Business success depends on strong communication. In customer service, this is especially true. When reflecting on the importance of customer service experiences, recent studies have revealed their direct impact on a business’s customer retention and profits.
The result of a good customer experience: 7 out of 10 consumers are willing to spend more money with a company that provides great customer service.
The result of a bad customer experience: Over half of US consumers will abandon a planned purchase or transaction because of poor customer service.
When every interaction counts, it’s important to take a closer look at the basic dos and don’ts of communicating effectively with customers.
Learn the top five dos and don’ts of customer communication, some general best practices for your teams to keep in mind, and how to tie it all together to build loyalty.
Top dos and don’ts for communicating effectively with customers
- DO: Build sincere relationships according to leading communication principles. Principles such as communicating professionally, openly, and honestly to attract, engage, and retain customers.
- Example: If a customer asks a question regarding your product’s features, your team should be honest and sincere about those features and not overpromise on capabilities to secure a sale.
- DON’T: Disregard your customers’ concerns or let them feel underappreciated. This can often lead to customers disengaging with your brand or being driven to other competitors.
- Example: If a customer is worried about your product malfunctioning, your team should not brush their concerns off with a curt, “Don’t worry about it.” They should take the time to address those concerns until the customer feels comfortable and satisfied.
- DO: Communicate proactively to customers, supplying as much relevant information upfront to provide a sense of authority and security.
- Example: If a customer asks about your product’s use cases, your team should fully answer their question. Additionally provide any supporting documents, links, or information where the customer can learn more.
- DON’T: Be vague when answering customers’ questions, leaving the customer confused and dissatisfied.
- Example: If a customer asks, “How does your product work?” and your team doesn’t know, they shouldn’t answer with “I don’t know.” Instead, they should answer truthfully and to the best of their ability, supplying as much detail as possible. If they aren’t sure or did not supply adequate information, they should promise the customer that they will follow up with their teams for more information and then reach out to them once they acquire the necessary information.
- DO: Automate essential client communication tasks for ease of use and efficiency.
- Example: Business leaders can either employ a chatbot that can point customers to the right resources for their needs, proactively create a customer-facing FAQ page with the top asked questions and their subsequent answers, or provide employees with a list of the most asked questions and their responses so they are able to best help customers when interfacing with them.
- DON’T: Omit customer-facing information and resources that provide them with important knowledge they need to make informed decisions about your business.
- Example: When customers visit your site, they are conducting a search to inform whether or not they want to proceed along the customer journey. Key information, such as “About us” and “Contact us” pages, or a phone number, address, or social media handles should be found there. If your site is vague and omits this key information, they likely won’t pursue your product due to a lack of trust and transparency. Any self-serve information that the customer accesses and navigates without employee guidance should be written in a clear and concise manner, eliminating any chance for confusion or frustration. Using a digital writing assistant like Grammarly Business can help streamline these efforts by scanning content for grammar, spelling, punctuation, clarity, conciseness, and tone within seconds and providing real-time suggestions for improvement.
- DO: Acknowledge and address problems when they exist so that your clients’ needs are met and their loyalty increases.
- Example: If a customer experiences an issue or problem with your product, your team should acknowledge their negative experience and work to find a solution that satisfies the customer. Showing empathy is the key to turning a negative customer situation into a positive one.
- DON’T: Ignore customer complaints and concerns or get defensive when addressing them.
- Example: If a customer takes the time to share their negative experience or issue with your team, they should never respond with aggression or annoyance. This makes it even more difficult to change that customer’s opinion about your business. This will immediately reflect poorly on the company as a whole—all because of one employee’s actions.
- DO: Personalize communications with every customer, but ensure it maintains a consistent style and voice aligned with the company.
- Example: If your team is writing to a customer, ensure that their tone and style are consistent with those guidelines set by your business. This is crucial to maintaining a consistent brand-aligned experience—in addition to proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Digital communication assistants like Grammarly Business can easily facilitate this process, detecting a passage’s tone and style in a matter of seconds, and providing suggestions for improvement.
- DON’T: Write canned responses to customers that feel impersonal or insincere.
- Example: Customers, whether they come to your team with issues or not, are unique and expect to be treated as such. Providing canned responses that show no personal touches or qualities will be off-putting to a customer. They expect to be heard, and canned responses do nothing to accomplish that.
These key dos and don’ts provide the groundwork for communicating effectively with customers. But how can you ensure they’re practiced and followed regularly?
Credit: Grammarly Business