Retention, referrals, revenue – great customer service can help you reach your business goals faster than almost any other factor. Research has proven time and again that there is a direct correlation between customer satisfaction and loyalty. While most businesses recognize this, many fail consistently to meet customer expectations despite investing in the latest technology helpdesk software and other apps. The cliché advice you hear from customer support experts about ‘putting yourself in your customer’s shoes’ can feel perplexing when you do not know exactly how.
Technology can help to a certain extent in terms of pulling together all your data and helping you save time on administrative tasks. However, the key to building a great relationship with customers – as with any other relationship – is quality communication.
Getting a clear understanding of what customers really want can help you turn back the proverbial clock and recover lost customers. Here’s a simple analogy, great relationships are built over time. Once you have met someone for the first time, it may take several weeks or maybe even years to earn their trust.
Similarly, a typical customer journey is an opportunity for your brand to go from merely providing customer satisfaction to customer loyalty, turning them into brand advocates over time. This means that the communication strategy of your online store needs to consistently evolve in order to keep customers engaged.
5 Excellent Customer Communication Strategies for Every Business
Here are a few practical ways in which you can consistently enhance your customer communication:
1. Use simple, easy to understand language at all times
Simplifying complex terms with the use of smaller sentences and using images or explainer videos is a great way to improve the quality of your customer communication. Agents must be trained to not interrupt customers during a call or chat. This can give customers the impression that your agents are not genuinely interested in helping them. It is also a common tendency to use shorthand or texting terminology during live chats which can be annoying. Remember: professional communication can set the tone for a positive customer experience while complex words can detract from it.
2. Minimize hold time
This one may sound obvious but is an all-too-common problem. Long hold times can get in the way of building the kind of personalized customer experience that shoppers expect from online brands. According to a survey by SuperOffice, 69% of customers reported being frustrated by long hold times. This may make customers harder to deal with when they do finally get across to an agent. A better strategy would be to notify callers via the IVR of the wait time is high and giving them the option to request a callback. This can immediately take the pressure off your agents and also reassure customers that you value their time.
3. Have a consistent tone of voice
What’s the tone of your brand like? How do the words routinely used by your customer support team make customers feel? How about your website copy? Depending on whether you want customers to associate a casual or professional image with your brand, create a well-documented style guide for brand tone, and secondly, tailor your website/social media copy and customer support scripts/emails to it.
Doing this has multiple advantages: your customer communication would be uniform across all channels, allowing your audience to relate with you more easily. As a brand, you would be able to build trust and authority with your audience. In time, this can translate into higher revenues and better engagement.
4. Learn constantly
Since each customer’s needs are likely to be different, you need to be learning more about customer preferences on an ongoing basis. For example, getting to know more about a customer’s buying motives can help you personalize your content and make it more relevant. Your customer support RoI can also increase significantly as a result.
It is also important to keep pace with advancing technology. With smartphones becoming the preferred mode of communication for a growing number of users, a mobile-ready communication strategy is essential.
In other words, to create an engaging customer experience, your communication strategy must leverage the right channel, informative content, and real-time data. Learn from customer feedback to adapt your communication strategy to meet changing needs.
5. Data-driven communication
CRM and social media analytics tools generate a wealth of data on a daily basis regarding customer preferences and activity patterns. This data can help you discover ways to engage your audience in a meaningful conversation that creates genuine value for them. Most brands assume that they know what customers want but end up communicating in a way that may not be relevant for them.
This can lead to a lack of clarity and even impact sales in the long run. By using customer data like transaction history, demographics, online activity, and click-through rates, you can measure customer engagement in real-time and make proactive changes. For example, promotional offers can be tailored to specific buyer groups with ad campaigns/website copy that leverages customer data.
Effective customer communication is at the heart of customer engagement and retention. In the context of customer support, monitoring social media platforms, and responding to customer reviews within a predefined time frame is as important as communicating in a friendly and professional manner. This is particularly critical for online stores as they may have customers living in different time zones. If the cost of 24X7 support is prohibitive for you, outsourcing customer support can be an attractive alternative. Helplama’s team of on-demand customer support teams can help you quickly scale your in-house team without the added burden of hiring and training.
What’s more, Helplama offers flexible plans that are individually tailored to your specific requirements. Contact us today for more information on how we can help supercharge your customer communication.