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Tips from Phone Savvy Experts

By Anh Nguyen |

For new Experts or Experts new to premium services, live phone calls with customers can be intimidating and full of what-ifs. What if they reject my phone call offers? What if I cannot answer their questions on the spot? What if they are located in another country?

While these are valid concerns, there are major advantages for fulfilling phone calls as well. Phone calls are a great way to earn additional money, offer more value and build trust with customers.

To help you get started, we’ve buzzed a few phone savvy Experts to chime in with their best phone call tips and they answered in a HUGE way.

1. Let us help

Many Experts are reluctant to offer phone calls simply because they don’t think customers would accept. Nathan, Tech Expert, admits, “I sometimes feel guilty sending a phone support offer myself if I feel that the question isn't worth the cost or it is simple enough that a call really just shouldn't be necessary.

With Auto Phone Call, we initiate the ask and let you know if customers are interested in phone calls. “The auto phone call offer excels at putting phone support on the table at a reasonable price for the novice user,” says Dustin, Tech Expert.

2. No phone? No problem

We surveyed Experts on why they wouldn't accept phone call requests and a large percentage said it’s because they don't have good alternatives to their personal phones. Luckily, there's an integrated phone call feature on JustAnswer that allows you to call customers through the site! After accepting a phone call request, all you have to do is enter your callback number and initiate the call through the site. Our system will then dial out to both you and the customer. Once both sides are connected, then you can start your conversation. Click here to learn more >>

3. What about international fees?

We get thousands of questions from international customers every week so chances are, you’ve seen a few of them. But what do you do if those customers request phone calls? Dustin answers, "I use Skype. The great thing about a Skype subscription is that regardless of what country a customer is in, Skype has affordable pay-as-you-go and flat rate plans that will allow you to call."

If your customer also has a Skype account, you can make free Skype-to-Skype calls. This is the same for Google Hangouts and Apple FaceTime, depending on which service both you and the customer have.

We plan to expand our integrated phone call feature to support international calls soon. Stay tuned!

4. Get over the fear

It’s natural to feel a little anxiety when talking on the phone with people you don’t know. But it may help to remind yourself that your customers are dealing with personal problems and counting on you to help guide them. Nathan advises, “Don't be afraid. Talking to a customer on the phone is really no different than in person. Treat them as if you were there with them.

How do you do that? He adds, “Show the ‘smile’ in your voice and have a positive attitude. Too often we are getting into a call after a tense or difficult exchange via Q&A and they are frustrated. You need to be able to calm them down, show empathy, and express a genuine desire to help them.

5. Identify the right customers for phone calls

With the auto phone call offer feature, the customer initiates the request rather than Experts. But, you decide whether you want to fulfill the request or not. How do you know if you should accept the call? One way is by reading the customer's cues. “Many customers, especially the tech-phobic and older crowd just don't like to type. They don't understand what you mean when you ask for more information, and being on a call helps you to better direct the conversation where it needs to go to collect the necessary information,“ offers Nathan.

Experts are really good at sensing the depth of questions. If you feel that too much time will be spent going back and forth on Q&A or if you’ve shared a document, suggest a phone call to better help and follow up.

6. Know your stuff before you make the call

You are all Experts in your fields and we are truly confident of that. However, there are still times when you're caught off-guard by a question or simply need to double-check some information. With phone calls, you don’t really have the luxury to research. Dustin recommends, “My first piece of advice would be that before you accept the phone call offer, ask yourself ‘how comfortable are you talking about the specific problem and explaining the solutions to it?’ If you feel very confident, absolutely accept the phone call offer. You will save yourself and the customer a lot of time as well as generate more income for the company, and yourself.” James agrees, “If you really know your stuff, I would recommend you try phone calls at least once! You may find it's easier than you think.

We suggest that if you do get into a situation where you’re unsure of how to answer a question on the phone, let the customer know you will verify the information and confirm in detail via Q&A after the call. This will give you a chance to do more research while showing the customer that you are thorough.

7. Cut right to the chase

Time is money for Experts so a frequent feedback we get about phone calls is that they take up a lot of time. But James, Car Expert, counters, “When you speak with customers on the phone, you can save hours of typing back and forth.

How? James adds, “You always run into some questions that may be a little confusing. It's easier to understand a customers’ temperament and answer their questions if you speak to them. Cut right to the chase and deal with their main issues.” To James’ point, if you realize quickly that a question is too complicated to resolve over Q&A, it may save you time to hop straight to the phone.

8. Do more with phone

The great thing about mobile technology today is that you’re no longer limited to just voice calls. With services like Skype, Google Voice and Apple FaceTime, you can take phone calls to the next level by integrating video. “Skype video can be a major asset when it comes to troubleshooting hardware issues. Just have them point their phone or webcam at the problem so you can visually see it,” notes Dustin.

9. Make more money

While this is not a phone call tip, we like to remind Experts why you should fulfill more phone call requests. “I like the one on one with the customers plus the money that comes with it,” says Tan. When you fulfill a phone call request, you are automatically given a 5-star rating, payout for the original question and payout for the premium service. James adds, “I feel if I was able to take every question and make it an premium service call, I would double my actual income with JA.


Thoughts? Got your own tips? Share them below.

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Comments

  • Avatar
    MasterFixIt

    I use the phone call service as often as I see it will be easier to help them that way so I can actually guide them in the repair of appliances, They seem to love that and I do get some who just don't want to spend extra money from time to time, but all in all if the dollar value is reasonable they will go for that. And its good for us too as we don't have to do quite so much typing.
    Tech Michael

  • Avatar
    MichaelHannigan

    I would like to see fair prices offered for phone calls. Time is money, and current offers allow for 5-10 minutes of phone time maximum, at least in the tech categories. This needs to be fixed.

  • Avatar
    Anh Nguyen

    @MasterFixIt, glad to hear that you're getting a lot of value from the phone call offer!

  • Avatar
    Anh Nguyen

    @Michael, thanks for the suggestion. We will continue to evaluate the length of phone calls and fix appropriate rates.

  • Avatar
    MasterFixIt

    Sounds great, its good to see that we all work together to make the customers experience a better one. Its our bread and butter and happy customers are the key;-)
    Of all the jobs I have had in my life as a technician this has been the most rewarding one, I really get a lot from knowing the customer is satisfied and loves the service we provide!

  • Avatar
    MaryMeadenEsq

    Perhaps you should initiate a feature where the customer pays for a certain amount of time and when that time is up, the call will either disconnect or the customer can press a button to pay for additional time. In legal, the payout can be small for the lawyer if the customer is long winded or has a lot of issues. Generally speaking I can get most calls done in 30 minutes but I have had several customers go to a full hour and two or three even longer than that. The psychic hotlines use this feature and it was successful for many of them for a longtime until the internet took over much of the telephone call information industry from the 1990's.
    MARY

  • Avatar
    Anh Nguyen

    Hi Mary, adding a time boxed feature is something we're exploring. Since we started offering the integrated phone call feature to all Experts in Feb, we are still collecting and evaluating usage data. From that, we hope to have enough learnings to be able to launch features such as time boxing, scheduling, etc.

  • Avatar
    eddie22Island

    Mr. Nguyen,
    I was thinking experts need to keep in mind any time zone difference......let's say you notice the request and attend to it after it is initiated .....calling people late at night or too early in the morning may not be a good start to a meaningful conversation.....which brings me to another possible enhancement as to where not just the country that is listed for the customer but the also the state