In the world of consumer services, customers typically search for your services online, calling the first option Yelp provides. Research shows that 66% of callers won’t wait for more than 2 minutes on hold. So if you’re not answering every call immediately, prospective customers will hang up and call the following number on their list.
Answering the phone isn’t your main line of business. However, it is often your main source of business, and when you miss a call, you’re missing out on potential revenue.
Innovative consumer services companies can introduce customer-led voice assistants to automate phone interactions, increasing the conversion of casual inquiries into paying customers.
1. Answer every call, immediately
When your customers encounter issues at home, the phone is their go-to for quick contact. They prefer the instant connection and peace of mind from talking to someone who can help right then and there. However, answering every call instantly isn’t always possible.
Innovative consumer services companies are turning to voice assistants to answer every call immediately, providing the same level of care and effectiveness as your best Customer Service Representative (CSR). That includes scheduling and rescheduling callouts and processing payments over the phone. So your customers won’t feel stranded when they need your help the most.
2. Handling overflow & out-of-hours
Being available to your customers outside operating hours or during busy periods can set you apart from the competition and make all the difference in attracting new business.
You can’t always be on call 24/7, and you only have a limited number of CSRs to answer the phone. But letting the phone ring out or expecting prospective customers to leave a message might push them to take their business elsewhere.
Leveraging a voice assistant enables you to answer calls 24/7 to directly schedule service callouts or capture essential information that can be relayed to your CSRs, allowing them to handle the call-back process more efficiently and quickly get callers to a solution.
Every call is important, but some customers need your services more urgently than others. For instance, a customer who needs their lawn cut before a big party tomorrow should be prioritized, or they will likely seek assistance elsewhere. And a customer due for a routine boiler service is less urgent than a customer frantically calling with a boiler that has broken down in the middle of winter.
To create a high-converting customer experience, a voice assistant must quickly understand the urgency of each call and deliver the right answer promptly.
When customers inevitably ask, “When will this be done?” or “Can you do it faster?” it’s important to provide an estimate proactively but be clear when exact timelines can’t be promised.
Understanding the urgency of each call means you can prioritize and speed up processes so time-sensitive requests don’t slip through the cracks.
When the voice assistant identifies an urgent call, it can work seamlessly with your CSRs to hand off the key information gathered during the call, including the caller’s name, contact number, and reason for calling.
4. Create a personable experience
When prospective customers reach out, they expect a welcoming and personalized experience – just like they’d get from a friendly local business. Your aim is to engage your customers and build trust from the first “hello.”
For that personal touch, the voice they hear must sound authentic. It shouldn’t come across as a robotic monotone system but as a friendly, understanding team member ready to help with the customer’s problem.
Enthusiasm and excitement might be fitting when discussing a new swimming pool installation, while a more empathetic and caring tone is more appropriate for a caller experiencing a pest infestation.
Remember, the initial greeting sets the tone, and the conversation needs to feel natural to empower and engage your callers. If the voice is distracting or doesn’t give them the confidence they are getting a high-quality service, they will likely hang up and continue their search elsewhere.
5. Show you understand
Like any regular conversation, people express their concerns differently, especially when it comes to problems that aren’t their area of expertise. While one customer might say, “It’s making a clunking sound,” another might say, “There’s something wrong with my boiler.”
To ensure a quick resolution, a voice assistant may need to extract more details from the caller. The key is to ask clarifying questions. For example, responding, “Sure, what exactly seems to be the problem with your boiler?” can make a real impact.
This approach reassures the customers that their issue is understood, even if their explanation is unusual or unexpected, and helps the voice assistant collect the necessary information to pass on to your CSRs.
6. Freeing up your team to build lasting relationships
Managing repetitive calls isn’t the best use of your team’s time. By utilizing a voice assistant to handle routine calls and tasks such as scheduling and taking payments, your team can redirect their efforts toward delivering a personalized service and nurturing customer connections. That way, your company is top of their minds whenever they require your services.
Innovative consumer services companies can overcome their contact center challenges by investing in customer-led voice assistants. Instead of missing calls due to seasonality, staffing shortages, or after-hours inquiries, your company can capitalize on every revenue-generating opportunity while improving CSR retention, speeding up processes, and delivering a positive experience for every customer.