The words we use can make or break a conversation. In fact, time, context and tone of voice play a crucial role in driving the feeling. When it comes to customer service, digital channels are useful, but not enough, to have fluid and effective communications. How does that really happen? How can we take advantage of conversations with clients to consolidate their trust?
Read on to find the answers to both questions. At the end of this article, I will ask for your comment.
Digital is great (but it made us lazy)
Reaching someone has never been so easy. We can send them text messages, use WhatsApp, tweet them when we want … And yes, of course, we can still call them! 🙂 This applies to both customers who ask us for help and us to respond to our customers. Unfortunately, they are not always rainbow and butterflies. In fact, as a customer service consultant, I constantly see many written conversations that fail miserably because of:
- Little attention in reading / listening (without focusing on what customers really want from you)
- Unclear communication (for example, long sentences, technical words or simply ‘brandalese’ language)
- Erroneous or partial information (the client receives an answer for something he did not even ask, while the actual question remains unanswered)
All these are toxic ingredients because they lead to poor conversations with customers.
Misunderstandings → customer’s extra effort → low productivity of support staff → bad customer experiences.
Here’s an example below (you can find 14 more here).
How to improve and take advantage of conversations with customers
Returning to the main questions of this article: it is essential to value each conversation with the clients in order to preserve their custom in the future.
As for the “HOW TO DO IT“, I will give you an advance of the method that I am using with my clients because it can also be useful.
It is a 4 step process:
1. Conversation evaluation. Analyze a sample of conversations with customers in each technical support channel you are using (for example, telephone, email, Twitter, Facebook). Definitely include your customer service staff in this exercise. It is essential that you know which situations are the most stressful for them
2. Detection of negative problems. Use a checklist to find the most frequent ones and focus on the reasons why they occur (for example, misunderstandings, negative reactions from clients, partial information leading to an additional response) and focus on the reasons.
3. Train and train your customer service staff. Now is the time to re-involve them by allowing them to work on the detected problem. Use practical exercises and role play situations to identify new winning techniques. It is very important that you explain from the beginning of this phase that teamwork and active engagement are essential.
4. Test and measure. Apply the newly created conversation techniques step by step. I suggest starting with a 30-day customer service pilot. Track and measure the results compared to your current KPI, then decide if you want to officially present these changes.
Invest in every conversation with your customers. Keep your staff constantly involved, and above all, well trained. That is the way for satisfied customers, and also for employees!
Have good conversations
PS Since this is a very important business issue, I would love to read your comments below.
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