Archive for June, 2011

Connecting with Interest

When you answer the phone for your company, make an extra effort to Connect with Interest.

Because the caller can’t see you, it’s even more important to convey the cues to them that you are glad they called, and are ready to help them.

Answer with a question mark at the end of your greeting…you voice going up slightly at the end…inviting the caller to say the next thing. You can do that whether you say “Hello?”, “How may I help you?”, or answer with your name, as in “This is Chester?” Later on we’re going to get into how to choose what you say when you answer the phone. Just remember that you want to invite the caller to participate with you in the conversation. Make them feel welcome.


Is it the wait they hate?

Waiting is an inevitable fact of life. Online, in line, and on the phone, waiting would appear to be despised by all customers. So your goal should be to remove the wait, right?

Not so fast.

New research from Ryan W. Buell and Michael I. Norton at the Harvard Business Review shows that customers who wait actually report a better overall experience when they see progress in their wait.

In one experiment, the majority of people preferred a slower experience when they could see the work being done on their behalf!

Twitter is full of people complaining about being On-Hold with companies:

Sedric_RT: been on hold for 40 mins!!!

priteshpatel9: And on top of that…..on hold for 14 mins and counting.

SimmiSweet: Omg how long are u gonna keep me on hold ??

Tsgjd@lafinguy it can always be worse. They should have a status page somewhere so we no not to bother to call and wait on hold.

harmonyjoyyy: *music stops* Thank you for holding. I know it sounds like someone is about to pick up, but nope. You’re still on hold. *music continues*

So what if you focused on crafting a better caller experience? Not saying you shouldn’t evaluate why people are being put On-Hold. It’s just that there is no way to handle every call all the time, with no transfers, or no wait time.

So rather than aiming for the unrealistic goal of eliminating On-Hold time, implement a two-pronged approach:

1. Evaluate why people are On-Hold, and determine if you can lower that by reviewing your business processes, and empowering your front-line people.

2. Create an experience for those people that DO have to be On-Hold, that informs them of your progress, and shows them some of the work going on behind the scenes.

In the end, you may well have happier customers. And customers that are more likely to recommend your company to their friends!