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10 Phone Call Cardinal Sins. How to Effectively Lose the Customer?

10 Phone Call Cardinal Sins. How to Effectively Lose the Customer?

Sergey Butko
Sergey Butko
February 29, 2016

During a phone call, you can gain or lose a client. Regardless of whether you answer the phone in the office or the store, you should focus on providing high-quality customer service.


Customers often prefer phone contact with the company, and this preference will not change soon. Accordingly, instead of avoiding this form of contact, try to be a world champion of telephone conversations. Maintain a good model, and avoid bad practices that can ruin your business.


You should avoid the following sins of telephone conversations with clients:


1. No greeting.


Nothing is worse for the client than talking with a consultant who is unprofessional. Rude behavior adversely affects the company’s image. To make a good first impression, always start by saying, "Hello," which is a universal, neutral, and always appropriate form of greeting.


2. Twisting the name.


When people twist our first or last name, we feel insulted. Do not let your customers feel that way. Traders and people involved in customer service should be particularly careful about the correct pronunciation of customer names so as not to to offend them needlessly.


Before you call the client, if possible, read aloud that individual's personal data. Doing this will ensure that speech is not a problem.


3. Speaking indistinctly or too quietly.


Whispering catches a customer's attention. By providing key information indistinctly or very quietly, you guarantee customer interest. If a customer misunderstands, though, e.g., price information or product characteristics, problems will certainly occur later.


The correct pronunciation is very important. The seller should always speak clearly and be understandable. Foul language or incomprehensible jargon is unacceptable. When talking on the phone, you should always use a proper tone to ensure error-free communication.


4. Speaking with a bored voice.


On the phone, you often know whether or not the caller is smiling. Customers do need attention and commitment by staff. Lack of conviction and enthusiasm in the seller's voice does not encourage customers to buy.


The customer will instantly sense the caller's pessimistic attitude, which is why you should try to create a positive atmosphere during a call to make the client feel good. You want the call to end with the customer's purchasing decision.


5. Ignoring the interlocutor.


Nobody likes to be underestimated. Do not give the interlocutor the impression that you are not listening to that person. Confirm what the customer says by using short statements, such as "yes," "well," "understand," and "of course."


6. Being unprepared.


People who use a telephone at work should always be prepared to talk! It is unacceptable for the employee to be unable to answer basic questions, such as the availability of products, location of the business office, or office hours.


7. Unaudited client needs.


Traders often make a very common mistake. When the seller is unable to engage the customer in conversation, it will be difficult to meet that person's needs.


You have to ask the right questions to be effective. Doing so allows you to understand the client’s preferences better and adjust the product to expectations.


8. Questions without justification.


While asking customers numerous questions, ensure their comfort. Nobody likes to be questioned and feel "under attack." It is worthwhile to add justification, such as "I am asking because I want  to match our offer to your expectations better."


9. Negative references.


While talking with a customer, you should pay attention to proper expression. Avoid negative references, especially the following:


No – Short, simple negation that the client regards as bad will on the part of the caller.

I do not know - The customer calls to find out some information. If you do not know something right away, be sure to check and call back later.

Unfortunately - This word portends failure to meet customer expectations. Under no circumstances should you use it.

It is not my responsibility - For the customer who needs help, this expression has no meaning. The customer expects an immediate solution to the problem, so connect the caller with someone who can provide an answer.

It's not my fault - It is certainly not the client's fault either. You should propose a solution that will solve the problem. Even if you cannot do it directly, offer an alternative. Do not let the customer go to the competition.

You misunderstood me – By saying this to a client, you imply that the client is stupid. Try to explain the situation without offensive language. We have a problem. This is a signal that something is wrong, and the client does not want problems. The best solution is to explain the situation and explain the possibilities for action.


10. Indiscretion.


Under no circumstances should you comment negatively before ending the call. A moment of inattention can cost you dearly. Remember to always end the call before commenting on anything that was said before and keep all unsympathetic comments to yourself.


If you commit these errors, you will likely lose many customers. By taking proper care, you can build friendly relationships with customers, gain their sympathy, and increase sales. The choice seems simple, right?


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