Oops! Sales Bloopers Hidden in Your Phone Calls (& How to Fix Them)

One important way local businesses can measure online marketing results is through call tracking technology, which allows you to see where a phone call came from – whether it’s your website, search advertising, or a Facebook ad – and record the phone call so you can listen to it later.

We feel call recordings can be critical in improving how client-facing staff secure appointments by analyzing how they’re answering questions and closing deals. You can also use recorded calls to identify issues within your business and as a training tool for new employees.

Here are three common sales bloopers that may be lurking in your calls and how to fix them!

Blooper #1: Not Delivering a Good Customer Service Experience

First impressions matter. Whoever is answering the phone for your business is likely your prospect’s first real interaction with someone from your company, and you want to make sure they’re delivering a great first impression.

We’ve heard call recordings where employees seem distracted or uninformed. They rush customers off the phone, don’t try to understand the caller’s needs, or don’t seem to have the basic answers callers need to make a purchasing decision.

73% of consumers say a positive customer service experience can make them fall in love with a business. A great customer service experience includes knowledgeable, friendly employees who can provide relevant, accurate information as quickly as possible. So, make sure your employees are delivering on that every single time they answer the phone. And if they’re not, use your recorded calls as a training tool to explain what they should and shouldn’t do when they’re talking to customers or prospects.

A few tips for making a good first impression over the phone:

  • Every call should be answered in a timely, courteous, and helpful manner. Maybe you even streamline the way your employees answer the phone. For example: “Thanks for calling ReachLocal! This is Ross, how may I help you?” This gives your employees an easy prompt to remember and sets the tone for a positive customer experience.
  • Have your employees take note of the caller’s name and the reason for the call, and encourage them to be personable and build rapport with callers. No one likes talking to a robot!
  • Make sure your employees know who to direct callers to if they can’t fully assist the prospect. You want every caller to feel like they’ve received enough information to make a purchasing decision, and talking to the right people can help with that.

Blooper #2: Not Getting Key Contact Information

As mentioned above, it’s important for your employees to note the caller’s name and their reason for calling as a way to set the tone for a good customer service experience. But, it’s also important so you can log their contact information and follow up with them later. Your employees should shoot to get the name, phone number, and email address of every caller and keep track of it in a consistent place, whether that’s a lead management system or even a spreadsheet just for contacts.

This may seem straightforward, but we’ve heard plenty of calls where this doesn’t occur and causes the business to miss out on a revenue-impacting deal.

We understand that plenty of callers are hesitant about giving out this information, especially if they’re not ready to commit, so encourage your employees to get as much information as they can. We’ve found that the most important piece of contact information you can get from a prospect is an email address. You can then use a lead management system to follow up with them and keep your business top-of-mind until they’re ready to buy.

Blooper #3: Not Establishing Next Steps

Speaking of not being ready to commit, many first-time callers won’t call back on their own. If they don’t receive sufficient attention or help on that first call, they’ll likely move on.

With this in mind, the worst thing an employee can do is ask the lead to call back again later. We recommend always trying to determine the next time of contact.

Even 30 seconds is plenty of time for an agent to:

  1. Ask for someone’s name and number
  2. Log that information in a lead management system with a phone number and email address
  3. Indicate that a specialist will call them back tomorrow morning

We believe it’s important to do everything possible to avoid a situation where it’s the prospect’s responsibility to move forward with the transaction. Your team’s follow-up could include a phone call, email, or a tour or consultation (which, if the prospect skips, should be followed up with a phone call).

Analyzing your business’s sales calls can help you identify potential issues and can serve as a training opportunity for your employees. Go over proper call handling with your employees to ensure they understand the importance of every interaction they have with callers. And learn more about using call recording to improve your customer service here.

Ross Wingo

Ross is a Marketing Expert at ReachLocal. He works with businesses across various industries to convert digital traffic into actual sales. When he's not optimizing online marketing campaigns, he's likely listening to or reading Tim Ferriss, watching European soccer, or awkwardly attempting Crow pose in a yoga class.

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