We’ve all heard how important it is to listen, and your business is no exception. Many companies speak at their customers when they should be having an open and ongoing conversation. When building products it’s easy to focus on shipping the next feature or going after a new market, but how do you know you’re focusing your limited resources on the right things? It’s quite simple really – listen to your customers and give them frictionless ways to communicate with you.
Here are some of the most useful tools (and tips) to take your customer communication to the next level:
1. Surface your Calls to Communicate Every page of your website should have clear and consistent ways to get in touch with you. Whether it’s a button to contact support, or chat live with a member of your team, make sure it’s easy to find and ideally in a consistent location throughout your site. Common locations are the site footer or in the top right near the user’s profile or settings tab.
2. Offer multiple channels for users to contact you Your customers have different preferences for communications. At the very minimum, make sure to have a company email address that is checked daily. Other popular channels include Twitter, live chat and phone call.
Pro Tip: Forwarding your company support email into a CRM or helpdesk can allow your team to claim these inquiries on a first-come first-serve basis. This keeps everyone on your team informed and reduces wait time since your teammates are online at different times of the day. More on that next..
3. Use a CRM or customer relationship platform Centralizing the conversations with your customers ensures that your entire history with each customer is in one place, regardless of who the customer is communicating with during each conversation. When a new employee joins your team, they can know everything about a customer on day one. Take a look at popular tools like Intercom or Drift – both are easy to setup and embrace the notion that customers should be delighted with seamless communication.
Pro Tip: Sending KPI events such as logins, purchases or messages to these tools makes it easy to segment and message users automatically.
4. Embrace social Social is the new soapbox. Increasingly customers are tweeting out their frustrations instead of calling an 800 number and hoping they are actually able to connect with a human. Major brands like Xfinity and JetBlue have dedicated support teams to address customer issues directly through Twitter – no painful waiting music needed. Popular social media management tools like Hootsuite or Buffer can help you communicate with your customers on social media without needing a dedicated team or large budget.
5. Integrate Net Promoter Scores Your Net Promoter Score, also known as NPS, can be an indicator of growth but more importantly surfaces the segment of your users who are unhappy. This is the group you should be proactively reaching out to. There are many services that allow you to run NPS surveys with very little effort by automatically emailing your customers and organizing the results for you. Here are a few examples:
6. Reach out personally, especially when the customer is unhappy Customers are people too. Some are loud, some are shy. What we do know is that many will not speak up when they have a problem or complaint. According to a study by customer research firm TARP, “roughly 4% of customers (1 out of 26) that were wronged by a company complain. The other 96% (25 out of 26) stop buying and tell 9 to 10 others within a week about their poor treatment.” If you are actively listening to your customers, you’ll be able to reach out and help remedy these situations before they cause more damage. Send a personal email (or DM if the complaint is on Twitter) and let them know you can help.
Need help choosing which tools your company should use? Talk to one of our solutions experts today.