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Tips for effective communication with customers

Communication skills spell out how you progress in both your personal and professional life. Even if you have a great idea for a new business, if you are unable to communicate it, you can be ruined.

And if you can’t convince your customers about your product or service, they will simply move ahead to the other available options.

Communication can be through emails, messages and social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Effective communication with your customers rings throughout your business in ways such as:

Creates fewer touchpoints

Increases your conversions

Boosts customer loyalty

Offers faster support, among others.

Here are a few communication concepts that all businesses can use to communicate effectively with customers to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Patience

Sometimes customers reach out when they are unsure or confused. They may be angry because of miscommunication or because they feel that they have been treated unfairly. A great deal of patience is required to understand the problem and thereafter offer a solution. Be patient and secure the details.

Learn much about your customers

Your team should have more or enough information before they try to help or reach out to the customer. Store any data you have about the customer, such as account credentials, previous support inquiries, and anything uncovered during the sales process. Make all of that information readily available so that anyone that interacts with customers can see it.

Double-check your assumptions

Ask customers to confirm that your assumptions are right whenever you can. Some of the useful phrases to use are:

• Let me know if that’s right!

• It sounds to me like…

• Can you confirm, among others

Proactive approach

When customers call you to get an issue resolved, the resolution may take more time than required. In such situations, when you have a customer waiting for your response, be proactive and keep the customer informed of the progress rather than have the customer get in touch with you time and again for an update.

End every interaction with an invitation

Finish every conversation with “Let me know if there’s anything else I can help with!” It lets the customer know that you’re willing to help and go the extra mile as needed. You may also offer additional documentation, refer the customer to another resource, or state the next steps for the customer.

Attentiveness

While attending to a customer complaint, if you happen to miss out any important details, it would just provoke the situation. Block the noise and focus entirely on the query at hand, you could have a pen and paper to help you make notes.

Personalize Every Interaction

Personalization is a powerful tool to grab customer attention and deliver memorable experiences. Greet your customers by their first name and share content based on their likes and interests. Keep complete customer information, it could be from the products or services they have bought from you to the history of their past communications.

Avoid interrupting

When customers are complaining, do not interrupt. You might think that offering a quick solution or response would make it easier for great customer service but interrupting customers actually upsets them and makes them feel less valued.

Encourage Questions

You can not only answer customer questions but also get the opportunity to educate them about the various things. Before concluding a conversation, always ask; “Do you have any questions you would like to ask?” When customer questions are answered promptly, they can gain much needed clarity on aspects such as product features, available discounts, delivery schedules, return policy, and more.

Know your product/service offered inside out

Customer queries are mostly related to the product/service your brand offers. There is no excuse for an employee to not be aware or well versed with the products/services that his organization offers. The management must ensure that all the employees are trained effectively for the same.

Eliminate the Use of Negative Phrases

Even if you encounter an abusive customer, repeating the same will not make you any better. Every customer who contacts your business wants to hear that there is a solution to their problems. Using words such as “we can’t”, “not possible” or “don’t” will signal an inability to solve a problem or lack of expertise. The consistent use of negative words or phrases may frustrate customers and make them lose confidence in your brand.

Focus on using language that is positive to reassure your customers that they have come to the right place. 

Honesty

In case you are not aware of any aspect of the details that the business has to offer, tell the customer you will get the information for them. Don’t cover it up by saying ‘I think…’ or ‘It could be…’. This sort of communication will create doubts about your organization and your brand.

Use Consistent Brand Vocabulary

You must use consistent brand terms that customers can easily grasp. The vocabulary used to communicate with customers must match the vocabulary used on your business website, product catalogs, mobile application, social media pages, etc. 

Using different terms for the same things might confuse customers and impact their buying decision. Train your staff to be consistent in the vocabulary they use across all communication channels. 

Use Analogies

In case you feel that the customer is finding it difficult to understand your solution, you may convey the message with an analogy. Use non technical terms or simpler terms and put it in simple language for them to understand.

Understand What You Are Doing Wrong

Every business makes mistakes, communicating with customers is not easy, especially when they have higher expectations than ever before. However, it is important to identify such mistakes, learn from them, and avoid repeating them in the future.  

Customer feedback is a great way to understand what you are doing wrong and how customers would like to be communicated. 

The way you communicate with your customers can make or break your brand. Improved communication with customers can lead to happy customers, repeat purchases, or even increased referrals.

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