In 1876 Alexander Graham Bell uttered these famous words into a device of his invention, “Mr. Watson, come here. I want you.” While not the most compelling conversation, it will go down in history as the first every telephone call ever made. This ground-breaking invention would change human communication and connectivity forever.
Over the course of the next two centuries, the phone has experienced huge technological improvements. Today, most of us communicate on a device that fits into a pocket. In its infancy the phone was a luxury. As it evolved and the technology advanced, the phone became a vital part of our daily lives. Phone sales and phone customer service allowed businesses to humanize their organizations and really talk to people.
The advent of the phone allowed businesses to connect with customers near and far as well as assisting organizations to connecting with potential clients. As the internet and tech has expanded many businesses have begun to rely on automated electronic communication, while the phone; once a useful communication and sales tool, gathers dust. Emails, texting, and virtual bots have become the main point of contact with customers.
The Harvard Business Review highlights how powerful the phone can be; “calls are 10-15 times more likely to generate a successful sale or follow-up activity than digital form submissions, which means they are more efficient in generating revenue” (Johnson, 2017).
Johnson continues, “According to a study by Google, 61% of mobile users call a business when they’re in the purchase phase of the buying cycle. The majority of respondents would call instead of reach out online because they’re looking to get a quick answer (59%) or talk to a real person (57%).” When making a major decisions or purchase humans still want to connect with a ‘real’ person, Johnson states.
“Voice communication will need to become a business priority — particularly considering that nearly 90% of companies say they compete on the basis of customer experience. Businesses are missing out on potential revenue by burying phone numbers, making it impossible to speak to a human, or delivering a frustrating experience when consumers do connect” (Johnson, 2017).
Just a few years ago a survey connected by GetApp.com relieved how important humans on phones are to customers. (Blaszkiewicz. 2017)
• 88% of respondents want to talk to a person, whether that be over the phone (36.8%), or via web chat or email (12.7%); 29.6 percent are indifferent to the medium.
• 36.6% of respondents value talking to a person over anything else when it comes to customer service, while 21.1% of respondents value knowledgeable sales staff.
How can you make the phone a part of your sales process and make sales ring in your business? ActionCOACH, the largest and most successful business coaching organization in the world, offers a dynamic and engaging program called PhoneRICH. PhoneRICH teaches business owners and their staffs how to maximize opportunities using the phone as an inbound and outbound tool for sales success.
This robust program outlines and teaches practical techniques to improve customer service and sales outcome. The program covers getting and keeping the attention of callers, keeping interest throughout the call, sparking a desire for action, and taking actions to follow ups.
PhoneRICH also emphasizes the keys needed to have a successful interaction with customers and prospects via the phone.
• Active Listening
• Adding the ‘SMILE’ Factor
• Personalizing & Customizing Content
• Focus on Understanding
• Explain vs Lecture
• Asking Probing Questions
• Anticipating Needs
• Overcoming Objections
• Respecting Gatekeeper
• Exceeding Expectations
Additionally, PhoneRICH will ensure that you or your staff effectively employ the 5 C’s of communicating effectively on the phone.
1. Be clear
2. Be concise
3. Be curious and creative
4. Be correct and concrete
5. Be compassionate
The Harvard Business Review summarizes the importance of effective communication using the phone.
“Digital transformation efforts are incomplete unless they include voice communications. With mounting interest and innovation in voice-powered devices, the “conversation economy” is ripe for growth. Marketing and customer experience executives need to think about this fast-growing opportunity to ensure that their digital initiatives don’t leave revenue on the table” (Johnson, 2017).
For more information about ActionCOACH, visit actioncoach.com and connect with a Business Coach near you. We guarantee our results, and the first coaching session is on us.