Do you ever get so busy that it just seems impossible to focus on delivering great customer service? It’s so important in today’s fast-paced information overloaded world that you maximize the customer experience. Watch this episode of #Fordify to find out how to master customer communication skills in your business or read below for a written version of the content.
Now, what exactly is a “customer experience?” Well, a great customer experience covers everything in your business from before, during, and after you deliver your products and services. It covers your digital footprint, your website, your social media influence. It covers any touchpoint you have with your customer.
I know it seems like a lot, but, if you’re not covering all those bases and keeping your customer’s best interest at heart, you’re just going to lose your customers, and you’re gonna create a ton of negative feedback. You may think, “Ah, this doesn’t even really matter.” In the short term, you may be right, but, over the long term, you will certainly be impacted with negative reviews on social media that you just can’t afford, because they will hurt or even kill your online reputation.
Provide a Stellar Customer Experience on Your Website
Consider welcoming your visitors with a video message. but it’s not just, “Hey, welcome to my website.” It’s gonna be whatever the key message is that you want to give to those visitors. I want you to clearly show and tell the benefits of your products and services.
You also need to make it super easy for people to contact you. What does that mean? That means you need to have your contact information above the header in the upper right hand corner and in the footer in the lower right hand corner. These are both hot areas that draw people’s eyes.
Additionally, make sure you have clear call to action buttons that tell people exactly what you want them to do on your site: visit a particular page on your site, contact you, download a freebie and get on your email list? You decide what’s the number one thing you want them to do on each page of your site and make it crystal clear. Spell it out. Give them specific instructions on exactly what to do.
Maximize Customer Communications on Social Media
You want to engage your followers by asking and answering questions. Now, this seems pretty common, but you ought to see the crap that people put up on social media. Even the stuff that I put up, sometimes I’m like, “Why am I posting this? Nobody cares if I’m at Starbucks, right?” You need to really think about how can you add value? How can you influence, how can you engage, and how can you convert?
I mentioned sharing answers to frequently asked questions. Now, you can either do that through a text post, a photo or gif post, or, of course, by using video. I highly recommend video because it gives your audience a chance to see the authentic you. It’s also an easy way for them to get quick answer to their questions without having to read through an entire blog post.
Another thing I do with my social media accounts is make it really easy for people to contact me. You need to make it really easy for your visitors to contact you, too. Don’t be overly styled on social media, but you do need to give them a way to learn more. Facebook has a button you can set to send leads directly to your website or to call you. Also make sure to include your website link and contact information in the description area for your account. Check your messages too. Sometimes page messages can get lost when you work primarily from your personal account, but don’t forget to regularly check them to ensure that you’re responding in a timely manner.
Speaking of which, that’s a big one. I want you to respond quickly to comments and complaints. Make sure to pay attention to your online reputation. If you’re not monitoring at least daily, at minimum weekly, you could have a disaster starting that you could have avoided if you were just paying attention.
This is a fun one. I want you to quickly celebrate your wins as they relate to your products and services. For example, if you have a case study or a testimonial, share it. Or encourage your clients to share photos of them interacting with your product(s). A client I was consulting with this morning created this really neat wall rack for arts and crafts, and she sold a ton of ’em, but she has no pictures of it, and I’m like, “You should engage your customers, because this is a perfect thing where customers would wanna show off how they’ve used your product.” Do shout outs and things like that to get your customers excited and interacting with you.
Now, let’s look at the most important one. It’s one-on-one conversations using the phone. First, answer the phone, will you? Answer promptly, and be respectful. You know, even in this age of texting, messaging, and information overload, you still need to use the freaking phone. Answer your phone when people call.
Moreover, listen to and understand the customer’s needs. Make sure you’re speaking to them at their level. If you’re doing something that’s kind of technical, give them an opportunity to express themselves on what they think their problem is. Even though you already know what the answer is, you need to give them time to get out their frustrations. Be helpful: educate them on the difference of your products and services if need be.
What else? I want you to be courteous. Make sure you do what you say you’re gonna do. If you say you’re gonna call, follow up. Now, if you fumble, and I fumble a lot, I get it. I’m a type A personality. I get overloaded. I have too much to do. I get it, but, if you fumble, the best thing you can do is take ownership of it. Call the person up. Say, “Hey, I got double-booked. I didn’t mean to. I missed a timezone.” Whatever the reason was, just take ownership of it. Be authentic, and communicate as clearly as possible. I also want you to consider the person’s preferred communication method. Do they want a text? Do they want an email? Do they wanna use video? Try to match your method to their preference.
Master Customer Communications in Person
When meeting with customers in person, what do you do differently? Well, first you want to greet them with a smile and a firm handshake. If you’re a retail organization or any type of business where you have customers that come in and meet with you, smile more. I look at my videos sometimes and I’m like, “He looks so stern. Smile more!”
As you talk with the customer, provide accurate information. If you’re not sure, say, “I don’t know, but I will get that answer for you.” People will be okay if they think that you’re actually gonna take action. Where people are gonna get disgruntled is if they feel like they’ve hit a dead end.
Make sure your estimates, your invoices, anything that you put in writing is clear, legible, and professionally presented. Take the time to do it right. Be willing and be prepared to also show examples of your products and services.
Now, it goes without saying, but, of course, be honest and fair, and don’t leave without a clear understanding and a clear expectation between you and your customer.
Here’s your action step for this week’s episode: jot down one way that you’re going to improve your customer communications through each of the following: your website, your social media, on the phone, and in person?
Comment below with your best customer communications tip. Like what you’ve read? Subscribe to the #Fordify Youtube channel to be notified of upcoming episodes.