4 Easy Ways to Impress Customers using Communication


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Communication is everything in all types of relationships, especially when it comes to your customers. If you ever thought customer communication is overrated, think again – 70 percent of customers are willing to spend more with companies that provide excellent customer service. The way you interact with your customers has a direct impact on your bottom line. If they feel that they’re understood and treated with respect, they’re likely to keep doing business with you.

So what about when things go wrong? It’s inevitable, things happen. How you and your frontline handle the inescapable adversity can make all of the difference. Not sure how to go about it? Here are four simples ways to get you started.

1. Be Accessible

According to HelpScout, 96 percent of your dissatisfied customers will never even contact you to voice their concerns. That means you only get a chance to wow the other 4 percent. Your first step is to be super accessible. How many times do you allow yourself to get bounced around from rep to rep while repeating your story over and over before hanging up? Or even worse, you fill out a form online or email a generic email address and never receive a response.

So now you know what not to do, but how do you become more accessible for your customers as a small business with limited resources? Being accessible can mean staffing adequately, adding channels of communication such as live chat, or even by instilling a reactivity time frame standard for your employees so that customers aren’t left wondering when and if their problem will be handled. Even if it’s a complex issue that can’t be solved immediately, a simple notification that the concern has been received and is being addressed will provide them with peace of mind.

2. Acknowledge the Problem and Be Empathetic

The second worst frustration behind getting stuck in the non-stop customer service loop that leads to nowhere is getting a defensive rep who impugns your issue instead of showing a little empathy. Last week my doctor sent me out to have bloodwork done, I made the earliest appointment possible so I could make it to the office in time and then drove across town only to get turned away because the lab order didn’t have the proper codes. It was so early the doctor’s office wasn’t open yet, so I hung my head and drove back across town and went to work. I called a couple hours later and instead of apologizing, they got defensive and argued with me that the lab order was correct. That’s how you lose customers.

It’s so easy to fall in the trap of defending your company against customer complaints instead of understanding the problem and making the customer a part of the solution. You may win the argument but you’ll lose the business. When customers contact you with a problem, they want you to listen and show that you care. Be the reassuring voice that your customer want to hear and make them feel secure.

3. Speak their Language

Never let your industry jargon get in the way of your customer communication. Customers don’t know what your acronyms and other fancy terminologies mean. Also, they don’t care. They’ve got a problem they need solved. Save those for conversations with your colleagues. When the receptionist at my doctor’s office was attempting to salvage my situation, she named various blood test terms for me to write down while rushing to get me off the phone. I’m a marketer, not a doctor. You can imagine how quickly that conversation escalated to pure ugliness before I got what I needed.

When speaking with a frustrated customer, talk to them in a professional and respectful, yet compassionate tone using words that normal people use.

4. Close the Conversation by Setting Accurate Expectations

As important as it is to be accessible and open a customer interaction properly, it’s equally important to close the conversation in a way that puts your customers’ minds at ease. It’s not just about taking the customer’s call, generating a ticket and moving on to the next call.

Your objective is to leave the customer with a sense of satisfaction with the way you handled their query, even if that means spending a little extra time on the call until they feel comfortable with the result. Also, most customers are reasonable. They may expect instant communication but they don’t expect instant results. After they’ve had a chance to tell their story and hear yours, provide them with an accurate timeline of when they can expect a solution and then deliver. Nice Reply’s post shares examples of how to set clear expectations with customers.

The experience you deliver to your customers is directly tied to your communication strategy and 3 out of 5 Americans would try another company for a better experience. Positive communication is the simplest and possibly the most impactful way to provide a great customer experience. Being accessible, a good listener, relatable and realistic while handling customer issues is the best way to turn frustrated customers into loyal customers

Jamie Lowary, Lowary
Jamie is the Channel Relations Manager for PATLive, a 24/7 live answering service. Utilizing proprietary technology and top-notch agents PATLive provides customer support for thousands of businesses nationwide. Follow Jamie on Twitter (@JamieNLowary) for more insight into business communication, customer service, and more.


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