Customer satisfaction is key to your business success. A happy customer is much more likely to pass on your details to friends and acquaintances or talk you up on social media. And we all know how important word of mouth advertising can be.
The secret to customer satisfaction, beyond providing an excellent product or service, is the effectiveness of your communication with them. Here are seven tips to help you communicate more effectively with customers:
The importance of listening to your customers may seem obvious but it’s surprising how many companies still get this wrong. Don’t interrupt, sympathise with any problems your customer may be experiencing and make sure you understand the whole scope of the question or problem before offering a solution. Active listening means demonstrating to the speaker that you are listening to them. It’s a good idea to repeat the issue back to a customer before formulating a response, just to confirm that you have all of the facts straight.
Be Positive and Sincere
Don’t treat your customers as statistics or as a thorn in your side. Offer a personalised service that shows you care about each and every one of them. Go the extra mile. If a customer experiences a problem, fix it and then reassure them that you’re making improvements to ensure it won’t happen again. Be positive and sincere in all of your communications in order to provide excellent customer service.
Keep Your Customers Informed
There’s nothing worse than feeling you’re being kept in the dark. Long periods of communication silence can make a customer doubt the trustworthiness of your brand. When a customer makes a purchase, provide automated updates on the progress of their order. When a customer has a complaint or a query, provide updates even if there is nothing to report to show that their issue hasn’t been forgotten. Informed customers, even if you’re informing them of a problem, are generally happier than those who struggle to find the information they need.
Don’t Use Technical Language
Be sure to communicate with your customers in language they understand. This means avoiding the use of industry specific phrases, acronyms and technical language. You may need to train your staff in translating technical information into more easily understood formats. It’s especially important to do this if you are regularly providing product support for your customers.
Provide a Variety of Communication Mediums
In a digital age, there are countless mediums through which to communicate with your customers. Social media, email, telephone, letter and even text message are all options available to you. Ask customers creating an account with you how they prefer to receive their communications. Also try to set up as many channels as possible for customer enquiries. That way you’re providing the ideal communication method for every type of customer.
Whilst communicating by email and text message has become the norm, there is still some uncertainty about the rules of writing in these forms. Keep everything professional, proof for spelling and grammar mistakes and don’t fall into the trap of using text speak abbreviations. A professional message will instil trust in your customers.
Keep Developing Your Communication Skills
You should regularly step back and evaluate the effectiveness of your communications with customers. Locate areas for improvement and implement new strategies. Consider attending a dedicated customer communication course to really boost your understanding and skills in this area.
Your business is built on the happiness of your customers. Communicate effectively, in a variety of mediums and with empathy to improve your communication with customers and boost your business profits too.
With a background in business administration and management, Tess Pajaron currently works at Open Colleges, Australia’s leading online educator. She likes to cover stories in careers and marketing.