If you ever thought customer communication is over-rated, consider this simple fact: 70 percent of consumers 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 sales numbers. If they’re treated with respect and feel that you’re willing to understand their problem, they’re likely to keep doing business with you.
Despite the emergence of social media and messaging apps, most customers still prefer phone calls to communicate with service reps. In a world where customer services are increasingly moving towards automation, phone calls offer a huge opportunity for brands to win over customers with superior customer communication.
Not sure how to go about it? Here are four simple tips to get you started.
1. Create a Memorable First Impression
According to HelpScout, 96 percent of your dissatisfied customers never contact you to voice their concerns. The 4 percent that do, need to be looked after really well.
Which is why nailing your first impression is so important.
Even if you’re too busy to pick up every call or don’t want the hassle of managing an in-house customer services team, routing calls to an automated system is not always the best option.
People feel disrespected when they’re tossed around by automated call systems. They want a real person to listen to their problem and understand their concern.
A study by American Express shows that 67 percent of customers hung up the phone out of frustration at not being able to talk to a real person.
This is exactly why partnering with a professional answering service makes so much sense. It takes the burden of customer communication off your shoulders and gives you a remote team of services professionals who’re trained specifically to create a lasting impression on your customers.
2. Customer Communication 101: Acknowledge the Problem and Show Empathy
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.
When customers contact you with a problem, they want you to listen to them and show that you care. Don’t try to prove them wrong with facts & figures and technical jargon. You might win the argument but you’ll certainly lose their business.
Show empathy and be the customer’s advocate in your company. Be the reassuring voice that your customers want to hear and make them feel secure.
Source: Developing Empathy
For example, which of the two statements would make you feel more comfortable as a customer?
\“Your complaint has been forwarded to the relevant department, which will contact you soon.”
“Hey Amy, I completely understand your concern and have escalated this to James, our services manager, who’ll make sure your problem is resolved ASAP. I’ll be personally following up on this for you.”
3. Speak Your Customer’s Language
Never let your industry jargon come in the way of your customer communication. Customers don’t care about your KPI’s, SLAs and other fancy terminologies that only you and your colleagues understand.
Talk to them in a professional and respectful, yet compassionate tone using words that normal people use. This, of course, can be done much more effectively over a phone call as compared to an email or a live chat session.
Studies show that phone support not only leads to greater customer satisfaction but also results in 10x more sales in the long run.
4. Close Your Conversations the Right Way
Like first impressions, it important to close your calls in the right manner as well. Remember, 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 his query, even if it means extending the call until he feels right.
Look for additional opportunities by asking if you can do anything else for the customer and showing that you’re willing to go to any lengths to ensure that he leaves happy.
The human-centric nature of phone communication not only makes it the preferred choice for most customers but also gives brands and service providers a much bigger opportunity to create memorable customer experiences.
By teaming up with a professional answering service, you can make full use of this opportunity and grow your business without handling the calls yourself.