There’s more to attracting and retaining customers than just having great products and a stand-out brand. Customer experience plays an important role in whether consumers decide to make a purchase or come back to your business again. In fact, American Express reports that 17 percent of Americans will spend more money because of a positive customer experience, but more than half of shoppers have scrapped a planned purchase as a result of subpar service.
The easiest way to improve your customer experience is to focus on your team communication—both in how employees interact with your customers, but also in how they communicate with themselves and between departments.
To develop and encourage great communication between employees, which will lead to better communication with shoppers and improved customer experience, check out these simple, yet powerful ideas.
Create Easy-to-Access On-Call Communication Channels
Email is no longer an effective way to communicate in a fast-paced business environment. If you send an important message to your team or employee, you don’t know how long it will take for them to read and respond to your message. Plus, if in a group thread, it’s difficult to locate a key piece of information that’s needed in a hurry.
Messaging systems and team communication platforms are a simple and increasingly popular solution that can improve your team’s communication with each other. They allow you to share quickly and easily while also locating important information on the fly.
Plus, most of these platforms can be downloaded as mobile apps so your employees can have easy access, no matter where they are. Here are a few communication channels to consider for your team:
- Hubgets: Real-time communication, group chats, easy-to-access knowledge base that everyone can contribute to and make use of.
- Google Chat/Hangouts: It’s free and comes with gmail, making it perfect for small budgets and teams.
- Alexa for Business: When programmed for your business, employees can quickly access information with simple voice commands.
Improve Post-Interaction Note Taking
The more time that passes after each customer interaction, the less each employee will remember about the conversation. In fact, more than 30 percent of multitaskers immediately have trouble remembering information that was just discussed.
Encourage your team to take detailed notes in your system in real-time or immediately after the interaction ends to make sure that eachfile is up-to-date and accurate for the next employee who speaks with the customer. When all team members have the information they need without asking customers to repeat themselves, they can easily improve the customer experience—and all because of one small change.
Open Cross-Departmental Communication
Your customer service team might not always know the answers to your customers’ questions. Sometimes, your team will need to connect with a product manager or technical specialist to find a solution, which is why operating in a silo is no longer an option. In a recent customer experience article, I explained that organizational silos obstruct the flow of information, especially from one team to the other. Not only does this affect communication, but it fosters an environment of competition instead of collaboration.
What’s more, opening up those silos does more than improve customer experience. According to the Institute for Corporate Productivity, companies that promote collaborative working are five times more likely to be high performing.
Work with other department managers to open lines of communication between teams and employees. If you have the time and resources, monthly lunch and learns or passport programs can be an effective way to encourage teams to work together and better understand each other’s processes and identify the best ways to collaborate.
Schedule Weekly Prep Sessions
Digital communication systems are valuable for sharing messages with your team, but it can sometimes feel impersonal if that’s the only way you communicate. According to an employee engagement report from TINYPulse, only about 25 percent of employees say they felt highly valued at work.
Holding weekly in-person meetings makes employees feel more valued while also giving them the opportunity to discuss recent major calls or issues. This is also a chance to work together to build communication strategies and goals for the next week.
Adrien Lemaire from Dimelo says employee satisfaction is as important as customer satisfaction, and that happy agents are “more motivated, bring better answers, ultimately having an impact on customer satisfaction.” More importantly, this can reduce the turnover rate, the average of which for call centers is as high as 30 percent to 45 percent.
Focus on Team Camaraderie
One of the first lessons a sales person learns is that the customer can feel you smiling through the phone. If your team is frustrated with one another, or not communicating well, it stands to reason the customer can feel the strain of that as well. That’s why it’s important that team camaraderie is a priority, along with investing in the right software and connecting regularly about important customer needs and updates.
To help develop better team camaraderie, JustWorks suggests a few fun team ideas:
- Take a cooking class
- Attend an improv class
- Organize a team potluck
- Host a game day
- Try an escape room
Getting the team together and encouraging them to communicate outside of work allows them to get to know one another as a person. This can lead to greater respect for one another and ultimately, better communication inside the office.
Create a Better Customer Experience with Improved Team Communication
Building strong communication between your team members is vital for a better customer experience. Whether you invest in dedicated team communication channels or encourage face-to-face conversations between your team and other departments, if your employees are connected and on the same page, customers will reap the benefits.