Is Ditching Phone Customer Support a Smart Decision?

There’s an old saying – “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” – that sometimes rings all too true for customer support teams. When prioritizing support inquiries, there’s a hierarchy of channels. Email sits at the bottom, with response times ranging into hours or even days. Chat is somewhere in the middle, with customers expecting a response in a few minutes. Phone support sits at the very top. It’s common for customers to call in and expect to speak with a real person right away. If they’re left on hold, it’s a frustrating experience that contributes to driving customers away from a business.

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Why Kindness Matters in Customer Conversations

Sometimes in business, attitude is more important than any service or product. Approaching conversations with the right perspective for the situation can completely change the expectations of all parties involved. One person can increase the morale of a room, turning doubt into hope by providing a positive outlook on a situation.

When it comes to customer conversations, kindness is one of the most important tools to have at your disposal. Let’s look at why kindness matters in customer conversations and the impact it can have…

It’s able to make a customer’s day – Sometimes reading the true thoughts or feelings of a customer can be difficult. In a professional setting, it’s often encouraged to “hide” any personal or professional problems that you may have faced earlier in the day. That’s why, when speaking with a customer, kindness can truly make their day. Maybe they just got a flat tire driving to work and instead of being angry that they cancelled your meeting, you can happily reply by telling them it’s no big deal and you look forward to speaking with them. These moments of kindness and customer empathy can go a long way when someone has had a bad day and are experiences that stick with some customers for a long time.

Kindness leads to new upselling opportunities – We often mimic the behavior of others whether we know it or not. When an employee is consistently kind to a customer whenever they speak, there’s a good chance the customer in time will also adopt the kind tone. What’s the benefit of having a mutually kind conversation? With this conversational tone, it creates a comfortable discussion environment that opens doors to new opportunities. Instead of an employee exclaiming “we don’t offer that in this price tier”, they can politely say “we have that solution, along with much more, in this package and we’re willing to talk through the pricing so it works for you”. Being kind while upselling is essential to customer conversations.

It’s a value add that doesn’t have a fiscal cost – The saying “kindness doesn’t cost a thing” still holds true to this day. Yet so many businesses fail to leverage kindness as a value add for their business. It’s time to shift the kind and positive nature of your customer-facing teams into a point of emphasis for the sales team. Talk about how kindness is persistent throughout your organization, and then take it a step further. Encourage prospective customers to interact with your support team and experience the kindness for themselves. With the amount of customer interactions dwindling because of automation, the great interactions stand out even more.

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Kindness makes customers more likely to reach out with a problem – We all try to avoid negative interactions and negative experiences as much as we can. By selling the kindness of your support team and encouraging customers to contact them, you’re removing the hesitancy of encountering a negative experience with your business. When a customer knows that they won’t be insulted or scolded for making a mistake with your company, they’ll be more likely to contact you when something goes wrong. This is huge in the B2B (business-to-business) world where customers matter much more to the bottom line of a business.

 

To summarize, kindness matter in customer conversations because it’s an affordable, effective way to keep customers happy. By setting the tone with kindness, you’ll encourage future conversations and open the door to potential business opportunities that may not exist without it.

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