A few weeks ago, I called a well know Irish company and had a disappointing experience. The agent was certainly helpful, polite and professional. Still, the experience left me feeling bland.
The call had began with the greeting “Good morning, welcome to ABC Limited. Please can I have your account number?”
They did not give me their name nor ask for mine. As a result, the agent came across as blunt, robotic and uncaring. Later I realised they possibly didn’t realise they came across this way. They probably handle up to a hundred calls each day and have to follow the script. Yet, it got me thinking and I asked myself.
How many people actually stop and think how their telephone greeting can set the tone for the rest of the conversation? Many will give a professional and polite welcome. Yet, do people actually consider the little things that are important on calls?
What happened to giving the customer your name at the beginning of the call? Also, what happened to asking the customer’s name, so you could build a little rapport?
Some people may argue that a name is not necessary on a quick call. In other instances, they may say customers aren’t bothered to get the agents name and may prefer not to give their own.
This may be the case some of the time. Yet time and time again, I see plenty of evidence to show people respond favourably when we use their name in conversation. It can make them feel special and valued as a customer.
From a call management point of view, using a person’s name in conversation helps you gain the other persons attention. They will also be more inclined to listen when they hear us call them by their name.
From a customer service perspective, giving the customer your name at the beginning of a conversation is seen as proactive and helps to build trust. It’s a way of saying I’m here to help you and I have nothing to hide.
More importantly, people need to remember we frequently operate and respond on a subliminal level. So, when we encounter a positive and personable experience, it gives us a warm and fussy feeling. It can change our mood and the entire experience for both parties.
I believe too many companies focus on the process, on finding the fastest way of doing things. Whereas, I firmly feel they need to keep their eyes on the prize – in this case it’s the customer.
My advice for any company is to concentrate on doing the little things to enhance the customer experience. It costs nothing but can help to improve the business. So, it’s a no brainer for me.