Customer Conversations, Infographics

3 Simple ways for SMBs to improve customer conversations for improving sales and customer relation

3 Simple ways for SMBs to improve customer conversations for improving sales and customer relations

Are the sales of your business decelerating? Is your business’ customer retention poor? Are your customers often complaining? Do you face many difficulties in building new and maintaining existing customer relations? Are your customer conversations ineffective?

Well, if you are a Small or Medium Business (SMB), then this is the perfect guide for you to address any and all of the above challenges that your business might be facing. 

At the outset, it is very important for an SMB to first analyze the root cause of all the aforementioned problems. The best thing to do here is to apply the “80/20 Rule” also known as the Pareto Principle”, named after its founder, the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. This principle essentially states that 80% of results are attributable to 20% of the causes. 

As Scott McGohan, CEO at McGohan Brabender has very rightly put – “Every company’s biggest problem is communication”. 

Hence, if SMBs are able to fix the issue of communications, rather enhance the level and experience of customer conversations, 80% of their problems could be solved easily.

Hence, in congruence to the above, given below is a list of 3 extremely simple and practical ways in which SMBs can improve their customer conversations: 

1. Effectively record all client calls and meetings using AI tools: It is very important for any business to document each and everything discussed with a client in a meeting or on a phone call. And as far as communications are concerned, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has completely revolutionized the art of conversations. So much so, that, Gartner states that by 2020, 85% of customers’ relationships with business enterprises will be managed without human involvement. 

It is noteworthy that there may be errors and key information may be missed out if notes are recorded/maintained manually. Hence, it is prudent for SMBs to invest in AI meeting tools. 

Today, there are many AI meetings and call assistants such as FreJun that are solving all conversational challenges being faced by SMBs. 

Hence, the relevance and use of AI in customer conversations hold great significance for SMBs in particular. According to Accenture, AI technology can enhance business productivity by up to 40%. This is the primary reason why new businesses are increasingly adapting to the application of AI at work. 

How will this improve sales?

  • AI-generated meeting notes lay down the foundation for further sales processing. Such tools help optimize and consolidate client information collected during calls and meetings. 
  • Detailed notes and minutes of calls/meetings capture all critical information. These notes thus give conversational and actionable insights, further enabling the effective fulfillment of sales targets. 

How will this improve client relations? 

  • The use of AI tools by SMBs to record all client conversations helps improve engagement with clients. This way clients feel valuable as 100% attention is paid in listening to them. 
  • The efficiency of communication within various teams improves as detailed minutes and notes can be shared with a larger group of people. This is very important for such SMBs wherein the clients interact with various teams for different activities in the complete value chain. Through the use of AI meeting notes, uniform information is shared without barriers both inter and intra teams. This way the client receives standardized and harmonized services and any conflicts are avoided. Resultantly, client relations tend to improve.

2. Review customer conversations: Any business activity, is as good as not done, if not followed up promptly. Similarly, the need to review and monitor customer relations from time to time holds great significance. One very easy way of doing this is by reviewing the conversations and interactions that happen with the clients. This will help fix the time lag between a meeting/call and actions undertaken thereby. But, record keeping of client conversations and their eventual review are two mutually exclusive activities. While the former is useless if not reviewed, the latter is impossible in the absence of a proper record of conversations. 

How will this improve sales?

  • Identification and a better understanding of the target market is the most crucial stage in the sales process. The success rate of all sales efforts is heavily dependent on this. If all customer conversations, duly recorded and effectively captured, are reviewed extensively, then such detailed summaries will act as reference documents on the client’s profile. This will help SMBs to better understand their target customers which is very important for drafting sales plans and product positioning. 
  • As mentioned in the above paragraphs, AI conversational tools can be leveraged to review client communications as well.  AI conversation assistants provide features such as speech and sentiment analytics. These features allow SMBs to review customer calls, assess customer response and involvement, evaluate the degree of positivity of the interaction, and drive agenda accordingly.

How will this improve client relations? 

  • When reviewed diligently, summaries of client conversations are helpful in identifying the hurdles/pain points in building healthy relationships with clients.
  • The summaries of successful customer calls/meetings also act as a ready reckoner for the training purposes of those individuals at SMBs who might be struggling at building good customer relations. These individuals get an opportunity to review the conversations of their counterparts. This way can learn from them the skills they are efficient at. After all, as Benjamin Franklin puts it,” Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn”. Ultimately, when all employees learn and develop their conversational skills, client relations improve at a macro level. 

3. Learn to Listen: It is commonly seen that often SMBs get so busy and aggressive in pitching their product and services, that they forget to listen to the client. As per a Harvard Business Review study, titled ‘Listening to People’ and authored by Ralph G. Nichols & Leonard A. Stevens, any effort made towards the improvement of listening or just to make people aware of how important their listening ability is, can be of great value in today’s business. The study underscores that when people involved in businesses, in this case, SMBs and their clients, fail to hear and understand each other, the results can be costly. Hence, it is of utmost importance to harness the unused potential of being a good listener. 

How will this improve sales?

  • The way how salesmen now approach clients is changing and SMBs need to adapt to this at the earliest. A less aggressive, customer-centric approach wherein all attention is on the client is gaining popularity. By becoming efficient listeners, SMBs will be able to drive the customer-problem approach of selling.
  • When SMBs develop the listening skills, it becomes an on-the-spot form of customer research that facilitates in formulating a spontaneous sales talk.

How will this improve client relations? 

  • At times, the clients might hesitate and feel insecure about sharing information. Clients tend to fear that SMBs or anyone for that matter might fire their own thoughts/opinions towards them. Good listening helps solve this problem. It builds confidence in the client that his views/thoughts are welcome and would not be disrespected.
  • Better listening can also lead to a reduction of the friction which might prevail in existing customer relations. 
  • Effective listening also helps remember not only all business-critical information but personal information about the client as well. This will help in developing healthy interpersonal relationships for eg. wishes on birthdays, anniversaries, etc. 

To conclude, as has been rightly pointed out in  a Harvard Business Review study, titled ‘The Value of Keeping the Right Customers’, authored by Amy Gallo, “It is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.” Hence, every SMB must focus on improving their client conversations with the ultimate aim of building good customer relations. This will eventually translate into improved sales!

3 Simple ways for SMBs to improve customer conversations for improving sales and customer relation

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