‘NO, I JUST WANT PRICING’ – On importance of educating potential clients
Hiring a contact center means putting your current revenue stream and the ability to generate new revenue into the hands of complete strangers. Therefore, the importance of educating potential clients about answering service practices and capabilities is what makes our service shine above competitors.
Unfortunately, not all potential clients are interested in learning before they buy. In my experience, this shortcoming always leaves the buyer with unreasonable expectations and often substandard service. It is our job to steer them toward the realization that there are unknowns that must be addressed. We don’t just magically capture phone line to answer on their behalf, nor can we “just know” how they want their messages or calls routed. This determines the prices of our services and defines if we are a good fit for the customer experience the clients offer.
For example, I received a call from one of our contact center agents over the weekend. They had someone on the line inquiring about our service. Before our agent transferred the caller she informed me that she was unable to gather any contact information from the caller, and that the caller berated her for even requesting the information. Frankly, I was a little surprised.
Upon being connected, I politely introduced myself and asked with whom I was speaking. The caller replied, “I’d rather not say” and went on to say that they need an answering service and want to know what it will cost to use ours. I asked if they had ever used an answering service. In reply I got, “No, I just want pricing”. I said, “Okay, what would we be doing for you and your callers?” Another sharp reply, “Answering the phone”. I said, “Okay, how will you be sending your calls to us?” A brief silence… “What do you mean how do I send you the calls? Don’t you just take them over at a certain time? Why can’t you just tell me the price?”
An inauspicious start for certain, however, we’ve all been a little reticent when it comes to being “sold” on something.
I smiled and said “I apologize for any confusion, it’s just that, you called us at noon on a Sunday. I answered because you took time out of your weekend to call, so I felt it was important enough to you, that I should take time out of mine to assist. I have not offered you pricing because if you do not know how to forward your calls, and you can not tell me what you need us to do for you, then I can neither determine if our service would fit any of your needs nor estimate how much it would cost. If we figure those things out together, I’m certain we will quickly determine whether a call center would be helpful, not harmful, to your business and then cost will certainly matter, and we can apply it to the solution.”
This is what we strive for with every new inquiry, even if they don’t choose AnswerFirst. Educating potential partners about service options that meet their desired end result, and how those options relate to billing, is the key to our success. We always endeavor to educate and engage interested parties about our service, regardless of whether they’ll actually buy service from us; because excellent customer service should be afforded to every person who contacts our business and not just to those with whom we already do business.
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