Customer Communication 101: How To Build Better Relationships

hand-drawn presentation of communication concept

Do you value customer service? Do you make sure your employees provide clients with the best possible experience? If you don’t, you may need to reevaluate your business plan.

According to Forbes, 84% of businesses with great customer experiences see increased revenue. Customers were asked what impacts their choice of brand loyalty. Ninety-six percent said that customer service was the most important factor.

Continue reading to learn more about improving customer communication and satisfaction.

Importance of Effective Customer Communication

Have you heard the acronym, CCM? Do you wonder, “What does CCM stand for?” It means Customer Communication Management.

This describes the different ways businesses interact with customers. Examples of methods for customer communication can include:

  • Email
  • Website
  • Snail mail
  • Social media
  • Telephone
  • Marketing channels

This represents only a partial list. Whichever approach you use, you need to determine how the customer is responding. The purpose of developing an effective CCM is to optimize your customer communications.

The best CCM systems enhance customer satisfaction. They guarantee effective creation, delivery, and storage of all customer interactions. The system must also cause the customer to engage in response to the interaction.

The CCM can provide a better customer experience with all interactions. This benefits your company when:

  • Customers choose to renew subscriptions
  • Customers pay their bills on time
  • Customers listen and engage with new product and service offerings

When you meet the customer needs, they respond positively toward your company. The endpoint goal is always improved business opportunities.

Effective Communication Tips

Effective customer communication is imperative regardless of which platform you choose. The following are some tips for optimizing customer interactions.

Patience Is Paramount

At times, a customer will approach you because they have doubts, feel confused, or are angry. Miscommunication often contributes to this situation. It’s imperative for the business representative to employ a high level of patience.

Calmly ask the customer to explain their problem. Let them know you want to work with them to find a solution. You may want to take notes to demonstrate that their details have value.

Always remember that great service in this situation is better than fast service. When you reach a resolution, you often gain a loyal customer.

Provide Accurate Information

Make sure that all business representatives provide customers with consistent and accurate information. Customers feel like they’re getting “the runaround” when employees give different answers.

This escalates the customer’s frustration. A recent report showed that 94% of customers leave without any notice. If they believe it’s more trouble than it’s worth, they will go elsewhere.

Anticipate Customer Needs

Customers feel delighted when you can provide products and services promptly. Demonstrating that you anticipated their needs increases the perception of your expertise. Providing relevant, beneficial suggestions also impresses customers.

Don’t make customers have to ask when their order or service will be completed. Jump in and give regular updates on the progress and estimated finish time. If there’s a delay, let the customer know immediately and explain the rationale.

If you use a website as part of the customer communication, offer a live-person option. Try to avoid just sending them to an FAQ page.

Actively Listen and Don’t Interrupt

When a customer is explaining what they want or why they are unhappy, listen with care. Take notes to help you remember the details and show that you are really listening. Avoid interrupting.

Interruptions make a person feel that you don’t value what they're saying. They become angry and often more aggressive when trying to make their point. This can delay or even prevent a resolution.

If you are in the proposal stage of a project or service, let them tell you all their ideas. Next, review what you understand about their ideas. Then make suggestions based on your expertise.

This demonstrates that you wish to meet their unique needs and you value their business.

Be an Expert

When customers ask questions about your product, have the knowledge to give an answer. People look to you and your employees for expertise. If the customer feels like the person they are talking to doesn’t “know their stuff”, they lose confidence.

Customers that lack confidence will often go elsewhere. They don't want to risk spending money on a company that may give them a poor product or service.

Be Honest

While it’s important to foster confidence, there are times when you may not know the answer. In that situation, be honest. Tell the customer how will find the answer or work to resolve the problem.

It’s vital that you stay in communication with the customer while you work on finding the answer. Leaving the customer hanging will often result in the customer leaving you.

Avoid Short Cuts

This customer may be your thirtieth of the day. Yet, you are the first person from your business they've talked to today.

It’s not acceptable to lower the standards when you’re tired or the day is almost over. Treat every person like they are the first customer of the day.

Speak Their Language

People are not impressed if you use a bunch of jargon that they don’t understand. This doesn’t make you look smarter is makes you seem less caring. Make a point to explain terms and processes.

Always check to make sure that the person understands what you are telling them. Backtrack as needed until they understand. It’s okay to teach them the language.

Do You Like to DIY?

If you like to handle things yourself, you have found the right site. We provide a growing online library of articles like this one about customer communication. These articles provide advice from experts, hobbyists, and enthusiastic amateurs.

We can give you ideas about how to save time and money. Our information may also help avoid unnecessary mistakes. “Like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter today.

 

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