Communication is key to everything we do. This is especially true in the business world. From explaining project parameters to pitching a new idea to market your new product, communication is involved at every stage.
Communication is also important when it comes to delivering customer service. Many customers complain companies don’t take the time to properly communicate with them.
Of course, communication takes time, effort, and money. It’s little wonder it often gets moved to the backburner. This has the unintended effect of closing down communications with your customers. If you want to keep the lines open, follow these steps.
Offer Different Contact Methods
Your customers are unique. Different demographics have different communication preferences. Older people prefer to pick up the phone while those in younger generations are much less likely to ring you up.
One of the best things you can do is offer different lines of communication. Do your customers have to call you or can they send you an email or fire off a text message? Offering multiple methods of contact makes it more likely a customer will contact you.
Today’s companies need to have 24/7 customer service on offer. You might need to take some time to respond to an email and your phone lines may sometimes get busy. The point of the matter is your customers should be able to send you their messages when it’s convenient for them.
You may not be able to afford to staff your web chat around the clock, but there should always be another way a customer can reach you to get an answer.
Be an Active Communicator
Many companies do little to no outreach. The marketers and salespeople woo customers but then they go silent once they’ve swiped their credit cards or clicked “check out.” Then the customer never hears from anyone until there’s a problem.
Most companies are passive in this regard. They wait for the consumer to contact them if there’s an issue, question, or concern. While some customers don’t particularly like company outreach, others are delighted and surprised when someone contacts them to ask about their experience.
Be sure to follow up with your customers. A quick survey about their experience can help you gather valuable feedback you might not receive otherwise. Assuming “no news is good news” can be disastrous.
Listen to Feedback
Another reason customers get frustrated with corporate communications is feedback seems to be ignored. In many cases, customers eagerly give feedback, hoping they’ll see some improvements from the company. Then nothing changes. Nothing more is said about survey results or what will be done with the information collected.
As time goes on, customers stop giving feedback because they don’t think their opinions truly matter. Be sure to communicate what you’ll do with the information you collect. Send notes outlining how you intend to act on feedback your customers generously provide.
Train Your Staff
Customers also become frustrated when they do take the initiative to contact you but then they feel as though they know more about your product or policies than your staff.
Be sure to take the time to provide your staff with great training. Customer care reps should be knowledgeable about products, policies, and services. They should also work in teams so they can connect with other team members if they need help answering a question.
Communicating with customers can be a big job. Communicating effectively is an even bigger task. You can make sure you’re delivering great communication by teaming up with a partner to provide customer service. An outsourcer can help you create a brand-compatible communications strategy or even offer the round-the-clock coverage you need.
Communication is vitally important for your operations, and it’s important to your customers. Make it a priority today.