When talking to customers, it’s vital to actively listen. It may also be important to take notes of what was discussed or promised. But taking notes during the call can prevent you from actively listening.
In addition, sometimes it’s difficult to make out what a customer is saying. They’re in a noisy environment, talking quickly, or speaking in a heavy accent. You can, and should, ask for clarification when needed. But having a record of the call, portions of which you can play back multiple times if necessary, provides some insurance that you won’t miss something critical.
You can also take notes during playback to ensure you didn’t forget anything — whether the recording is of a restaurant customer’s to-go order or a discussion about a customer’s insurance policy claim. Plus, during the call, you can be fully present with customers. This helps ensure they feel they’re truly being “heard” — a big part of providing a great customer experience, which can translate into increased revenues.
By recording some calls, you can hear how your team members are dealing with customers. It’s a fantastic opportunity for managers to help teams improve their communication skills with customers, and to provide tips on how to sell more effectively or how to offer better customer service and support. Anyone in your organization, from receptionists to top sales people, can benefit from the kind of granular coaching and feedback managers can provide as a result of monitoring call recordings.
Call recordings help your marketing team better understand your company’s customer, or “buyer,” personas.
A buyer persona is a fictionalized representation of your typical and/or target customers, such as “Mid-20s Urban Professional,” complete with specific characteristics. You can learn more about buyer personas from, where else?, the Buyer Persona Institute.
By listening to customer calls, your marketing team members will learn how well — or poorly — the buyer personas they’ve developed measure up to your actual customers. Having a realistic understanding of buyer personas can, in turn, make your marketing efforts much more effective and impactful — another way to drive revenues.
By sharing call recordings with specific team members in product management or R&D, you can help them better understand how customers are using your product, what they like about it, and what could be better. All of this is invaluable, and free, information that can be translated into products and services that more effectively meets customer expectations and boost revenues.
In some cases, maintaining a database of recorded calls can help your business comply with legal, industry, and service-level compliance guidelines.
Recorded calls can help you resolve disputes or defend against litigation from unhappy customers, too. And in some cases, a voice recording can serve as a verbal contract.
In this sense, call recordings can help your company save money as well as legal headaches — which is especially important for small businesses. According to a 2014 report on the costs of federal regulation compliance, businesses with fewer than 20 employees pay an average of nearly $11,000 per employee in regulatory costs vs. $7,755 per employee for companies with 500 or more employees.
It’s often said that it costs five-to-seven times more to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones. (Check out this infographic for more details on “the fastest way to lose customers.”)
To keep customers, you need to provide excellent customer service (among other things). Think of it this way: Your customer goes to some trouble to contact you. Maybe they had to look up your phone number, and then they were placed on hold. By listening closely to call recordings, you and your team can better understand customers’ pain points — and how to avoid or at least minimize them in the future.
Customers who call your company will sometimes talk positively about their experience using your product or service — why they chose it, how it’s helped them, and so on. With the customer’s permission, you may be able to translate the content of such calls into a great “customer success story” for your marketing or advertising campaigns.
By maintaining a database of call recordings, you can compare how your team communicates with customers today vs. how you communicated with them, say, six months ago. The differences can show where you’ve improved and where you still need work as well as how your business is growing in the right direction — which can be extremely motivating.
If you’re a solo proprietor or small business, it may be necessary to bring someone in from time to time to handle customer calls. Maybe you want to completely disconnect from business while on vacation. Or you’re too busy with work to handle customer calls effectively. Even big businesses need to add more contact center agents at times.
Sharing call recordings with new or temp workers helps bring them up to speed fast on your customers’ needs and frequently asked questions and how to handle them.