Communication. It is the key to customer service. The thing to remember is that communication is not a one-way street. Your content marketing strategy, your advertisements, and other information you put on your website are like megaphones you are using to make announcements.
For true communications to work though, you need to put down the megaphone and listen. This is the way you will truly reach your customers. But in the digital emphasized world of 2018, how do you reach your customers? Here are 5 of the best ways.
This is not new, but at the same time it is important to emphasize that the key word in social media is social: you need to be present and interact with your customers. This means more than just commenting on your own posts in response and answering your messages, but listening to customer concerns, and offering content and new material that answers those questions.
It also means being present where they are and joining in their community. This is now your community as well, and you need to be involved in the same causes they are, embrace their concerns, and work to make that community a better place. Social media is a great place to do that, and to share what you are doing that will inspire them to not only do the same, but to buy your products and services.
One of the most common tools in 2018 is internet chat. One of the reasons it is so popular is because it works. Customers like being able to talk with someone while they are on your site without the need to pick up a phone and endure long hold times and the aggravation that goes with them.
The same operators and customer service people that man your phones can also handle this type of chat, or you can have dedicated personnel. Many brands have gone to chat bots, at least to start the conversations. That can work, as long as you are clear in communicating what you are doing, and that they will have access to a real person later in the chat.
Speaking of the phone, just because many customers prefer online methods does not mean that all of them do. Offering other options can mean your phone lines are not as busy as they once were, but you still need them, they still need to be reliable, and your phone number should be easy to find on your site.
You don’t have to spend a ton of money either. Modern business VoIP phone service is both less expensive and as reliable as a physical phone line. This also means your employees who answer the phones can work remotely, meaning you can save money on office space as well.
The simple truth is you will have customers that prefer to talk to a person on the phone when they have complaints, technical issues, or even just need help completing a purchase. You can’t really do without a phone line in 2018 unless you don’t mind losing those customers to your competition.
There is much more to email then just sending out a newsletter to your mailing list. It is one of the most common forms of reaching customers today, and it needs to be a two-way street. This means that in both your emails and on your contact us page, you need to offer customers a simple way to get in touch with you via email.
To make this effective, you need to answer messages promptly. Even a 24-hour delay can frustrate a customer depending on the issue they are having. Even if you have to add an automated response that tells the customer when they can expect to hear from you, at least they will be well informed.
Speaking of your website, this is also a tool for reaching your customers. It needs to not only include contact us pages and FAQ pages, but simple places for customers to enter concerns and get answers. If your product or service is technical in nature, you might want to consider starting a forum where customers can answer each other’s questions.
Whatever you do, your website should be a central location for your customers to find answers, learn how to contact you, and interact with you in a meaningful way.
Reaching your customers in 2018 means that you need to be engaged on several levels. None of them has to be all consuming, and it does not have to cost you a fortune to do so, but communication is the key. Remember, it’s a two way street, and if you are doing it better than your competition, you are going to win every single time.
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