As the saying goes, good communication isn’t about what you say, but what the other person hears.
When communicating with customers, you want to be sure employees understand how to make an impact that leads to stronger relationships. Here are 7 tips for good customer communication.
1. Don’t Show Off
You’re a product expert and that’s impressive. But customers don’t need a long dissertation in response to product questions or feedback.
This is especially important to remember when dealing with negative customer feedback. Attempting to explain too much can come across as not taking responsibility for the problem or talking down to the customer.
Guard against sounding boastful when helping customers. You can sound authoritative about the topic in a way that helps customers solve a problem without preaching.
2. Keep Messages Short
Listen closely to customer questions to hear what exactly you can say that resolves their issue the fastest. When you get complaints from customers, you want to find the path to the resolution before the problem boils over.
The famous KISS, or keep it simple, stupid, teaches concise communication over long explanations. This is because short messages are much easier to read and digest.
The only exception is when offering a class or course. In this case, customers are looking for a deep dive into a specific topic.
3. Don’t Let Problems Wait
Problems that fester gives customers opportunities to spread their negative feedback to others by writing online reviews or posting to social media. Quick responses show attentiveness and that you care about making things better.
Even when there is no resolution to the issue, you’ll lessen the impact of the problem by starting the conflict resolution process right away. Own the problem as soon as you learn about the issue.
In some way, you failed to manage the customer’s expectations which led to the issue. Keep this in mind when training employees as it can help them take their attention away from blame-shifting if a customer becomes rude.
When you follow the mantra, ‘the customer is always right’ you keep the door open for the customer to return to your business at a later date once they realize they can’t find a superior product or service elsewhere.
4. Be Proactive About Customer Communication
Why wait until there’s a problem to communicate with customers? Positive experiences still benefit from prompt follow up.
After you make a sale, contact customers to see whether there’s anything you can offer to improve their experience. For example, did they have any trouble mailing in their rebate or installing the product?
Silent customers are a wealth of information that can help you improve your account management process by tenfold. Be proactive to learn how your customers think and how you can better serve their needs.
5. Take Action
A strong brand tells its own story. Use customer feedback, both positive and negative, to help tell your story.
Negative feedback provides you with a conversation starting point. Use product shortcomings to reveal a new and improved version down the road.
This has the dual benefit of showing customers you’re listening to their specific needs and giving you an upgraded version of your product. Customers that feel heard are more likely to trust your brand in the future even if they’ve had a bad experience in the past.
6. Watch Your Tone
Chances are, your target audience has a certain style of communication already. Do your marketing messages match this style of communication?
Audit your followers’ social media pages to get a sense of how they communicate to the public. Use social listening tools to narrow down keywords and events that appeal to their interests.
The better you understand how your customer thinks, the easier it’ll be to find the right tone in your marketing. Well-written copies get results.
Watch your marketing campaign soar once you find the right style of language to use in customer communication. The tone should match its medium.
If you aren’t able to perform a social listening audit, simply match your message to the platform you’re using to communicate. For example, on Instagram, photos reign supreme.
Use captivating pictures to draw readers in instead of an infographic. On YouTube, between educational or entertaining content.
Avoid sales videos unless they help customers quickly make a product decision. Video content should reveal a brand personality to help set you apart from your competitors.
7. Automate, Automate, Automate
Having the right message is important, but it won’t make a difference if you aren’t talking to the right audience.
Larger companies need a system for automating customer communication. With thousands of prospects to manage, it’s impossible for an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of every interaction.
Find out more about customer communication management software that can help your organization generate qualified leads. Qualified leads equal more sales and an increase in your bottom line.
You’ll find sales and marketing teams more aligned with strong automation software in place. Customer communication software can pull information on demographics, email opens, and other details that help your research process.
The cost of customer communication management isn’t cheap. When you factor in the amount of time saved and sales gained by focusing only on interested customers, it’s worth the investment.
Communicating with Customers the Right Way
There’s no magic bullet to solve customer communication overnight. If your team has fallen short on communication skills in the past, you’ll need to devote time to create effective scripts and training modules that keep your outreach consistent.
But the extra time it takes to bring everyone up to speed is worth the effort. Good customer communication increases the bottom line by creating happy, repeat customers.
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