Communicating with customers online requires a delicate balance. Not only do you need to have multiple points of contact, but you also need to make sure that your communication style is both empathetic and professional, and does not get bogged down in negativity or industry jargon. As such, customer communication is an art that every business needs to work toward mastering. It requires a different type of finesse than talking to customers in a face-to-face settings, as online communication is often conducted through instant messaging and email. As such, it is imperative that your company gets this type of communication right. With that in mind, here are a few areas to watch out for in order to better communicate with your clients.
It’s impossible to be a good communicator to customers online without dealing with them in a polite or respectful manner. This can be difficult, as online customers are often uniquely toxic in a way that they may not be in-person. This is because they can hide behind the anonymity of a screen. However, this does not give you license to be rude to them. You should still have your customer support staff address them politely with cordial language, and try their best to assist them with their problems. While it may seem that customers don’t notice this, politeness ain and of itself can often diffuse a situation in a way that a confrontational style cannot. Remember, that the customer is also a human being, and while continued abuse of your support staff is unacceptable, it is possible to turn their attitude around with politeness and basic problem solving abilities.
Avoid Industry Jargon
Don’t assume that your customers know exactly what you’re talking about – especially in specialist industries. Plain language will always do the job when communicating with customers. If the customer is obviously knowledgeable about the industry or type of business that you run, then it is ok to pepper your speech with some industry jargon just to show them that you know what you are talking about. However, don’t use this as an excuse to not solve your customers’ issues as quickly and efficiently as possible Using too much industry jargon can not only come off as condescending, but it can also make the customer interaction take longer which is bad for business.
Use a CRM
Using a system to keep in touch with customers is very important. You also want to make sure that you record and log all interactions that a customer has with your business, from when they visit your website to whether they open a promotional email that you send them once you get them to sign up for your mailing list.
The best way to track all of this information is through a CRM. But what is a CRM? A CRM, or customer relationship management software, is a program that allows you to store all of this customer data and create detailed reports in order to build out customer profiles that you can then pass along to your sales team and marketing department so that they can better target these customers through their efforts.
Ultimately, increasing the efficacy of your communication with customers is essential to running a business online. Once you are able do this, you will have more satisfied customers and be able to increase their customer lifetime value many times over.