First time customer calls can be intimidating. You are hopping on a zoom and trying to convince someone else that there’s a better way to do things. I've done over a 1000 customer calls in the last 4 years. I learned the hard way about the big no nos in customer calls.
Here are 9 things I wouldn’t do in a customer call:
- Interrupting a customer when they are talking about their problems. When a customer is sharing their problem with you, it's a gift. Let them do the talking, don't interrupt. Listen and understand their problem and ask follow up questions.
- Talking about your or your company's story when it's an inbound customer call. Your customer knows exactly why they are talking to you i.e. to solve a specific problem. They don't care about your story. Help them solve that problem.
- Asking closed questions. Asking closed questions like "Do you …." to get to a "yes" is like cheating yourself out of a good opportunity. As the range of answers are short, you are also going to learn fewer things. Ask open questions that start with What/Why/How. Here’s an example: "What are you doing to solve this problem today?”. Asking open questions makes it a more interesting conversation.
- Bad mouthing a competitor. Bad mouthing a competitor will only make you look insecure and unprofessional. If a customer brings up a competitor, don't say anything derogatory. Focus on your own company and product.
- Not having a clear goal for the call. Start every call with a clear purpose. Whether it's to understand the customer's problem better, to sell them a product, or to get feedback on your product, every call should have a clear goal.
- Not talking about the next steps. Once you have accomplished your goal for the call, don't just say "thank you for your time" and hang up. Talk about the next steps. If you're going to follow up with the customer, let them know. If you're going to send them more information, let them know. If you're going to put them in touch with someone else, let them know. The next steps are just as important as the goal.
- Not having a plan for the call. The best way to not accomplish your goal is to not have a plan for the call. Before you make the call, take a few minutes to think about what you want to achieve and how you're going to do it. Having a plan will help you stay focused and on track.
- Not taking notes. One of the best ways to show that you're listening and interested in what the customer has to say is to take notes. Not only will it help you remember what was said, but it will also show the customer that you're taking their problem seriously.
- Not following up. After the call, make sure to follow up with the customer. If you said you were going to send them more information, do it.
This is not an exhaustive list. What are some other big no nos? What else should I add to my list?