In many industries the key to creating a great experience for your customer is the communication that takes place between the employee and the consumer. Taking the time to understand your customer’s needs is critical in gaining their trust and loyalty. If a customer has a problem, do not ignore this. Take the time to listen to their complaint and find the most efficient and genuine way to come to a conclusion. These decisions will be beneficial for your company as well as the consumer and the likelihood of them recommending your brand.
I recently came across a great article published by Help Scout, “How To Talk to Your Customers.” They discuss many great tips for focusing on the communication aspect of customer service. The dialogue between the employee and the customer is a key component in deciding whether the customer will walk away angry or happy.
“Great Communication is an art. Honing it to a keen edge is a science. (Help Scout)”
As you can tell communication is not only critical, but can be difficult to master. One of the biggest takeaways from this article was the necessity of companies treating the customer as a human being. Consumers do not want to be treated generically. Taking a little bit of extra time to understand the customers’ point of view can make a world of difference. Help Scout broke communication down into three different segments, but I will just be focusing on the first piece, which is the tone of voice and message.
Here are some of my favorite tips from their article:
- Use positive language
- Be brief but not brusque
- Reply in a timely manner
- Always use your customer’s name
- Build templates for saved replies
- Offer to help further
- Show, don’t just tell
- Talk to your customers like people
I think one of the most crucial communication tips is replying in a timely manner. No one wants to feel as if their problem is being ignored and that they are not a priority. A customer wants to know that you listened and are doing what you can to fix the complaint in a timely manner. Being brushed off is one of the fastest ways to make a customer angry, and more likely to have a poor experience overall with your store.
Another key to success is saving templates from previous replies. Most likely your employees will receive a similar type complaint more than once. Saving these replies will help to increase timeliness, while also allowing the employee to tweak the message to the customer specifically. With new employees joining the company these can also be used as training tools to bring new employees up to speed on your customer service expectations.
If you’d like to read more articles like the one I mentioned from Help Scout, follow me on twitter @britsly. I love to post great articles about customer service, experience, stories and tips from other great #cx bloggers!