Customers often judge an entire company based on a single interaction. Whether it’s visiting for the first time or dealing with a support issue, this communication will play a significant role in the overall success and longevity of your business.
When considering customer engagement and retention, you need to set standards for how you interact. Here are five of the best ways to ensure your customer interactions are top-notch.
Getting in touch with you should be simple and straightforward. Make yourself accessible to customers by meeting them where they are. For example, having a social media presence as well as email support, and a phone number ensures that all customers feel contacting you for assistance.
When planning your accessibility, it’s also important to consider wait and response times. The longer it takes to hear from you, the more frustrated your customer will become. Manage expectations by offering callbacks or indicating response time with automated messages.
Add a Human Touch
When a customer calls a phone service, they do it because they want a human to help them solve a problem as soon as possible. Having them go through numerous menus and listen to automated responses is frustrating. Consider using a virtual phone service to guarantee a human response every time.
Don’t forget to add a human touch when interacting through social media or messaging as well. Using humor and speaking with a conversational tone goes a long way when conversing via the internet.
Say it With a Smile
It’s a classic sales and reception trick: smile before answering the phone, and the customer will hear it. The same theory applies to every customer interaction, whether it’s through phone, in-person, or online. Take a moment to smile and remember your goals before initiating a conversation.
This trick is especially useful for service and support interactions, as the customer is usually reaching out from the point of frustration. Your tone can help them remember to adjust their own.
Be Grateful and Empathetic
Remember to express your gratitude when speaking to a customer. You’re grateful that they chose your business and decided to spend their hard-earned money with you. You’re grateful that they decided to call for help, rather than discontinuing their service or throwing your product in the trash.
Prioritizing empathy is also important, no matter what the issue is. Phrases like, “that sounds so frustrating,” and, “I’m sorry you’re experiencing this difficulty” go a long way to forging strong customer relationships. Customers want to know that their feelings are valid and that the company cares; using gratitude and empathy is essential to accomplish this.
Take a Moment Before Speaking
Some customers forget that they’re interacting with a living, breathing human who likely didn’t cause their problem in the first place. One of the greatest customer service challenges is not letting your frustration or reactions shine through.
Take a moment to collect yourself and take a breath before responding. Consider your responses, especially when working in realtime. That being said, no one should have to withstand verbal abuse. Being calm doesn’t mean having to listen to someone swear at or insult you.
Bring in the customer service industry is tough; whether you’re a business owner, receptionist, or salesperson. Take time to review the best practices for interacting with customers and know that these little conversations go a long way.