awkward phone conversationsEveryone has had at least one awkward phone conversation that makes them wish they could turn their phone into a device that would teleport them into another galaxy, and business calls are no exception. Some conversations are just plain awkward and cannot be avoided, but here are a few ways you can use voice-based marketing automation (VBMA) to make them less painful.

Awkward Conversation: The Collection Call

Whether you’re a collections agency or a dental office dealing with past-due patients, calling someone to tell them they owe you money is never fun. In fact, it can get downright awkward.

How You Can Avoid It: Voice Broadcasts

Want to avoid having to call your customers and ask them to pay up? Instead, send a voice broadcast. You can record the exact message you would like (in your voice, so it’s still personal) and schedule the message to be sent at a time of your choosing. The best part is you can automate these kinds of messages for all of your past-due customers, saving you precious time and energy. Minus the awkwardness.

Awkward Conversation: Not Knowing Who’s Calling You

For salespeople, it’s important to always know who’s on the line when you take a call. This is important for any department, really, but especially sales, when a potential sale rests on the rapport you’ve built with a prospect. What’s more awkward than answering the phone and groping around in your brain for which Chris or Cindy is on the line?

How You Can Avoid It: Call Tracking/Whisper Messages

Call tracking is the best tool out there for always knowing who is on the phone and where they’re calling from. A good call tracking tool integrates with your CRM so that when your phone rings, the contact’s name, company, and account details are at your fingertips, avoiding the awkwardness of trying to figure out who you’re talking to and what company they’re with. You can also see notes that you made based on your last conversation with them, and can have that information “whispered” to you before you take the call, ensuring that you’re fully prepared and out of the awkward zone.

Awkward Conversation: Complaining About the Service

When it comes to honest and sincere feedback about the service they received when calling your business, customers aren’t always comfortable with the idea of sharing it with a human being. They don’t want to be mean, and sometimes if the complaint is of a personal nature, having a conversation about it can be pretty awkward.

How You Can Avoid it: IVR

Help your customers avoid this awkward conversation by giving them the option of filling out a survey via IVR (interactive voice response) instead of talking to a customer support person. It’s easy, efficient, and decidedly un-awkward. What more can you ask for?

Awkward Conversation: Making A Call About An Appointment—That Your Customer Forgot About

Whether your business is in the medical field and involves patients remembering (or not) their appointments or home delivery and involves customers being home when their order is delivered, there is always the potential for awkwardness when you call a customer asking if they’re running late…and they actually completely forgot about the appointment. Your time has been wasted, and now you need to reschedule. But they’re a customer. You can’t be mad at them! …awkward.

How You Can Avoid It: Voice Broadcasts

Here’s another way voice broadcasts can save you from awkwardness. Instead of giving your customer the opportunity to completely forget about their appointment, schedule a voice broadcasts to go out the day or week before their appointment to remind them. That way your time isn’t wasted, neither is theirs, and all awkward phone conversations that revolve around “Well, you said you’d be here…but you’re not” are eliminated. You can also give them a chance to reschedule their appointment…….

Awkward Conversation: Angry Customers Waiting On Hold

Is there anything more awkward than a customer hurling a stream of obscenities at you because they’ve either been on hold for too long or they’ve been transferred too many times?

How You Can Avoid It: Intelligent Call Routing

Don’t leave your customers to languish on the line: you just open yourself up to the awkwardness of having to listen while they insult you. Hold-Time Rage is real! Avoid it by using intelligent call routing, which enables calls to be sent directly to the person or department most appropriate for the call. Obscenities are circumvented and everyone is happier. And less awkward.

Want to learn more about how to move your business closer to being awkward-free? Download this massive free white paper that will tell you everything you need to know, The Definitive Guide to Voice-Based Marketing Automation.