Only a few call center agents can incorporate small talk in their conversations with customers. Some agents survive without it because they never really do it even in their personal life. Others have tried and failed to sound natural. In the worst cases, agents receive hostile retaliations to their attempts at small talk, especially when it’s a telemarketing cold call.
“How are you?” “Can I take 5 minutes of your time?” These are the “casual” statements that many representatives try, to be polite or break the ice, so to speak. While the intentions in these statements are sincere and the purpose valid, these are the statements that often get negative responses. The prospect may say they were doing fine…until you called. They can outright say, “No” to close-ended questions that could stop the conversation. These are the types of small talk that shouldn’t be introductory statements or icebreakers.
Of course, there should always be room for spontaneity in outbound calls, but it has to be executed like a pro. This is what a quality telemarketing service does well. An outsourced telemarketing company holds extensive trainings to help agents adopt a friendly yet professional communication style. Trained agents clearly state the reason for their call and use scripts and small talk efficiently. Best of all, they are taught when to pursue a lead and when to back off. Through these best practices, they are able to provide a positive customer experience and maintain the image of your brand.