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OSCs Are More Than Just Appointment Setters

Author: Ingrid Prince is Chief OSC and co-founder here at Shared Drive. With over 17 years of experience in onsite sales and online sales as an OSC (Online Sales Counselor), she knows what it takes to craft a memorable customer experience that impresses customers enough to earn you referrals. If you want to improve customer experience and satisfaction throughout the sales journey, keep reading.

 

Leads Want to Be Warm Before They Hear Your Pitch

I’ve been in sales for over 17 years, but I’ve been a consumer for much longer. From either side of the fence, it’s clear that people do not like feeling pressured into buying something. As a consumer, I don’t enjoy feeling like I’m being sold to.

You’ve likely experienced this too—you’re wandering a store looking for something specific when a salesperson approaches with a bright smile and asks, “Hey! Is there something I can help you with?”

Unless you’re already frustrated, your automatic response is probably, “No thank you, I’m just browsing.”

Why? Because at that moment you’re in research mode. And, if you’re like me, you likely have the store memorized and think you know where to find exactly what you’re looking for. You want time to look at the product privately, see if it meets your needs, and decide if you’re serious about buying it. Once you’ve made up your mind, then you’ll seek out the salesperson.

The same principle applies to shopping for a new home. Nowadays, homebuyers first visit your website and sometimes your social media to research and see if you have the right product for them or if they can trust you enough to embark on a 6 to 9-month journey of building their new home. Prospects aren’t visiting your site to be sold to; they’re there to gather information. They want answers and information that empowers them to make informed decisions.

But they want it now.

 

Speed is King (and Queen)

In today’s fast-paced world, patience is a rare commodity. People want information now so they can make informed decisions quickly. That means you can’t just fill your website with endless pages of information—very few people will sit there and read it all before deciding whether to move forward with you. They’re bombarded with choices, and if finding the information they need feels too hard, they’ll simply move on to the next builder who can get them the information they need now.

The key is finding a balance between ensuring your customers can and have access to all the information they need, without them feeling pressured to speak to a salesperson before they’re ready.

This is where OSCs are invaluable. Effective OSCs understand this urgency. They prioritize providing clear, concise answers to prospect inquiries as quickly as possible. Every second counts, and by streamlining the information delivery process, OSCs become trusted advisors, not pushy salespeople.

Beyond the Appointment: Building Relationships

The role of an OSC extends well beyond scheduling appointments. Prospects share valuable information during their online interactions with OSCs, revealing their needs, wants, desires, and non-negotiables. This is also when they form emotional connections. Effective OSCs actively listen to these insights, building a foundation of trust and understanding. They then hand off  this information to the sales team by utilizing the CRM, ensuring the customer journey feels personalized. By doing so, OSCs not only schedule appointments but also enhance the overall customer experience, making each interaction meaningful and tailored to individual needs. This personalized approach is crucial for building strong relationships and successful sales.

The Handoff: A Seamless Transition

Nothing frustrates a prospect more than feeling like they’re wasting their time or not getting the information they need. Imagine sharing all your hopes and dreams with an OSC, only to have the onsite salesperson ask the same questions all over again. It’s like telling the nurse why you’re at the doctor, only to have to repeat everything to the doctor later—it’s frustrating and could potentially damages trust.

Let me ask you this, does your online program have a foolproof handoff process from online to onsite?  If not, this is an issue. It seems like a small thing, but it can severely impact your appointment to show rates and your prospect’s confidence. Fortunately, it’s an easy fix.

When you effectively use your CRM to inform everyone on your team about a prospect’s information (and ensure they understand that they need to take 5 minutes before every interaction to review it), you can wow the prospect by making them feel seen and heard. If you don’t have a CRM in place that can do this for you, it should be a priority to get one that does. (If you need help, we can assist with the implementation of a CRM system that is bespoke to your organization.)

Effective OSCs understand the importance of a smooth handoff to the onsite sales team. They meticulously document all interactions, ensuring the salesperson has a clear picture of the prospect’s current living situation, what they like or don’t like, and what they are looking for in their future home. This personalized approach fosters trust and allows for a more productive initial meeting.

Think of it this way: when you visit the doctor, every interaction is documented in your chart (i.e., the CRM). So, when you see your doctor again, they can reference your chart, see exactly where they left off, and move forward to what’s next. Similarly, a well-maintained CRM ensures continuity and personalization in your sales process, enhancing the overall customer experience.

What Really Matters: Building Trust

Here’s the bottom line: effective OSCs prioritize listening. They listen to what prospects are saying, listen to their unspoken desires, and tailor their communication accordingly. Effective OSCs understand that their job is to build trust and provide value, not only to the prospect but also to the onsite sales person.

They communicate with transparency, setting clear expectations for the prospect, and the salesperson the prospect goes on to communicate with. This customer-centric approach fosters trust and positions your community as a trusted partner in the home-buying journey.

Shared Drive: Building OSC Teams That Deliver

At Shared Drive, we train our OSCs to be more than just appointment setters. We equip them with the knowledge, tools, and communication skills to become trusted advisors. We understand that exceptional customer experiences are the key to building lasting relationships and driving sales success.

Ready to transform your online sales experience? Let’s chat!

 

Written By

Ingrid Prince

Shared Drive | COO