The best solutions for connecting with customers don’t have to be complex or technical. Something as simple as using a promotional product like promotional pens can go a long way to influence sales—just see Coke’s example. Great customer service is about connecting with your customers and providing a holistic experience.
While a good number of the evergreen techniques used to connect with customers are non-technical, it doesn’t mean they are independent of the technological influence. We live in a fast-paced world where instant messaging has promoted a culture of instant gratification. Customers want to answers now.
Your customer service and sales team must leverage powerful contact center software and setup complete with social media, a phone system that can route both inbound and outbound calls, live chat support, IVR, and a list of powerful features. You’ll need a powerful cloud contact center that can interact with popular CRMs like Salesforce or Hubspot. Contact centers play a key role in customer experience (we will talk about that later.)
Get Personal With Your Customers
Personalize Your Email
Email is one of the highest ROI-producing vehicles. It’s a direct line between you and your customers. This is where you must personalize. Using a customer’s name in emails creates an air of intimacy (i.e. makes it appear as though you emailed that individual viewer and not your entire customer base). Use your customer’s name as the intro to your email and use their names several times throughout your copy.
Use a relatable name for your response emails. For example, Janet@mycompany.com is more relatable than firstname.lastname@example.org.
Personalize Phone Communications
If your company was a person, named Tom, who didn’t respond to Janet’s (your customer) messages, Janet wouldn’t feel connected with Tom, would she? Rapid response fosters connectivity.
A large volume of inbound calls requires call center software. You will need to hire more staff and set up a support team to handle calls. To reduce the number of inbound calls, establish other means of communication like a live chat. If you use various mediums of communication (and you should), you will need a powerful CRM call center software with omnichannel routing to manage customer communications.
Getting personal also means providing products that your customers want to buy—it’s possible to offer the wrong product to the right crowd. You can’t sell people what they don’t need.
Create a Community
In the old days, humans huddled together to form tribes because we all have an innate desire to belong. Treat your customer base as a tribe and they will reward you with loyalty. Give discounts, exclusives, tons of customer support, and other perks to foster a sense of belonging.
Organize pop-up shops, trade shows, and events to get face-to-face time with your customers. Let your customers be able to put a face to your company. Give out company swag and promotional items. You don’t have to spend a lot. Promotional pens, pencils, hats, etc. are fine—the goal is to show customers you’re thinking about them. If that is outside your reach or your customers are in another country, then add a human touch to your website like putting a picture of the team on the company site.
Create an Experience
We achieve holistic customer experience when the different parts that contribute to it work in unison. The omission or underperformance of one part can affect the entire experience. This is what we mean.
A fast-food joint that wants to provide great customer experience has several parts that contribute to it. They have the food (tasty and hygienic), the service (fast chefs and polite waiters), the facilities (clean and functional toilets). Other factors play a role, we picked the main ones. If the manager focuses on only one and neglects the others, the customer’s experience is suboptimal.
Key components work together to deliver customer experience. Identify them and optimize them. Use the example above as a guide:
Product: make sure your product is in line with customer needs and expectations.
Services: The way you interact with customers.
Facilities: This includes physical stores and your call center software.
We reiterate this because bad software can floor a great plan. To make sure your contact center doesn’t fail you, here is a list of features it should have:
- Call recording
- Predictive dialer
- Omnichannel routing
- Predictive call routing
- Interactive voice response or IVR
- SMS support