Quality communication opens every door! It is vital for having a healthy personal life as well as for business prosperity! Advanced communication skills are essential ingredients for success in every business department; however, they play a critical role in customer support. Poor communication can have a dramatic effect on your business operations. For example, when a customer leaves your website angry or, in a worst-case scenario, leaves a bad review.
Communication is a very tricky area where one word can mean dozens of different things, both positive and negative. Your goal should be to always make your customers happy. In order to do that, you need to practice empathy and tailor every communication to their needs. This approach will leave them calm and satisfied.
Customer service is the face of your company. The communication techniques you use can make or break your business. When given a choice, you would probably build up your brand integrity and send a message to increase your customer loyalty and start positive word-of-mouth recommendations. Thus, you must focus on improving your most important asset: communication!
Here are the top communication tips that guarantee stellar customer support!
1. Deliver trustworthy messages while using positive language
The key to providing excellent customer support is to deliver the right message with an appropriate tone. Remember, these two are only effective if they go together. An accurate message delivered with an impolite tone will still create conflict with a customer, and the same can happen if the tone is right but the message is off.
Instead, aim at delivering consistent branded information to build up your customers’ trust each day! There will be times when you won’t be able to provide instant feedback or a solution; however, that doesn’t mean you have to disappoint your customers. Alternatively, you can use positive language by offering chatbot support or promising that you will shortly connect them to someone who can assist in solving their problem.
Written communication is always easier. Check the message from a customer’s perspective to see if there may be some negative outcome, such as an out of stock item. If that is the case, make the overall experience positive by offering alternatives or easy refunds.
But most importantly, make your customer feel invited and appreciated. Never point out or even suggest that their questions are trivial because you will risk sounding condescending.
2. Share their lingo
Keep in mind that your customers are not experts in your industry,product or service. They are just ordinary users that need help. This is especially relevant for the IT, financial, and legal industries that work with demanding terminology. Customers don’t expect you to be their superior, but rather they want you to be their friend and to speak in a language they understand. Therefore, you should familiarize yourself with your audience’s lingo so they can get to know your brand better.
You don’t want to patronize your customers, as that can only cause them to feel irritated and alienated. And that is the last thing you need. Instead, your goal should be to make them feel comfortable talking to you in an easy-to-understand manner.
3. Let the solution drive the support communication
Are your support messages clear enough? You should leave no space for ambiguity in your customer service as it can only increase customer distrust.
As an alternative, train your staff to speak deliberately to preserve your positive brand image. Following this advice, you can rest assured that you will avoid all unnecessary problems that can arise due to a simple misunderstanding. Additionally, this approach will enable you to provide proactive support and solve customers’ problems before they even occur! Undoubtedly, clear communication and constant, proactive attentiveness will build up your brand equity and make your offer even more valuable to your target audience.
Moreover, you should encourage your customers to seek support because that is the most effective way to connect with them. This method has proven to work better than any ad campaign due to its multiple direct communication opportunities.
4. Manage customer expectations
One of the key tasks you need to be extremely careful about is managing your customers’ expectations. Overpromising and then underdelivering is a surefire way to lose even your most loyal customers. If anything, your goal should be to underpromise and overdeliver.
You need to keep your customers in the loop and inform them of any changes that your company may be going through. That is how you can pave the way to having long-term relationships with them, where they trust you and stay with you even during periods of crises. Perfection is an unrealistic ideal; therefore, they will understand if there are minor issues at your company.
To keep your database intact you should:
- Update your customers on your business operations and offers regularly
- Give a timeframe for a solution
- Provide an honest estimation of a service cost
- Let them know when they can expect the service to be complete
When your customer understands the process they will appreciate the effort you make during both good and difficult times.
5. Keep things personal
Reap incredible benefits from adding a personal touch to your customer experiences. A recent Segment study found that 71% of customers feel frustrated when a company offers an impersonal shopping experience. You can’t count on long-term cooperation if you don’t know your customers' or clients’ names. Additionally, knowing their purchasing preferences or personal information such as their birthday can contribute greatly to your CST and review score.
This is an easier task for small businesses. However, large-scale businesses have an option too. With a secure customer support software, you can send millions of personalized messages to your customers all around the world! For example, you can send the same, personalized Christmas card to all of your customers with a single mouse click.
All of this is possible with a well-designed CRM platform where you can keep track of request progress as well as customer histories. By building customer profiles, you can provide all relevant details to your support reps to help them deliver superb customer experiences. This is one of the best ways to make your customers feel cherished and turn them into true brand advocates.
6. Provide empathetic support
Empathetic customer support is the hottest trend these days. And for good reason! You can’t have quality connections with your customers if you don’t understand their needs properly, right? However, to establish a quality relationship you need to step out of your comfort zone. An empathetic approach requires you to take a walk in your customers’ shoes to comprehend their needs and serve them in the best way possible. Empathy is a virtue and a winning approach to dealing with a request, which will ensure you are making your customers happy.
7. Train your staff on active listening
Active listening is gold for fantastic support communication! This support communication should be a base for any other communication technique you are planning to use.
To be a good empath, you need to be an active listener first. Even if you make a mistake, a customer will likely forgive you if they feel you have listened to their complaint and respected their time and effort.
Try these effective active listening techniques:
- Reserve judgment
- Ask the right questions
- Repeat a customer’s concerns to them
- Offer clear and direct solutions
8. Adopt chat tools
Technology makes everything easier! The latest tech advancements set the revolutionary standards for the customer support industry. Now you're able to halve your costs and to provide a better service. This is no longer unattainable due to new support chat tools that help you deliver rapid solutions with easy-to-use modern tools.
AI-powered chat enables 24/7 instant answering in real time. Territorial and time zone boundaries don’t stop Helpy AI support agent from solving about 90% of your customers’ queries. This sophisticated support agent will help you get ahead of companies who use typical chatbots that can’t reply to complex questions such as “Where is my order?”.
With Carin, Helpy’s AI chat, you can achieve a high First Response Time (FRT) while offering a more human-like, conversational experience. However, a support tool that’s both digital and human is live chat! Here, your customers can communicate with your agents while enjoying dozens of tech benefits including mobile-enabled chatting, emojis, and file or photo uploads. Additionally, if your agents are not available at the moment, the Helpy knowledge base widget will work its magic and direct your customers to your informative articles. You’ll never have to leave your customers with empty hands again!
9. Define communication times
People are aware of the fact that businesses don’t usually operate around the clock. Even though there is an amazing, 24/7 AI chatbot, older generations still prefer to call and some people opt to live chat. Thus it is critical that you make it clear when they can reach out to you and and approximate turnaround time so that you do not disappoint them!
10. Collect customer feedback
To make sure you’re communicating correctly, simply create a survey to collect customer feedback. You can use it at the beginning of an interaction to gather necessary personal information and make the whole exchange more effective. The other way to use this information is at the end of a conversation to learn if your customers left happy! This feedback can help you fine tune your service and marketing strategies to guarantee that your customers always receive outstanding support. This is how you will inspire and incentivize them to do more business with you!