When your messages are free from ambiguity and are easy to understand by your customers and partners, it means one thing: You are communicating clearly. In any business relationship, improving the clarity of your messages will increase your brand’s credibility, it will make your message more convincing, and make action more likely.
Clear communication matters a lot in the call center industry. Contact center agents are the initial point of contact for many customers and prospects. Therefore, they will likely be the very first impression that many prospects get from your brand. On top of that, communication clarity is crucial to Contact centers for many other reasons, including:
- It allows your agents to solve customer’s inquiries more effectively and direct them to the right person when needed
- It increases your conversion rates by giving a realistic picture on what to expect from the solutions your business provides
- Clear communication places your agents and customers on the same page, which is an ideal setting to make sales
- It establishes trust by showing transparency and honesty, which are essential values if you want to have a loyal customer base
In order to improve your sales and provide the best customer support possible, your agents need to practice and develop several skills. Implementing and testing several different strategies is also very effective when it comes to improving your communications.
In this article you will learn 8 tips that will help your contact center agents improve their communication clarity with customers. Make sure to balance each strategy according to your specific business needs.
How to Improve Communication Clarity (8 Tips)
1. Have a Background About your Customers
You always need to consider the audience you’re addressing. In order to persuade someone to do something, like buying a product, you need to have some background about them. When communicating, your team needs to have information about the prospect’s cultural background, preferences, educational level, location if required, or at the very least: first and last name.
On the other hand, if your agents have to deal with a lot of industry-specific jargon, you need to have them explain further in plain English to make all ideas clearer. In any case it’s better to avoid complicated terms as much as possible, unless they’re strictly necessary.
For example, imagine you hired a non-native english-speaking Customer Service agent for technical issues. If you don’t familiarize this person with the specific jargon, they might have a very hard time pronouncing some words, or understanding what customers are saying. This is something that should be considered upon hiring your agents, but can also be improved during onboarding.
In order to get that background you may consider building your customer database with as much relevant information about your customers as possible, this can be done by:
- Partnering with lead generation companies
- Making a website in which people can subscribe and interact as a community
- Gathering data through Social Media
- Researching public listings such as zillow, yelp, etc.
2. Encourage Team’s Dialogue and Support
Encourage your team to seek advice among each other when presented with new questions, to ask insights and ideas from your best performers and help each other. This will help them understand their tasks in a practical way and solve calls without having to wait for a supervisor. Make sure that they understand this is something they can do to help each other, and not to chit-chat at work
Additionally, Promote skills such as empathic listening, and professional phone etiquette in order to help them improve message clarity, and consequently the conversion rates.
3. Ensure Clarity While Using Technology and Tools
There’s plenty of awesome tools that businesses can use today in order to improve their communications. Whether it is a cloud phone system for small business, CRM Software, team collaboration and communication tools, Marketing Automation, etc. there’s plenty of great tools out there.[Text Wrapping Break][Text Wrapping Break]You need to make strategic use of both hardware and software innovations that are relevant to your niche. Analysing the data offered by these options can help you build better communication channels and understand your customers with less effort and cost.
4. Communicate with Meaning
When you deliver a sales pitch you can’t just read out loud and expect the sale to happen. You need to create a conversation that leads to building a relationship. As mentioned before, your phone agents will make the very first impression for many customers, that’s why it’s so important that they follow standards.
In order to make your agent’s communications impactful they need to offer valuable and meaningful information. Explain how you can solve a specific problem, tell them what to expect from your phone call, inform your prospect about the reason for your call, show them you did your research and you already have some information upfront.
In other words, use every phrase with a clear purpose, for example by saying:
- “The reason for my call is that…”
- “We noticed that you added a product to your cart, but didn’t finish the process, are you still looking for this product?”,
- “Allow me 2 minutes to explain my offer and why it can help you with your specific problem”
- “I would like to set an appointment with you so we can talk face to face. That way you’ll see we’re a trustworthy business and we’ll give you an estimate of our solution to your problem, at no cost to you”
5. Focus on Building Relationships
A great Sales Team focuses on building a relationship with their customers. At the same time, customers like to have quick and effective responses to their inquiries. They want to feel listened, appreciated and satisfied, and it’s your agent’s job to make that happen.
Agents need to show they are real people doing real business, have them introduce themselves and react emotionally to what customers express. Include your agent’s contact hours in the script if applicable and provide your sales closers with a specific extension, where customers can reach them directly. Also, inform customers about other ways of communicating with the company.
6. Seek Regular Input
Communication clarity also happens when your agents consistently seek input from customers. Add quick surveys at the end of each call, so that customers can respond and send their valuable feedback. Ask them explicitly what they thought about your attention or your solution, and be grateful when answering.
Look for alternative ways to ask for their opinion, like including polls and gathering their suggestions. This input will help you improve future communications while it gives your audience a voice.
7. Enthusiasm and Upbeat Tone
In the sales world a key aspect of effective communication with customers is showing enthusiasm. When you are motivated and passionate about something yourself, you become charismatic and people naturally react to it. The charisma of a sales agent harmonizes how the customer feels about your business making them more likely to buy a product from you.
If you teach your agents to be more empathic, they’ll be more likely to keep a prospect engaged, make them understand and respond effectively. Whereas a person who sounds robotic, too stiff or sad may be unable to develop interest in the recipient, leading probably to a “not interested” answer.
You can do this by implementing active pauses in which they do some muscle stretching, drink some water, make some jokes, have a game, etc. to set them in the right go-getter mentality.
8. Keep Your Message’s Focus
It may take some time and experience, but ideally your agents should be able to balance between establishing a natural conversation but keeping it scripted and within the frame of your business topics.
It might be easy to get out of context if they suddenly start talking about the weather, but at the same time this could be a good ice-breaker topic.
Every phone call has to be coherent from start to end, it must address a specific goal, follow a structure, lead to an action, use a language similar to that of your audience, be measurable and clearly explain what the purpose is.
Allow them a few seconds of conversation, but have some key phrases or questions ready for them to say in order to get back talking about business. Some examples are:
Let me just recap what we’re talking about…
- I could talk about this topic for hours, but let me just go back to a question that I had…
- I’m very happy that you shared your thoughts with me, now I’d like to give you my point of view and then I’d like to ask you about… (Say something brief but kind and move on)
- Everything you’ve told me so far has been incredibly insightful, I’d like to summarize a few points and then we can move forward to talk about…
As you can see improving communication clarity is easy and can boost your sales and productivity to a great extent. If you are looking to improve call center efficiency, communication clarity is one go-to solution that you can start improving without any investments.
A good understanding of your customer’s concerns means you can offer the exact solution they’re looking for. And you get this information by collecting feedback. Use this feedback as a way to build a relationship and teach your agents the necessary skills to nurture those relationships.
This is an often overlooked way to boost your sales and productivity, so now you’re one step ahead of your competitors. Try the tips outlined here and you’ll see the results very soon.