Effective communication forms the basis of excellent customer service, which is crucial for a thriving business. That’s why employers are so keen on hiring people with excellent communication skills and rightly so.
About 73 percent of customers prefer a brand or company because of their friendly customer service. In fact, customer communication is now more important than ever as more businesses shift from traditional marketing to the more effective inbound marketing.
With inbound marketing, businesses approach customers with a problem-solving angle rather than screaming products or services at their faces. Naturally, effective communication skills are critical to the success of many inbound marketing strategies.
Excellent customer communication isn’t just about sealing the current deal. It’s also about customer loyalty and enhancing your corporate image. Companies that prioritize customer engagement don’t do so to sell their product, but instead to improve their customer relationship for increased future sales.
In this post, we’ll look at how to improve customer communication for improved customer relations and an enhanced corporate image. So get your notebook and pen, and let’s get right into it.
How to Improve Your Customer Communication
The first rule of good customer interaction is that the customer is always right and that they’re also your biggest priority. If you always keep this in mind, then you’re heading in the right direction in terms of customer communication.
If you want to refine your customer communication then here’s how you do it:
Listening Is Your Best Skill
Unless you work in TV or radio, then you should be all ears when the customer speaks. Hold your words, keep calm, and listen keenly to the customer. Understand your customer and figure out what they want.
If you have any questions, wait for the customer to finish speaking before you ask any questions. In doing so, you give the customer room to exhaust all their questions, complaints, suggestions, or observations. Proper listening also encourages the customer to speak their heart or mind.
Have the First Impressions on Lock
In business, first impressions are everything. As such, you need to instruct your employers to do their best to nail the first impression. This applies to all communication channels, be it via phone, email, or face to face communication.
For starters, you can ensure your telephone customer service is top-notch, especially if you don’t have an automated call system. A good first impression when on the phone starts with a warm greeting the moment you pick up the call. Also, the tone and choice of words should reflect that you actually care about the customer and the customer’s concerns.
The opening remarks of your email should be professional and should also reflect the company’s image. If your company is more fun-loving, then it’s okay for the email to have a playful vibe. Just ensure that your emails aren’t plain or seem like cut-out emails that you broadcast to all your customers.
Narrow Down Your Hold Times
Most customers don’t have the patience to hold for too long. If they can’t reach a live agent within a few seconds, they are likely to hang up out of frustration. If they do, don’t expect any good reviews from them.
Most businesses struggle with hold times, and it’s not like they’re doing it on purpose. Sometimes staff shortage or technical difficulties may necessitate longer hold times. Whatever the issue is, it’s up to you to come up with measures to make the hold times shorter.
These measures include recruiting more staff, then routing calls to the appropriate members of staff in the shortest time possible. If not, you can always redirect the customers to voicemail.
You can also invest in a good automated answering system to help cut hold times. It might seem annoying, but it’s better than putting your customers waiting on the phone for too long.
Interact With Customers Like Actual People
Businesses sometimes end up being too rigid with their customers that they forget that customers are actual human beings. Despite your customer-interaction policy, you must also remember that customers are living, breathing humans.
As such, avoid conversations that seem scripted and instead strive to have real conversations with customers. You can cut down on the transactional language and also try to be less rigid. Just don’t get carried away and throw professionalism out the window too.
Your language should also be empathetic and show actual concern for the customer. Depending on your type of business, a few jokes or a hint of playfulness is okay.
Establish a Social Media Presence
You need a solid social media strategy to improve communication with your customers. A large chunk of your customers spend most of their time on social media. By interacting with them on social media platforms, you’ll be enhancing customer-relations while promoting your products and services simultaneously.
What’s more, you don’t have to put a lot of effort into your social media apps. You can get social media management software to do your bidding. You can also get software for acquiring and presenting all your social media metrics to gauge the effectiveness of your strategy.
Have at least a single company profile on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to improve your customer interactions.
Get a CCM Software
If you don’t already have a CCM software, then you’re missing out on an effective customer communication tool. CCM abbreviates customer communication management and is a software that centralizes all company customer communications.
With this software, companies can manage their communication with customers across various channels. That means using a CCM; you can manage your emails, text messages, and even printed media for communication.
For a CCM to have any effect on your customer communication, you need to have the best CCM software. Also, remember to have staff that can actually operate a CCM.
Effective Customer Communications Starts With You
Proper customer communication is vital for the success of your business. As such, you should take all the above measures to streamline your communication with customers for your business’s benefit.
Your customer-interaction is only as good as your staff. So make sure you train your staff properly on how they should communicate with customers. Also, remember to invest in a good CCM software and an automated answering system for calls; they’re worth every penny.
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