Everyone knows that communication is key to any decent relationship. Friendship can only succeed if you stay in contact. Romance can only blossom if both parties take time to talk things through. And, of course, customer relationships only work when a business focuses on improving communication techniques.
When it comes down to it, communicating well with customers is as vital to business as talking things out is to love. You could even say that this is a business essential. At least, it should be if you want to perfect customer service and secure sales.
Luckily, communication like this is easy enough to get a handle on when you’re starting with limited customer numbers. The chances are that you were personally able to talk with each customer who came your way in the early days. But, that becomes increasingly tricky as your company grows. And, that in itself can prove to be your undoing.
The fact is that customers won’t stick around for a company which doesn’t give them anything back. Acting that way is a surefire method for getting yourself dumped. Even if you haven’t lost customers yet, then, these are some definite signs that communication issues could be well on their way to spelling the end.
You’re always busy
Most customers understand that company phone lines can get busy. That’s just part and parcel of running a growing company. But, you’ll probably find that they’re far less accepting if they’ve been trying to call without success all week. When that happens, this can fast become one of the communication issues which we’re referring to. What’s more, it’s a problem which there’s simply no need or excuse for in modern business.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to make sure that an engaged dial tone doesn’t end all your relationships. For the most part, it’s worth noting that your customers want to know what’s going on. If they get a dead dial tone anytime they ring up, it’s sure to frustrate. Make sure that doesn’t happen by taking the time to implement a call waiting message which allows customers to stay on the line with knowledge of precisely how long they’ll need to wait. It’s also worth freeing up your lines as much as possible by turning to options like these Ivy Answering services. That way, an outside company will filter any sales or unnecessary calls, allowing you and your most valued customers to communicate far more efficiently from now on.
You’re never around when they need you
No one wants a partner who is never there when they need to talk, and no one wants a company like that either. Nowadays, it simply isn’t enough for companies like yours to clock off at five every day and not revisit emails until the next morning. With online capabilities, most companies should now aim to keep communications open until at least eight or nine a night, if not 24 hours a day. That way, you never risk not being around when customers who work 9-5 themselves need you to be.
Of course, it isn’t always practical or cost effective to expect team members to stay at work overnight. Instead, you may again be better turning to outsourced services to ensure your customers always get the service they deserve. Phone services like those mentioned above may offer the chance to answer calls far later than your office hours. You may also wish to seek IT outsourcing, which can ensure a 24-hour online chat for any late night shoppers or queries. That way, your customers will never feel left in the lurch, and your communication will be much better as a result.
You’re never online
Speaking of online chats, it’s also worth watching out if you’re never online. Nowadays, we do most of our communications through online platforms. This is an easy and free method of communication which is preferable to many. When you can chat with someone online, after all, you needn’t worry about things like finding a quiet place or making sure you have everything to hand. Instead, online communication allows customers to reach out at their own pace, no matter where they happen to be. That’s why, if you haven’t yet implemented an online chat, you’re falling short where communication is concerned.
It’s now pretty essential for every successful company to include a live chat feature on their website. What’s more, it’s vital to ensure that this chat is available as often as possible. Again, 24/7 is best here as it allows late night customers to get help straight away. At the very least, you should aim to keep an accessible online chat open throughout office hours. Make sure, too, that you select a program which grants access to various members of your team so no customer is ever kept waiting.
You rarely get to the point
There’s nothing worse than a partner or friend who doesn’t say what they mean. This is a sure way to frustration and, ultimately, the breaking down of relationships. And guess what? The same rules apply in business. Communication isn’t just about being available for your customers, after all. It also comes down to how you get your information across. If you never give a straight answer to questions your customers have, then, the best communication efforts could still be letting you down.
The fact is that customers don’t want you to avoid a straight answer or, worse, try to sell them something else. When they call up with a query, they want straight talking and knowledgeable staff. The best way to make sure of that is to thoroughly train every member of your team in both your products and general customer service. That way, you can rest easy that they have all the skills necessary to provide the best information for customers, every single time.
As simple as that, you can at last perfect your communication and walk into the sunset with every customer who comes your way.