Technologies play an important role in almost every aspect of the business, except for one: customer conversations. Having meaningful customer conversations increase engagement and provide useful insights into customer behavior. Having meaningful customer conversations have a great impact on your brand and never fail to deliver value to your customers. A perfect amalgam of the right people, skills, training, frameworks, environments, and technology will enable having meaningful customer conversations.
However, how to talk to customers and have meaningful conversations is more of science than art. Some of the best practices and tips for customer conversations will certainly help to improve customer service graph of your business.
Customer experience is the backbone of a healthy and flourishing business. Racking in benefits from customer support isn’t as lucid as it may seem. At times, you need to go beyond query resolution to maximize the benefits you seek from your customer support efforts. And through better customer conversations, customer support can be improved.
Psychology of customer conversation
Have you ever wondered why it is simple to understand customer behavior as to attract new customers, offer excellent customer service or to woo the existing customers to remain associated with your brand?
Because when you understand all these aspects of your business, you will know the customer expectations and how to fulfill their requirements. People are always desirous for great customer experience. You can accelerate your business growth by providing excellent customer service. The optimum level of customer service you offer retain the customers.
According to ClaraBridge, “45% of customers are willing to pay more for better customer service.”
Conversation with customers is a subtle part of almost every business irrespective of size or sector. To communicate and share our ideas, thoughts, and feelings with each other, we converse face to face and remotely through phone, email, text message, online comment boards, and in contracts. Having meaningful customer conversations form the bedrock of effective customer service for every business.
Tips or best practices for impactful customer conversations
1. Make conversations about customers and not about yourself
During conversations, keeping your mind on customer engagement and information extraction is the key. These conversations shouldn’t be about your product and services but how customers use them to resolve the problems they encounter.
Follow the below points while conversing with your customers
- Do not interrupt your customer while speaking. Listen to him carefully and allow him to finish.
- If needed offer real-time assistance through live chat or video chat.
- Allow your customer to speak about their experiences (both good and bad).
- Give complete attention and show interest to the customer feedback.
2. Make conversations personalized
Personalization dazzles the boring customer service. No matter what business sector you are in, connecting with customers at a personal level and personalize the experience. Make the conversations one-on-one basis, that will give a special feeling to the customer.
Using the first name to address the customer, learning the problems, understanding the requirements, and without wasting time in general questions – jump directly to a right solution for the customer makes the process personal as well as efficient.
Further, using an artificial intelligence powered chat application will help you in directing customers to the right support channel instantaneously. Consider the stat: 79% of buyers only consider brands that understand and care about them (Wunderman).
3. Have right conversational context
Make sure that you are heading the conversation with your customer in the right context. If the customer has approached with some sales related query or information, the conversation should revolve around the same context. Deviating out of the context does not add any value to the conversation.
You need to remember the purpose of your conversation. Your goal is to fulfill the requirements of your customer with a very delightful conversation. Give full attention to your customer by not making hurrying the conversion.
4. Keep positive tone
Develop a set of standards customer conversations that will allow each member to maintain a unique voice without sounding robotic. Maintain the tone positive during the conversation, putting your best language forward.
It means value whatever your customer speaks, listen to it and reply courteously. Never forget the golden words – “The customer is always right”. Without being negative or using blaming words deal with the customers.
Always be polite and use simple language. Use “Please” and “Thank you”.
Customers always remember positive experiences and then come back for more with the same expectations so as to form a long-term association. Always be kind to the customers and express gratitude so as to offer a chance to the brand over others.
5. Choose conversations that match channel
Customers can be communicated in different ways. Depending upon the channel of conversions it should be balanced with the environment.
For e.g., showing the feeling of empathy through live chat is not a wise way of communication. A phone call can better express the feeling than text. Email conversation can be excellent for highly technical conversations as it provides a direct point of reference for complex details.
Delivering omnichannel communication helps to reach out to your customers across their preferred channels. With omnichannel conversations, you can:
- Manage all conversations under one platform
- Get a complete overview/ historical view of your customer activities
- Your team can manage it more efficiently
- Serve your customers where they are
- Gain individual customer insights
- Engage with the customer in the real-time
Offer the different channels of communication to your customers. Match the conversation according to the channel they are comfortable. The customer can have conversations across
- Live Chat
- Social media
- Phone calls
6. Listen more, talk less
Practice active listening towards customers. Understanding and identifying the situation of the customer accurately from the beginning of the conversation will help in the quick resolution of the error and maintain positive communication.
Your customer must know that you are listening carefully, so do not interrupt, but interject by saying ‘I see’ or ‘I understand’. You can prepare canned responses to deal with the customer’s frequently asked questions to speed up the conversations while addressing the customers to enhance the customer experience.
Make a note of the feedback given by the customer while listening to him. Customers’ feedback is valuable, hence it is very important to take into consideration all their requests.
Feedback from customers can be collected in different ways such as
- Focus groups
- Customer service
- Social media
7. Build a dedicated support team
In order to enhance customer experience, you have to invest in polishing the emotional intelligence, understanding, and training of the support team so that with every customer interaction they deliver optimal experiences.
Make your team well prepared with knowledge and the latest updates about your product or service. This will help them to be comfortable handling customer inquiries. You should also offer ongoing training on a quarterly or annual basis.
This way, your team will continue to improve their ability to serve your customers and to provide the level of top-notch support you want to be associated with your brand.
8. Add other members if needed
To enhance the customer conversation and provide the best service, you can add-on other members if required. If adding other members can add value and meaning to the conversation both customers, as well as agents, can add other members.
Keeping more members in the conversation loop makes it effective with complete information related to product or service.
9. Set next step of action
It is said – ‘A job half done is a job not done at all’.
So, make sure that you complete the conversation that you begin with your customers. Do not leave it in a mid-way for a silly reason.
During the conversion process try to understand what the customer is looking for and how can you make him happy. Communication should be transparent between you and the customers.
You should decide the next course of action or follow up the action so that the customer is aware of what is going to happen next. The follow-up action can be done by
- Sending reminders via text or email
- A gentle reminder phone call
10. Ask for recommendations and testimonials
Another way to get a conversation going with the customer is talking about their experience working with you. Customers like sharing their opinion, but above that they like when they are valued.
For e.g., ask your social media followers for recommendations on
- Product suggestions
- Marketing tips and tools
- Industry thought leaders to follow on social media
- Favorite podcasts
You can start a new conversation with every response you get. Note down those responses to use it later as a way to engage customers in meaningful conversation. Similarly, customers sharing testimonials acts as video evidence of satisfied customers talking about their experiences working with you.
11. Respect time
Make responding to your customers a priority. When a customer reports some specific issue, he is eagerly waiting for the resolution. Replying the customers on time and fixing their issues on time makes the customer feel valued.
You can create a separate folder and filter priority messages. So that the support team can instantly see the customer emails that need immediate attention.
12. Customer feedback
Customer feedback helps to enhance customer conversations. Regular surveys become an important item in every online business’ toolbox. You can opt into services like SurveyMonkey and gather feedback from customers.
Google has its own survey mechanism through which it prompts users to give brief feedback of product (like Play Books, G Suite, etc) satisfaction. For efficiency, they keep the feedback form short and snappy, making it easier for the customer to respond and for their team to analyze.
Meaningful customer conversation can significantly improve your customer relationship. It can open the gateway to opportunities for long-lasting business relationships. Implementing the above tips will set the stage for productive, fresh, spontaneous customer conversations and certainly help you win new customers and level up your business.