, callers need very few reasons to feel frustrated with a business’ answering service. Perceived rudeness or coldness, unsure or poorly trained staff, and continuous transfers can all affect those satisfaction scores. You also run the serious risk of receiving negative reviews on several public platforms, if inquiries are not handled adequately over the phone. If your business can’t handle the calls, it’s time to get connected with a live receptionist agency who can handle them.   

At Abby Connect, our highly trained, live receptionists are here to help you create lasting relationships for your business. We will keep you and your clients connected so that you never miss another opportunity to grow your business again! As the leader in the industry for customer experience, Abby Connect is exactly what you need! Visit abbyconnect.com or call Abby Connect today for a FREE 14-day trial!

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