In many ways, communication is essential for any business owner. While companies with poor customer communication might still attract business, they will never achieve the level of customer satisfaction that they could have had. Here are some simple tips to help you improve your customer communication.
Above all, you want your customers to have a positive experience when they do business with you. If the staff is cranky or disinterested, it puts a dark cloud over the whole experience. One study on the subject found that nurses were able to greatly improve customer satisfaction by maintaining a positive and cheerful demeanor.
Quick Response Time
Depending on your industry, quick response time might be more important than positivity. Due to technological advances allowing for more rapid response times, customers now often expect a reply from businesses in less than 24 hours, while some expect it in as little as 5 minutes. As such, you can expect that your response time will have a noticeable effect on your customer reviews.
This factor becomes even more important when addressing customer complaints and reviews. Chances are that this kind of customer will be a little bit irritated to begin with. They might even be furiously angry. In this situation, a short wait on hold can give them more time to boil and seethe; this will make it all the harder to deal with them.
Never Interrupt the Customer
When speaking to any customer, it is essential that you listen well and refrain from interrupting, even if there is a reason to do so. For many people, it is important to feel that others are listening. Research has proven what business owners have known for centuries: that courtesy makes a big difference to the level of your customers’ satisfaction.
Don’t Get Too Technical
No matter what kind of business you run, there are probably some special terms that apply specifically to your industry. When speaking to your co-workers, this terminology might be helpful. The customer is another story.
When speaking to a new customer, you should assume that they know absolutely nothing about your business or the type of services that you provide. As such, you should try to explain things in a way that anyone can understand. Avoid large words or technical terms, even if they are very familiar to you.
Don’t Let Them Leave Mad
If your customers are unhappy with your goods or services for any reason, it is important to address the problem immediately. One bad experience can lose a customer forever, so try not to dismiss any legitimate complaint. Yes, some people like to complain about minor things, but your job is to make the customer happy.
Flexibility is the key to dealing with this situation. If possible, you should be willing to bend the rules in certain special cases. An inflexible business that doesn’t work with the needs of individual customers is unlikely to keep its customers over the long haul.
Avoid Long Silences
This one isn’t the most important factor, but it will make a difference. When speaking to a customer, try not to go long periods without speaking. Even if you are in the middle of something, try to keep the customer reassured by continuing to talk to them and keeping them informed. Even a slight mumble as you click on the computer can be enough to let them know that you aren’t ignoring them.
As with all human relationships, you have to keep good lines of communication open to all. As a final note, you should always give your customers more than one way to get in touch with you. If there is only one line of communication between you and your customers, you can bet that it will remain clogged for a large part of the day. For this reason, always give the customer a second option like an e-mail address or a social media page. Email marketing is still a big deal! Plus, paying attention to the human side of your business means that you’re more able to keep all its customers and thrive accordingly. By listening to your customer’s needs and responding in a timely manner, you will gain a definite advantage over the competition.