In today’s world of high-performance teams, giving the best possible interactions at all times to your customers is absolutely vital. There is a myriad of ways that your customers can use to get in touch with your business now, and it is important that your business is on every platform that makes sense, but spreading yourself too thinly may cause issues and could cause your customer service to take a dip. If you are finding yourself facing this, then keep reading. In this article, we will look at five of the best ways to improve your customer interactions so that your business can thrive in this new digital world.
Why You Need To Improve Customer Interactions
Improving your customer interactions, like improving your customer service and general, is a great way to build authority in your niche and to build your brand to be one that customers recognize and respond to positively.
On the darker side of business, your interactions with your customers have the ability to be on public display to millions of people. If your social media team, for example, reply to somebody in a negative way, there is every possibility that that comment maybe retweeted and shared, even if it’s been deleted. To avoid these pitfalls of business, it’s important to take your customer interactions seriously, and this is how you can do that:
1. Be Proactive With Your Customer Service
Customers expect a lot from businesses these days. Gone are the days where customers would only interact with your business when they came to see you and purchase something from you. Now they are expecting you to be responsive 24/7 and always available to chat. This is why giving your customers proactive customer service is absolutely critical if you want to improve your brand authority, and your team needs to be on board with this approach.
Being proactive will allow you to anticipate problems before they become a massive issue, improve the way your business works, and communicate with customers 24/7.
2. Remember Your Customers Are Humans Too
It’s a curious thing when businesses interact with customers, especially over social media, but customers sometimes assume that the business on the end of the brand account is not a real person. This can cause them to be harsher went than they would normally be if they were speaking to someone face-to-face.
It’s important to remember that your customers are also human and that their responses may be coming from someone who is not having a great day. It’s always best to assume that negative responses that seem out of place were a mistake.
This was the case with Brenda Boyd’s interaction with North Tyneside Council over social media in the UK. When an innocent slip of the finger sent the wrong emoji and the wrong impression, the North Tyneside social media team handled it with grace.
It’s interactions like this over social media that really make the platforms a nicer place to be and a more inclusive environment for everyone.
3. Make It Easy For Them To Find You (or go and find them)
It’s not just about how you interact with your customers but also where you interact with your customers and on what platforms you are willing to create those conversations. For example, if all of your customers are active on Facebook and you only have a presence on LinkedIn, you are unlikely to be creating conversations with the customers that you are most hoping to speak with.
The even bigger problem with this is that you risk your customers creating channels for you, or even worse, fake accounts being carried created in your name, which could be used to put your brand in a negative light.
While it’s important to try to cover all of your bases when it comes to social media, your brand may not need you to be particularly active on every channel. Just having control of your official brand channels and promoting content semi-regularly could be enough. It’s best to put your time, effort, and money into the channels that are going to see you have the biggest return on investment.
4. It’s All About The Feedback
Feedback is an important part of customer interaction, and businesses that ignore feedback from customers are likely to do very badly in the long-term. That’s not to say that your customers are always right, but handling feedback with grace and interest is a vital part of business, and your customer service team should be well versed in handling these situations.
If you haven’t got a professional full-time customer service team, then understanding the need for a response process and creating stock responses (copy and paste) could save you from making embarrassing mistakes or creating more issues than it needs to be when it comes to responding to negative customer feedback.
A side to customer feedback that rarely gets any airtime is that of positive feedback. Responding to positive comments, and saying thank you to customers regularly, is just as important as being engaged with the negative comments, as this shows your brand really cares about its audience.
5. Be Authentic In Your Interactions
Authenticity is not an exact science, and it can be quite difficult to measure in business terms, but you can be sure that your audience will be able to spot an inauthentic interaction from a mile away.
Of course, every business owner understands they need to be honest in their communication. You should never promote things about your business or about your products that are factually incorrect. However, the reality is that things such as the social justice movement across the globe have put brands in an awkward position of how to respond to ongoing news trends in an authentic way.
A good rule of thumb, especially with trending news issues, such as a social justice movement, is to consider how this news affects your core values. If there is no real reason to respond or to make a statement, then your brand would probably do well to sit this one out and not make anything public unless asked directly by a customer.