boss listening only

Posted by & filed under Business, CRM, Customers.

It is very strange, that it’s taken me about 2 years to realize the great potential of the software that I have been selling at Exotel and one of its features – Call Recordings.

It is a stable basic feature we provide in our software to all customers and obviously I/we at Exotel should have used it for ourselves too, but we failed to pay much attention to it.

There is a famous paragraph in a book I read recently, Daniel Pink’s – “To Sell is Human”*

Is anyone anywhere taught how to listen? How utterly amazing is the general assumption that the ability to listen well is a natural gift for which no training is required. How extraordinary is the fact that no effort is made anywhere in the whole education process to help individuals learn how to listen well.

boss listening only

3 Things I learnt from “Listening to Calls”, that I/we never would have else understood about our business:

1. The biggest reason for “Churn” was not the most obvious one’s mentioned in our CRM, it was a simple thing called On-boarding:

We used to sell the product and move on and presume the customer “knew” how to use it. We forgot the buyer of our software and the user are 2 different people, and hence used to hope/believe that they buyer/owner will teach the user and how wrong were we.

This came out of a 1 hour conversation with an SME from Gujarat, whose owner had bought the product, but in a call with us, the user called up saying, “How can I use the product” – I am talking to one of your competitors also!

After listening to more similar calls & also noting the folks who were logging into our product, it came out clearly, that the user was not on-boarded and we had to spend time there as well.

2. Sales team was panicking in talking to customers, and rushing, hence effecting the experience:

Let me explain – so when I got down to listening to some of our new recruit’s calls to help them with what problems they might be facing during conversations, I also stumbled upon the old guard’s calls too. It was evident, that with “Targets” (Targets are always there in sales), the old team-mates were always in a hurry to cut the call, and when I dug deep into the problem, it was because they were already worrying about the “next” call they had to make. It was unfortunate that the pressure was building in the wrong way and affecting my team in the wrong way, we immediately fixed that, and made sure that they focused on only that 1 call at that time and not on anything else. It has helped them and their customers tremendously.

3. Quality > Quantity = Average Call Duration > No. of calls:

Once you sit down and spend 3 hours a day of your time, only listening to call recordings, you begin to see that the conversions were coming from “Quality” calls, not from “Quantity” calls, and that is now a focus in our sales team. We make sure we spend a LOT of time with the customer and talk to lesser people if needed, but spend quality with whom we do. This is co-related with the point 2, but it’s amazing how we missed it. Our daily reports tell us “Average Call Duration” and that’s one of the things I look forward to checking everyday in the mornings :)

Average Call Duration - Call recording software

What are Call Recordings NOT FOR?

“Tracking your employees” is absolutely the worst thing to look at call recordings for. It should be looked upon as a tool with which you can listen to and help improve your team-members on how they interact with customers, so they can improve personally, and also as a tool to help customer relations.

Have you listened to your team’s conversations recently? If you are using any software, be it our competitor’s (Superreceptionist (Knowlarity), Ozonetel) or any other software like Drishtee, Lakshya, Avaya, Cisco that helps you to record calls, please, please, please – go back and spend sometime listening to those conversations and you will get insights into your business you would have never got from anywhere else. If you are not, it’s criminal.

PS: I have been begging my Product Manager @Karthik to add 3 call recordings to the daily report, if many of you comment on this post, wanting top 3 call recordings to the daily reports, please do drop a +1 in the blog and hopefully that will convince him to push it out faster :)

How I would love just listening to 3 conversations as a routine everyday on my iPad, phone on the walk to the office :)

*here are some of my key takeaways from the famous book “To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others” by Daniel H. Pink

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others – a summary from Exotel
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