Communication lies at the core of human interaction, and it can either make or break your business. If you can develop and maintain communication with customers, you can increase your sales and also get repeat business. On the other hand, if you are not able to develop effective communication with customer, you run the risk of a fall in sales as customers get frustrated with you and negative word of mouth spreads about your business in the market.
That’s the reason you might have seen business owners asking the question as to how to communicate with customer to grow business. Phone calls are still deemed as the primary channel to connect to your customers. Social media channels are a secondary source of communication. Therefore, you need to focus on both to stay ahead of your competitors. Phone calls are best handled by sales or customer service teams and social media channels are best left to a social media marketing agency.
Communication skills can define which course you will take with your personal and professional lives. You can conceive a unique idea for a business but it is of no use if you cannot communicate it to investors or your partners. Communication skills help you convince your customers about your service or product. If you can’t effectively convince them, they will move on to the next product or service in the line. Customers don’t wait for anyone. Apart from social media and phone, there are other media of communications like emails, short messages, ads, and blogs by which you can maintain contact with potential customers.
All employees must be trained in communicating effectively but customer service representatives have to directly deal with your customers. Therefore, a lack of customer service skills can risk your business. Poor customer service can frustrate customers which is bad for sales. Here is a breakdown of some key communicating concepts that different organizations can use to build effective communication channels with customers.
A customer reaches out to your customer services representative when he is unsure or confused about the use of your product or service. If your customer service representative mistreats him, he is receiving a bad impression of your business. No matter how top-quality your product is, that customer is unlikely to gravitate toward you. Customer service representative needs to exhibit a great deal of patience to understand the problem and offer a solution. If your representative is trained to be patient, you will end up winning the game. Great service is always better than a faster service. Listen to your customer patiently and satisfy him.
When a customer calls you, he does so to get his issues resolved. The solution may require time more than the customer thinks. In these situations, you ought to remain proactive and keep the customer posted about the progress rather than make the customer contact you to inquire about the status of the problem. Customers hate repeat calling to the representative only to be told that the work is still in progress to resolve their problem. The best method is to set up FAQs on your website instead of getting customers to call you to ask simple queries.
While you are attending to a complaint by a customer, you may miss out on important details due to unwelcome noise during the phone call. This annoys customers. Try to block out any noise that may be interfering with your call and focus on what the customer has been asking. It is a good idea to keep a notebook and a pen to jot down what the customer says.
Do not interrupt
When the customer is speaking and complaining about your service, do not interrupt him. It is highly likely that you have heard about the same problem over and over again from other customers and you might be tempted to jump directly to the solution by interrupting the customer. However, when you interrupt customers, it upsets them, and they start feeling less valued. This is bad for your business.
Know the details of your products and services
Customer queries are usually related to the products and services you offer. There should be no excuse for the customer service representative to not know about the products and services that your organization offers. The management must organize training sessions and capacity building workshops to train the staff effectively.
If, as a customer service representative, you are unaware of the details that your business has to offer, you can tell the customer that you will retrieve the desired information for them. Don’t try to wing it by saying weak phrases like ‘I think’ or ‘This could be like that.’ If the resolution of an issue is taking a bit longer than expected, you must communicate that to your customers in a transparent way. Customers are usually annoyed if their expectations are not met. Communicate to your customer the entire process that you have to follow to resolve the issue.
Your body language tends to speak louder than your words. You must make the customers feel that you are actively listening to whatever he is saying. That’s one way to convince your customers that you respect them. Use positive words to acknowledge that you have heard and taken note of whatever your customer said.
Minimum hold times
A majority of customers believe that it takes too long to reach out to a customer service agent. A majority of customers hung up the phone because they get too much frustrated to not being able to talk to a real person. They just hate bots. Lots of businesses struggle to cope with the issue. People hate being put on hold for any time longer than a couple of minutes. That’s why you need to take steps to make sure that all calls are routed to the person concerned at the earliest.
It can be tempting to offer shortcuts to complaints and general queries. At the end of the long day, you may be exhausted after dealing with a long list of customers, but for the customer, you are the first service representative. That’s why you should behave like that. Don’t cut short the communication. Welcome the customer or you will most likely lose him.