5 ways to reinvent customer communication for your support team
With customers wanting fast-paced and meaningful communications held on their terms, we explore the different ways you can reinvent and accelerate your responses.
When it comes to customer communication, one of the key targets of any support team is efficiency. Nobody wants to be kept waiting, especially in the fast-paced modern age. In fact, 1 in 5 consumers will stop using a product or service for slow response times via online chat.
Fast and effective responses are critical at all times and across all channels. Fortunately, customer service support teams have an array of contact methods and customer experience (CX) tools to improve communication and enhance satisfaction levels.
Read on for five terrific ways to totally reinvent customer communications.
1. Use the strengths of each channel
The first step to planning out an effective communication strategy is considering your clients. You need to engage them at times and across channels that appeal to them, and your communications need to stand out from the competition. Customers will reward you for this, with 66% of them appreciative of companies that value their time.
Consumers appreciate options and flexibility, and they like to be able to do things on their terms. This is why it’s vital to offer a range of communication channels. Never forget that each channel has its strengths and its weaknesses:
- SMS - this is a simple way to keep in touch with people and let them know how their queries are progressing.
- Calls - a direct, fast, and dynamic form of communication.
- Email - you can get more detail and information into each message and deliver instructions more clearly.
- Live chat - support agents can have multiple chat windows open at once, solving problems more efficiently, and using scripts and templates to handle common issues.
- Social media - respond in a publicly visible environment, which can help generate positive word-of-mouth and bring new customers to your brand.
- Chatbots - AI is getting better all the time, and leading brands have been using AI-chat bots for sensational customer communication experiences.
- Video calls - create a more personal connection with the client.
CX tools like CustomerXM can help you manage customer communications more effectively and provide better experiences too. CustomerXM can help in a variety of ways, from scheduling messages and calls to actually analyzing each interaction and extracting important data from it.
2. Empower customers to leave meaningful feedback
An essential part of customer communications is remembering every communication is a two-way street. It’s not just about talking to your customers; it’s about listening to them too.
Modern CX platforms, like Qualtrics, make it easier than ever to not only listen to and gather all that feedback, but act on it too. These tools automatically detect keywords and phrases in reviews and comments, leaving your support workers free to focus on other, more important matters.
Leading retailer Urban Outfitters is one of the many iconic brands working with Qualtrics to deliver unforgettable customer experiences. The company is able to collect feedback beyond surveys, run text and sentiment analysis on their data, and take action on customer insights to close feedback loops.
3. Improve CX with automation
Automation is one of the most important tools for any modern company.
Everything from appointment reminders to newsletters and event invites can be automated. Messages can be sent out automatically via email, text, or even in a live chat box with a human operator. Many customers appreciate the usefulness of getting an automated reminder or message at the right time.
Some companies rely too heavily on automation, sending out too many reminders or obtrusive alerts that can actually bother customers. Choose your automation options wisely to provide people with helpful services without going too far.
Studies have shown over 70% of buyers appreciate the option to solve problems by themselves. This shows that automated chatbots can be a great tool, giving customers a new option and freeing up your workers.
4. Improve your follow-up game
Effective customer communication isn’t just about one-off messages and interactions. You need to think long-term by keeping in touch with people to raise retention and loyalty and by closing the loop on queries.
New leads need to be nurtured with follow-up messages and discussions to help them along the journey. Individuals with problems need to be consulted to see if the assistance they received was satisfactory or if it could be improved.
A strong follow-up game can even be the difference between retaining someone and losing them. Customers who have bad experiences or encounter issues with products will always appreciate a company taking the time to reach out to them again after the fact. Meanwhile, people who are treated well will stick around, and studies show that around half of all customers will spend more with the brands they feel treat them well.
5. Track and optimize your performance
Last but not least, it’s vital to continuously make efforts and look for ways you can improve your approach to customer communications. Just like in any other aspect of business, you have to strive for constant improvement.
With a powerful CX platform by your side, you can track customer satisfaction and reactions to various communication experiences. You can learn from each one, seeing how people respond to different channels and analyzing various forms of feedback.
Tools like Predict iQ can even harness all of that data to predict exactly how someone may react. This allows you to take action ahead of time, making necessary changes and adapting your approach to avoid churn. Case studies have proven that 67% of churn can be avoided with positive support experiences.
In the modern era, it’s clear every customer is different, and they expect to be treated as such. Having a multi-channel support strategy can be such a big advantage, giving your customers and your support agents different ways to communicate.
With a powerful, fully-featured CX platform like Qualtrics the whole task becomes effortless. Tools like CustomerXM optimize, organize, and automate customer service through effective performance analysis, making your customer support strategy a lot stronger in the process.
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