With email, messenger apps, and social media dominating communication channels, it can feel like no one talks on the phone anymore. Well, when it comes to phone sales, this is definitely not the case. According to Accenture, 83% of customers actually prefer conversing with individuals on the phone as opposed to via email or responding to digital posts. Whether it’s inherent to your customer base or your product, there are some lines of business where the majority of users still call-in to complete a sale. Phone calls remain a crucial retail channel, even in the ecommerce customer journey, and to be successful, your team needs to be prepared to deliver a great experience over the phone.
Certain verticals and types of businesses lend themselves to doing more of their business over the phone. We’ve seen that companies in the healthcare, home, and travel spaces in particular end up doing a greater volume of phone sales. Sometimes it’s because their customers tend to be older and thus more comfortable making a purchase over the phone. Others have customers who need to call-in and speak with an associate to ask specific questions, especially for considered purchases, and then decide to purchase directly from the associate. And others are simply more likely to need to call-in when they’re on the go, and simply don’t have access to desktop to buy from. Whatever the reason, making it simple and convenient for your customers buy over the phone is still essential, even in ecommerce-heavy industries. Luckily, Bread makes it easy to offer financing for customers who call-in over the phone, we’ve even seen phone financing drive a 25% increase in sales.
Specialized wheel and tire retailer Wheelfire has seen real results by offering financing over the phone. Approximately 20% of their customers take advantage of financing through phone sales. The company sees this as a huge contributing factor to their growth, as 90% of Wheelfire’s customers ask about financing when purchasing products over the phone.
“Since launching with Bread we’ve seen a growth not only in the percentage of financed sales, but also AOV. We attribute this to Bread’s true full-funnel solution and strong phone sale capabilities.” says Wheelfire’s owner Joe Arce.
We’ll show you how to boost sales by providing a great experience of your own for every customer who calls in.
How Does Bread Offer Financing Over the Phone?
Bread makes offering financing for customers over the phone streamlined and easy.
- Associates can use Bread Carts to find the items customers are looking for from the available inventory.
- Once they’ve confirmed the order with the customer, they can send them a link to the pre-filled cart in an email or SMS message while they’re still on the phone.
- From there, the customer can follow the prompts to enter their information and qualify for financing.
- If they’re approved for credit, the customer can complete checkout with a click while they’re still on the phone.
In just a few minutes, your customers can finance and complete their purchase, and their transaction is added into your Bread merchant portal.
How to Make Selling Over the Phone with Financing a Success
We’ve helped dozens of merchants offer financing over the phone. Here are our recommended steps for success:
1. Getting on Script
Your customer associates need to be well-prepared with a script that allows them to talk about financing in a way that makes customers comfortable and makes their options clear. They also need to know how to speak about financing to remain compliant. But once they’ve been briefed, associates are more than capable at guiding buyers through the process with ease.
Bread shares pre-prepared scripts for customer service representatives to ensure they have the right, compliant language at-hand to help customers choose financing if it’s a good fit for their needs. Bread’s merchant success team can also provide training and walk your associates and managers through the process, helping you to build institutional knowledge and be fully prepared once your integration with Bread goes live.
2. Tools and Tech
Offering financing over the phone requires the right technology and tools. Bread’s options are powered by Bread Carts. The Bread Carts feature allows merchants to pre-configure and send carts to customers—whether that’s over the phone, over email, or through marketing outreach. Customers can then check out with financing through a full-page browser redirect. We’ve seen sales associates, customer support teams, and marketers all leverage carts to reduce friction at checkout and decrease cart abandonment.
Bread Carts can contain:
- Items (e.g., price, SKU)
- Optional customer information (e.g., billing and shipping address)
- Checkout options (e.g., shipping options and discounts)
3. Service Beyond the Sale
What happens if your customers apply for financing through Bread and they have a question about their loan? After they begin the financing process, your customers can call Bread’s in-house customer service to get the help they need. We work hard to deliver professional, friendly service that meets your customers’ expectations. Our team is available Monday to Friday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM Eastern Time at (844) 992-7323 and firstname.lastname@example.org
What Kinds of Companies Benefit from Offering Financing Over the Phone?
While all businesses can benefit by integrating financing with their phone sales, there are some industries where it isn’t just a good idea, it’s almost mandatory when it comes to making a sale.
Travel agencies, airlines, and hotels absolutely need to think about offering financing—and if they offer financing, it should also be available over the phone. There is a huge variety of potential travel customers, and just as many reasons they could pursue financing. For many, a trip is a big financial expenditure. Customers may have good access to credit, but are facing expensive travel on a non-negotiable date—or simply want to upgrade their trip even further—and don’t want to eat up their entire credit card balance. Customers are also more likely to call in to collect information, go over the details of their booking to learn about deals and amenities, and make sure they’re all confirmed. Financing over the phone only widens the net of possible customers, and increases their chances of converting.
The more complex and less immediately intuitive your product line is, the greater the chance is that customers will call before they buy to make sure they’re making the right choice. Homegoods and home improvement products can require a more consultative buying process than simply selecting a few options online. The difference between a 19” and 21” sofa is easy to comprehend, but making sure your countertops will match your backsplash or that hinges on your cabinets will open the right way is a trickier proposition. At the RTA Store, a leading ready to assemble cabinet and furniture provider, we’ve seen a 130% higher AOV for customers who used Bread financing compared to customers who did not .
Customers who purchase medical equipment want to be sure that they’re getting the right products they need for their condition, and may not want to enter health information over the computer without being sure it’s going to someone they trust. For that reason, they’re more likely to call and seek out advice from associates. Many customers also calling on behalf of their parents, grandparents, or elderly relatives, so they are even more careful about getting the proper devices. For a phone-heavy retail experience with often expensive products, well-trained and knowledgeable agents that can offer financing over the phone is a natural addition every healthcare brand should consider.
Seamless, connected service is crucial when dealing with customers over the phone. By making it easy to complete a purchase and access financing, modern organizations can turn the phone into a powerful business tool.