If you are looking to improve the customer experience, courtesy calls can provide you with an opportunity to nurture relationships, show appreciation, and provide exceptional customer service.
In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of courtesy calling, including their purpose, timing, benefits, and potential pitfalls.
What Is a Courtesy Call?
A ‘courtesy call’ or ‘courtesy calling’ is where a business phones out to customers for the purpose of expressing gratitude, offering assistance, or simply maintaining a relationship. These calls are usually proactive and serve to engage with customers on a more personal level.
Where Does Courtesy Calling Fit Into the Customer Journey?
Courtesy calls typically occur after the initial purchase or interaction with a customer. They are often positioned as a post-sale follow-up. However, they can also be used throughout the customer journey to nurture the relationship and foster long-term loyalty.
These calls can be conducted over the phone or via video conferencing, depending on the nature of the business and the customer’s preference.
Who Makes Courtesy Calls?
Courtesy calls are typically made by individuals within customer service or contact centre departments. Job titles may vary, but common positions responsible for conducting courtesy calls include:
- Customer service representatives (also known as ‘agents’ and ‘advisors’)
- Account managers
- Client relationship managers
Why Do Businesses Make Courtesy Calls?
Businesses engage in courtesy calls for several reasons, including to:
Follow Up With New Customers
A courtesy call after a product has been purchased lets you check that the customer is happy with their purchase and shows that you value their custom.
Courtesy calls offer a chance to address any concerns or issues the customer may have, reinforcing the commitment to excellent customer service.
These calls can also serve to upsell or cross-sell products or services, further benefiting the business by deepening the customer relationship and share of wallet.
Share Progress on an Existing Issue
For example, to remind the customer that an engineer will be visiting them at 2 o’clock today to fix the problem they recently reported.
What Are the Benefits of Making Courtesy Calls?
Courtesy calls offer several benefits for both businesses and customers, including to:
Enhance Customer Loyalty
From a business perspective, these calls contribute to building stronger customer relationships, enhancing customer loyalty, and increasing Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).
By actively engaging with customers, businesses can gather valuable feedback, address issues promptly, and improve their products or services.
For customers, courtesy calls provide a platform to voice their opinions, seek assistance, and feel valued as individuals.
What Are Some of the Pitfalls of Courtesy Calls?
While courtesy calls can be an effective relationship-building tool, there are potential pitfalls to be aware of, including:
The Challenge of Timing
Calls that are too frequent or poorly timed may come across as intrusive or pushy, leading to customers getting annoyed.
Additionally, if representatives are not adequately trained or prepared for the calls, they may not be able to address customer concerns or questions adequately.
Another pitfall is the potential for customers to perceive courtesy calls as insincere or purely sales-driven, diminishing the positive impact of the interaction.
What to Include in a Courtesy Call
Each call presents an opportunity to strengthen the customer relationship, demonstrate excellent customer service, and foster loyalty towards your business.
When making a courtesy call, it is therefore important to have a clear understanding of what to include in the conversation. By structuring the call effectively and addressing key points, businesses can maximize the impact of these interactions and leave a positive impression on their customers.
Here are some essential elements to include in a courtesy call:
Greeting and Introduction
Start the call by warmly greeting the customer and introducing yourself. Use a friendly and professional tone to establish a positive atmosphere right from the beginning.
Briefly remind the customer about your previous interaction or connection to set the context. (Also see – The Best Customer Service Greeting Phrases – With Examples)
Show appreciation for the customer’s business and express gratitude for their support. Let them know that you value their relationship and that their satisfaction is important to you. Acknowledge their loyalty and the trust they have placed in your business.
Purpose of the Call
Clearly state the purpose of the courtesy call. It could be to follow up on a recent purchase, enquire about their satisfaction with a product or service, offer assistance or support, or simply to check in and see how they are doing.
Be transparent about why you are reaching out and emphasize that your intention is to ensure their needs are met.
During the call, actively listen to the customer’s responses, concerns, or feedback. Give them ample opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings.
Take notes if necessary to ensure you capture all the relevant information. This demonstrates that their opinions are valued and that you are committed to meeting their needs.
If the customer raises any issues or concerns, be empathetic and understanding while actively working towards finding a solution as quickly as possible.
Offer alternatives, provide information, or escalate the matter to the appropriate department if needed. Aim to leave the customer feeling heard and confident that their concerns are being addressed.
Upselling or Cross-Selling Opportunities
There may be appropriate moments to explore upselling or cross-selling opportunities. If relevant, mention any new products, upgrades, or complementary services that might enhance the customer’s experience.
However, be cautious not to come across as overly sales-focused, as this may undermine the efforts being made to build a positive working relationship.
Closing and Next Steps
Before concluding the call, summarize the key points discussed and confirm any actions to be taken. If necessary, schedule follow-up calls or appointments to ensure ongoing support. Thank the customer once again for their time and reiterate your commitment to their satisfaction.
Documentation and Follow-Up
After the call, make sure to document the details of the conversation, including any action items or commitments made. This information will be valuable for future reference and will help maintain consistency in customer interactions.
If applicable, follow up with the customer via email or another preferred communication channel to provide additional information or confirm the resolution of any issues.
By incorporating these elements into your courtesy calls, you can ensure that the conversation is purposeful, engaging, and focused on meeting the customer’s needs.
When to Avoid Using Courtesy Calls
While courtesy calls can be a valuable tool in building customer relationships, it is important to recognize situations where they may not be appropriate or preferred.
It is important to recognize when alternative methods may be more suitable or when courtesy calls may not align with the customer’s preferences, so businesses can tailor communication strategies for optimal results and customer satisfaction.
Here are some instances when it may be best to avoid using courtesy calls:
Making courtesy calls to customers who have not explicitly expressed interest or consented to receiving such calls can be perceived as intrusive or unwelcome.
It is crucial to respect privacy preferences and adhere to applicable laws and regulations, such as “do not call” lists, to avoid upsetting customers.
Courtesy calls may not be the most efficient method of communication when dealing with urgent issues. In situations where immediate action is required, it may be more appropriate for an account manager to handle the matter separately – instead of waiting for the affected customer to reach the top of the dialling queue in due course.
Customers’ Preferred Communication Channels
Some customers may have specific preferences for communication channels and may not appreciate receiving courtesy calls.
It is essential to respect their choices and use the channels they have indicated as their preferred means of contact. This could include email, live chat, or self-service portals.
Repeat Calls Before an Issue Is Properly Resolved
If a customer has already reached out to your business with an issue or concern, and the matter is still unresolved, repeated courtesy calls without progress or updates may frustrate the customer.
In such cases, it is advisable to focus on actively resolving the issue rather than repeatedly checking in without tangible results.
Negative Customer Feedback
If a customer has expressed dissatisfaction or provided negative feedback about their experience with your business, a courtesy call may not be the most appropriate first response.
In such cases, it is advisable to address the feedback through a different channel, such as email or a formal complaint resolution process, to ensure the customer feels heard and to allow for a more thoughtful and measured response.
By following this guidance, you can ensure that every courtesy call serves to actively build and maintain positive relationships and ultimately enhance the customer experience (CX).
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