Communication Strategies for Customer Service

“The effectiveness of communication is not defined by the communication, but by the response”. – Milton Erickson

Customers – anyone in any industry and in any job profile would find themselves communicating with customers. The key to success and progression, then, would be the ability to communicate effectively with them. Companies that weave communication strategies for customer service into the overall strategy of the company find themselves better positioned to meet their goals. The fact is that customers prefer interacting through a wide range of channels, which makes it even more essential for companies to pay close attention to communication strategies for customer service such that they effectively use all the channels available. Social media, website, feedback surveys, emails, newsletters, face to face interactions, blogs and other such channels should be part the communication strategies for customer service to ensure that no customer segment is left out.

The most potent benefit, for companies, of the communication strategies for customer service, is that they learn a lot about the customer. This knowledge would enable them to be the ‘ideal’ partner to their customers by providing customized service, products and experiences. Such service goes beyond promises and courteousness – it is true value to customers, which in the long haul allows customers to trust and depend on a company leading to loyalty and brand advocacy. As customers, begin to understand your company better through the various communication strategies for customer service, they are more prone to recommending it to others. Potential customers could, well read the valuable news and information that are meant for existing customers, too and this would happen without your company sending those unsolicited mails or information, often viewed as spam and interruptions.

Everyone today, at least almost everyone, would have a ‘page’ or ‘profile’ on some social media site. A social media strategy is perhaps the most effective and visible of the communication strategies for customer service. Quick updates, regular ‘news’, special offers and incentives and a plethora of other such information reach not just your existing customers but a number of readers who could potentially be future customers. Being active on these sites would mean that a company is not violating time and space for anyone and in fact, those that find the information useful could even share it on with their friends and associates.

Effective communication strategies for customer service are those that keep customers informed and educate them through useful and useable data. In addition, companies must regularly solicit feedback from customers in order to streamline their offerings and communication to customers. Customer service should go beyond just interacting with customers when they complain or when they have a query. For communication strategies for customer service to be effective, a company must ensure that they use them for building and maintaining strong and lasting relationships with customers. Sending out wishes on special occasions, or congratulating customers on achievements, reaching out to them to check if the product they bought is working as it should and other such ‘beyond business’ interactions, serve to bring and keep customers close to a company.

Customers do not and cannot know every aspect of your company – they will not take the time to find out about your company’s latest offerings. It makes for great communication strategies for customer service to keep them educated and ‘in touch’ with your company by sending them updates on ‘what’s new’. Organizing promotional events, advertising on various mediums, bringing together a niche customer group in an informal gathering and other such methods would enable a company to provide information and get opportunities to meet their existing and potential customers face to face. Such personal interactions tend to have a more lasting impact on customers and even if they do not require a product or service immediately, they tend to remember a company when they do. In addition, they would recommend your company to others that require its offerings – it is all about staying current and fresh in the mind of all kinds of customer bases.

The other benefit of communication strategies for customer service is that your company learns and gains a lot from customers too. They are extremely forthcoming with suggestions and feedback when they perceive that a company is open to learning and changing for them. Arrange meetings with your customers such that they do not have to make an effort to communicate with you – this increases customer satisfaction. Such efforts from a company provides clarity for customers on whom they need to connect with to provide feedback and suggestions – reducing customer effort and making it easier for them are possibly the most basic requirements of customer service.

What are the traits of highly effective communication strategies for customer service? What strategies does your company use? For starters, the communication must come across as genuine and honest. Authenticity is lost if there is use of technical jargon, fancy words that don’t mean anything to customers, promises that seem unrealistic and other such hard to believe and understand information. Ensure that the communication strategies for customer service truly serve the purpose of serving customers and of interacting with them. The tone and content of the messages must be humane and customers must feel like they are being spoken to on an individual level. The messages must allow customers to respond if they want and or share the information with whomsoever they deem appropriate. This would make the communication interactive and customers would find it more useful and look forward to receiving communiqués from your company. The more interest and engagement you can create the more effective would the communication strategies for customer service be.

Whatever kind of content you decide to send and whichever channel of communication you decide to use, the communication strategies for customer service would be more effective if they speak and convey the culture and ‘personality’ of your company. Such messages build connections with customers and other reader groups. The more easily people can identify messages with your company, the strong the connection becomes – your company and its offerings become more relatable and stay in the mind of customers and readers. To complement this connection, a company must know that the kind of content is a vital portion of effective communication strategies for customer service. Content that is useful, interesting and engaging will stay with customers longer and customers tend to pass it on to those they know. So not only do customers benefit, your company also gains more audience and readers, who could over time ‘convert’ to customers.

The current market scenario is challenging and those companies that reduce the challenges for their customers are more likely to succeed. Communication strategies for customer service are successful when they are collaborative and work with customers to make their life easier. Ensuring that communication strategies work for customers each time and are consistently beneficial to them is a tough ask but the benefits that companies would gain are many. It is about letting customers know that your company is genuinely interested in them and is willing to work with them to make things easier. Communication strategies for customer service must be built around the needs and expectations of customers for them to be successful and serve the purpose for which they are intended. Do it right, and watch customers approach your company in droves!

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