Over the past couple of years, subscriptions have gained tremendous traction, making the subscription economy one of the fastest-growing sectors. This spectacular shift happened mainly due to the rapid success of streaming platforms, which led to more industries adapting their offerings to keep up with the trend and market needs. According to research, the subscription industry has seen a 435% growth over the past nine years, setting the subscription market to be worth $1.5 trillion by 2025.
It hasn’t come as a surprise that the rapid growth has pushed more and more businesses to offer subscription services and products in an attempt to secure a higher market share. Online sales, social media campaigns, and direct marketing have proven to be great sales channels. And so have telesales.
Telesales are an effective way of securing new business and reaching out to prospective clients but they’re also a fantastic channel for selling and generating subscription payments. In this article, we take a look at five best practices for growing subscription payments through telesales that will help you ensure a positive customer experience and reduce the risk of cancellations.
1. Develop a call script that is customer-centric and easy to understand
The primary objective of telesales agents is to close as many sales as possible, but this task is not always straightforward. That is why developing a customer-centric script that each potential customer can understand is crucial for converting new service or product subscribers. Start by focusing on the customer’s needs and pain points and emphasize how the product you’re offering can alleviate those problems.
It is important to keep in mind that some of your prospects, particularly older people, may not be familiar with subscriptions or frankly, the product you’re promoting. Therefore, the first step to securing more clients is to convey the message clearly and concisely, using language that is easy to understand. Avoid jargon and technical terms that might be misunderstood and engage the person on the other side of the line in a conversation.
2. Train telesales agents to handle objections
As a telesales agent, you know that many of your potential clients are going to have objections, while some of them are going to fire away the dreaded phrase “I’m not interested”. Call centers must ensure that their staff can handle all kinds of objections, always in an informed and professional manner. Rather than becoming defensive, agents should seek to understand the customer’s concern. And this is where reflective listening comes into play.
Reflective listening, in which the agent repeats the customer’s objection using phrases like “You feel that…” or “What I’m hearing is…”, can help agents provide relevant information about the subscription and its benefits, or comparisons that might change the customer’s mind. However, if it becomes clear that the customer cannot be convinced, agents should gracefully and politely exit the conversation while keeping the door open for future communication.
Are you looking for tips on telesales agent training? Check out the blog post with eight best practices for contact center agent training.
3. Be transparent about pricing and billing
Telesales can be inconvenient for customers who miss the opportunity to review pricing options, billing, and fees in a relaxed setting. To mitigate this, it’s essential to train staff to explain pricing structures and associated charges accurately. For example, if a subscription costs $9.99 per month but it incurs a startup fee with the first payment, agents should clarify this to customers.
It’s common for monthly subscriptions to be a little more expensive than yearly plans. Being transparent about the pricing is something crucial when managing subscription payments via telesales and so it’s important to inform the customer about the option of quarterly or yearly plans. Remember to point out the difference between the plans but also ensure to highlight the benefits of monthly subscriptions, for example, no commitment, the possibility to cancel at any time, and a more manageable cost spread out over time.
4. Provide seamless payment methods
Experienced telesales agents know that many interested customers drop off when it comes to payments, causing a significant loss in potential revenue. In other cases, clients pay for the first month of the subscription but miss the next payments. The best and easiest way to solve this problem is to offer recurring payment options that are easy for customers to navigate and understand.
While credit card payments are a popular option, they do have one significant disadvantage: card expiry dates. To increase conversion rates and customer lifetime value, consider other payment methods, like direct debit. For instance, the Waytobill telesales plugin integrated with the VCC Live system enables agents to send a payment link to prospects’ mobile phones. By following the link the customers can accept the agreement and sign up for a monthly subscription with direct debit.
It’s crucial to offer only secure and reliable payment processing systems to safeguard customers’ financial information and your company’s interest. Furthermore, using a secure payment gateway helps you ensure that you follow all laws and regulations regarding data security.
5. Follow up and provide excellent customer service
Establishing strong client relationships over the phone can be challenging, but there are strategies that make it more attainable. One highly effective approach to win your clients over and generate trust is to follow up with customers after the sale. This demonstrates your commitment to their satisfaction and helps build trust. You can call them to ensure they’re satisfied with their new subscription and address any issues or concerns. While some customers may be knowledgeable about the product or service from the start, others may require a bit of guidance.
Providing excellent customer service throughout the subscription period is a simple yet powerful method for customer loyalty. By being available to provide support and answer questions that might arise, your clients will be likely to stay more connected to your company and even recommend it to others in their social circle.
We hope that these five tips will help you to get on top of your teleselling game when it comes to managing subscription products and services. Do you have questions? Make sure to contact us.
Author: Kamila Palka, Content Specialist at Waytobill