In this age of smartphones practically being an extension of our bodies, it may come as a surprise to find yourself struggling to stay connected with your customers. Bob from Tulsa is upset because nobody answered his email in time, while Jane from Orlando is looking at other vendors because she doesn’t really understand what your service does for her business. How do you juggle the needs of your customers while providing world-class service?
Eight Tips for Connecting with Customers in 2022
The answer to connecting with customers lies in the relationships you build and the tools you put in place to support collaboration! These eight tips will help you align 2022 with your goals and distinguish you from the competition as you prioritize customer connections.
1. Use Technology. It is the digital age! Take advantage of the incredible options available to you to automate processes while keeping the focus on customer relationships. Invest in a customer engagement platform to maximize the value technology can provide. Implementing a customer engagement platform, like ProteusEngage, will help you to improve transitions between teams and enjoy greater transparency by keeping historical data and communications in one spot.
“72% of consumers see having to explain their problem to multiple people as poor customer service.”
Collaboration tools, like ProteusEngage, allow you to manage your communications in one location so you can optimize the conversation and improve customer experiences. With communications, documents and more tucked away securely in one place, you don’t have to worry about losing track of previous communications which means your support process will be seamless and connected at all times.
2. Follow Up Regularly. You miss out on the opportunity to be successful with your clients when you fail to follow up. Meeting recaps can help you increase customer retention, generate referrals, and boost sales. Make sure your messaging is clear and to the point so your customers understand who you are and what you stand for. Be clear about your purpose so your customers know what makes you different from your competitors. Create an opportunity to connect with your customers by fostering an honest, transparent environment where they know they can count on you and your word.
3. Build Relationships. Get to know your customers. Be open with them about your values and seek connections between your company and theirs. Each interaction with your customers is an opportunity to create a lasting connection, don’t waste them! Customer appreciation can go a long way to building stronger relationships. If you aren’t sending out birthday cards or anniversary cards for their service start date, consider starting a process. This is especially simple if you have a customer engagement platform like ProteusEngage already in place.
4. Get Social. Pick your poison, but don’t be afraid to get online and put up some interesting content on social media. Not every interaction with your customers needs to be a service issue. Start a conversation with interesting facts, heartwarming stories, funny anecdotes, and the occasional giveaway! Social media doesn’t have to be scary and is an excellent avenue to connect with your customers. If you don’t have a social media presence now, consider starting a Facebook page, Instagram account, or a Twitter feed. Check out some of your competitor’s pages, or consider pages you enjoy, to get ideas on where to start for content. If you are feeling particularly excited about online avenues, podcasts are wildly popular right now. Grab a mic and start talking about what you know best, your business!
5. Ask for Feedback. Provide proactive customer engagement. Prompt customers for ongoing feedback, don’t wait for them to come to you. Identify problems as they arise so you can troubleshoot and keep them from snowballing into BIG issues.
“According to a recent study, 89% of consumers have switched to doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience.”
Almost half of these consumers will avoid a company for another two years due to the poor customer service received! Collaborate with your customers to create quick, accurate solutions, safe in the knowledge that retaining a current customer is significantly less expensive than attracting a new one. Engaging your customers keeps them involved and shows them you care which builds trust and strengthens your relationship. Remind your customers that they matter to you. Get to know them, invest in them, and you will find that they will invest in you.
6. Provide Multiple Channels. Who doesn’t like options? Some of your customers may still prefer the phone while others could be die-hard chat support fanatics. A growing number of people prefer an online self-service support portal to make that first attempt at resolving their own issue. And to each their own, just be sure to offer something for everyone. Start the customer experience out the right way by allowing your customers to contact you by their preferred method. At minimum, consider offering phone, email, and chat support options. If you don’t have an online support portal, consider this another opportunity to underline your commitment to your customer relationships.
7. Reduce Response Times. Your customers want a response sooner than you may think. Look at your response times on customer service issues and analyze the data to see where you can make adjustments and respond sooner. Be transparent with your customers about expectations for a response. Consider an automated response when you receive their initial contact to let them know it has been received and advise them on the anticipated response time. Keep track of your analytics here to ensure you aren’t giving up accuracy to gain minutes. Follow up with customers to make sure their problem is solved.
8. Be Honest About Failure. You need to be committed to your customers’ success. This is a mutually beneficial relationship as their success is inevitably your success as well. If you make a mistake, be honest with your clients about it. Show them you are a problem solver who can be depended upon to come ready with solutions. If it is a mistake the client brought to your attention, take this as an opportunity to display your professionalism. Be honest and communicate so they will trust you to do the same in the future.
You don’t have to recreate the wheel to connect with your customers. Focus on relationships and open communication to provide value and create amazing customer experiences.
For more tips on engagement and customer success, check out our blog!
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