Remember the last time when your sales call was cut short by a prospective customer due to irrelevant recommendations? Sales is all about making a personal connection and anticipating the customer’s needs, but doing so over the phone can be challenging – especially if your sales agent isn’t armed with relevant information about the customer on the other end of the line.
By leveraging data and artificial intelligence (AI) to build up a detailed picture of each customer’s behavior and interest, you can quickly improve the quality and effectiveness of your outbound sales calls. The more personalized your pitch, the easier it will be to engage the customer, respond to their demands, and drive sales.
1. Create Buyer Personas of Your Ideal Customer
How well do you know your audience? Use customer data effectively, and you can build up an accurate portrait of audience segments based on their interests and behaviors. With this information, you can identify the most valuable audience for your outbound calls, and craft a far more relevant marketing message.
Making sense of mountains of customer data can be time-consuming, however, by using AI-driven data science platforms to do the heavy lifting, you can just focus on tailoring your marketing pitch.
Platforms such as AIXON integrate all your customer data from both CRM tools and online channels, such as websites, apps and social media. These platforms apply machine learning to crunch the data and build a holistic customer view, based on your customers’ previous browsing and purchasing history, personal preferences, previous inbound and online interaction and social media updates.
AI processes all this relational data in the blink of an eye, returning meaningful insights that helps you gain a deeper understanding of your customers, and generate relevant recommendations that will yield an uplift in conversions.
2. Engage Prospects to Expand Customer Base
Traditionally, businesses expand their reach by manually digging for potential customers in their contact database. Even analyzing simple parameters, such as demographics and location, can be an overwhelming and time-consuming task.
Now you can leverage external data and AI to identify prospects who are likely to engage with your business. AI analyzes millions of pieces of granular external data and uncover lookalikes who have similar interests and behavior to your most valuable customers’. AI then segments these lookalikes on an even deeper level using keywords that best describe them, and ranks these segments based on the popularity of their interests.
You can incorporate these insights into a more relational outbound sales script to cater the way you engage different segments. For example, if you specialize in prestige autos, AI can segment C-suite executives in a particular income bracket, who have searched for ‘luxury cars’ within the last 48 hours, and have shown frequent interest in a specific product you carry. You can even namecheck the relevant make and model of the car that precisely matches a customer’s needs, or include the option to upgrade to a model that matches the customer’s improving financial situation.
3. Bring a Human Touch to Your Conversation
Call centers tend to rely on structured sales scripts. They are a useful tool, enabling you to train staff, retain information, avoid mistakes, and ensure all outbound calls are consistent. However, scripted calls can sound robotic to say the least, and make customers feel treated as just another sales lead.
To ensure successful outbound calls, it is more effective to grab a customer’s attention by starting the conversation in a human way. This could be a neutral, yet positive topic related to their background.
It may sound counterintuitive, but advanced AI techniques such as machine learning can bring that crucial human touch to your outbound calls (if you have implemented the first two strategies). By narrowing in on user interest and behavior, sales agents can begin each call with a personalized interaction that will delight the customer and make them feel valued.
After all, call centers exist to give customers a personal touch. The more human your sales pitch sounds, the more trust and loyalty you will generate.
4. Leverage Multichannel Communication
Communication is becoming increasingly complex as new digital platforms spring up and customer engagement preferences change like the wind. To effectively support outbound calls, be sure to engage your customers through multiple channels, such as email, push notification, messenger and SMS. Not only will this reduce the burden on your voice agents, it will help you stay in tune with engagement preferences.
Multichannel communications can be leveraged before and after outbound calls to create a seamless customer experience. Send a ‘warm-up’ email prior to a call to inform customers of exciting new products and offers. Afterwards, send a ‘follow-up’ message thanking customers for their time – and reinforcing your sales pitch.
As today’s consumers becoming increasingly time-starved and impatient, proactively supporting their journey across multiple touchpoints will increase customer satisfaction and yield more conversions.
Using call centers to reach customers and prospects is not going away any soon. So, start to implement these four strategies now to help you boost the effectiveness of outbound calls, reach new audiences, and greatly improve existing customer relationships.