No one will argue that all customers are easy to deal with. But a company that chooses to ignore the customer service aspect of their business will be destined to fail. There are good and bad notes to take away from each customer engagement, and a correct way to handle it. Get familiar with this part of the business, and you’ll excel in other areas.
1. Make The Website Interactive
An interactive website keeps visitors engaged for a longer period of time. Instead of browsing a simple text-based webpage, they are consuming media that relate to your company. A website can make or break a brand, especially when it relies on ad revenue. With that in mind, you should not go overboard with the interactivity. End-user engagement will plummet if their devices or internet can’t handle the content. Optimize the website for quick download speeds without sacrificing the most important parts of interactivity. Instead of another boring website, it becomes an interesting way to show off a product or service. It’s a low-cost way to get consumers talking about something they want.
2. CRM Software Exists For A Reason
Choosing the correct platform for your company should be a part of the original business plan. With a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, you enhance all forms of interactions with new and old consumers. Businesses can optimize the engagement experience with the use of Kapta’s own customer engagement software. Training services are provided to ensure full operability for all plan tiers. This includes a reduction in double data entry, automatic synchronization and better-linked opportunities with customer access. With an always available in a house development team, it is a solid choice for existing or new businesses.
3. Is The Brand Relatable?
You don’t have to go knee-deep into pop culture references to be relatable. Trying too hard with the references can have the opposite effect. This is the balance that a company has to walk when going through marketing and social media ideas. How relatable can the brand be without going overboard? Instead of asking that question, work on making the brand approachable to the target consumer. This is the common-sense way to handle relatability when dealing with a large customer base. Instead of casting a large net and trying to catch all the fish, you are concentrating on an area that is receptive to your bait. Pushing too hard for ‘everything’ marketing can change a brand’s image overnight.
4. Sales Language Upsets Consumers
No matter how good the script is, a consumer can always tell when an up-sell is happening. There is no easy way to segue into getting a person to spend money. The problem with the sales language is that it can’t be hidden. No matter how good the conversation was up to that point, sales language will change the mood. When a customer knows they are being sold something, the walls go up and the chance of making an impression drops dramatically – if they’re not interested. Put more effort into offering things that a person would want instead of trying to hide it behind sales language. Push the value of the product or service and dive directly into the price it’s available at. Getting cute with the wording will always fall into the sales language category, so try to avoid it.
5. Surveys Point Out Company Flaws
Not every customer will want to take a survey, and not all surveys are reliable. A consumer that calls into to passionately complain is less likely to leave positive marks. Even if the issue was resolved quickly and professionally, there is a good chance the representative will get a bad survey. It is unreliable when taken at face value, yet they still have a place. Bad survey or not, the consumer is complaining about specific incidents. Use this to find patterns and weak spots in call representatives, training or company policy. If you notice a sudden drop off of negative surveys in a particular category, then pat yourself on the back. That means the surveys are having their intended purpose on the brand.
6. In-Person Interaction Requires Practice
With all of the previous tips about online and on the phone engagement, what about in person? Not a lot of people practice their in-person interactions. When dealing with an important client, this can make or break a deal. Being inappropriate due to nervousness is no excuse, and shows unpreparedness that doesn’t look good to a potential client. This same tip works when an individual consumer has questions about a product or service. If your representative has to stutter their way through a prepared speech, then it reflects badly on the company. Professionalism should be practiced face to face, over the phone and through chat.
7. Mobile Apps Should Always Be Optimized
Having a mobile app for a company is basically free advertising. There is no reason for a company to not invest in mobile apps, especially since the buy-in is so low. But going feet first into the mobile arena requires keeping the app optimized for multiple devices. The mobile app should be full-featured enough to where the consumer doesn’t feel the need to use their web browser. This locks their engagement into your particular app instead of spreading it across several tabs on a smartphone browser. The biggest detractors in this space are a company that forces opens a web browser to make consumers log in from the app. That is not optimal and is a bad look for any business.
8. Are You Doing Everything Possible To Get Repeat Business?
Companies live and die based on their ability to get repeat business. To maximize this aspect of a company, look at where your marketing dollars are going. You should always groom current customers, even if it is the first year of business. Identify the most loyal consumers and always give them a reason to come back to you. Consumers love to be acknowledged, and you never know when a simple email blast will pique someone’s interest. Do you already have a list of ‘valuable’ customers or clients? If the answer is no, then you have already identified a weak point in your customer engagement. Fine-tune the repeat business formula or overhaul it when necessary.
9. Use Social Media To Interact With Repeat Customers
Social media is underutilized in several parts of a business. There are specialists that exist to market for Twitter, Facebook, and many other social media outlets. It is free to cheap marketing that lets you directly interface with your customers. New products are discovered by digital word of mouth. Groups share posts, surveys and many other things about a company to show their appreciation. In the event that this includes negative comments, the platform provides an outlet to smooth over any disagreement. Companies will often put a customer service rep on ‘social media duty’ by having them personally respond to negative feedback about the company. Seeing a resolution take place in a public setting is great for business and will get people talking.
10. Keep The Brand Grounded
Getting too deep into pop culture was already discussed. But there is another rogue element that can ground your brand for the long-term. Companies should always humanize the products and services they push. If your company is known for doing x, then don’t rush to do something radically different. People like familiar things, and they always want to feel that they’re getting the best version of something. Never get too far away from what made a product popular. Listen to suggestions, make tweaks, but remember your customer base. People don’t often make big changes in their life, and that same expectation extends to the products they use.
11. Always Ask The Important Questions
With reviews, polls, and surveys, get right to the point. Nothing makes a consumer roll their eyes more than ‘company speak’. When consumers phone in with a problem, they don’t want to hear a Wikipedia entry of information before getting their problem solved. Think about it from the consumer’s point of view, where they regurgitate their problem to a computer and then repeat it to a live agent. Adding a company commercial to the beginning, middle and end of the call will not help with engagement. Respect the customers’ time by always asking the questions that matter.
12. Do You Know How To Greet A Consumer?
The lead up to a pitch is excruciating in the hands of an inexperienced salesman. No matter how great the product is, a buyer won’t be interested in the pitch is bad. For in-person and media related marketing, always choose a worker that knows how to greet. In media format, this is especially important since early engagement keeps them watching. A worker that knows how to greet will always be able to handle the introduction of a product well. It shows in the way they can talk on camera like the consumer is right in front of them. The days of awkward acting helping a product are long gone and have been replaced with a sense of professionalism.
13. Use Polls For Quick Answers
For simplicity, nothing beats a poll. It requires a single mouse click and doesn’t jeopardize the users’ time. Website visitors are also interested in poll results, so make sure to include a link to the current poll percentages. Use the poll method to get quick answers or increase the excitement for a new feature being added to a product. When done right, you can use a poll to tease the release of a new service or product. When it’s released, you can cite the poll that was used (for marketing purposes). When consumers have a feeling of control, they are much more likely to be interested in a new product.
14. Reviews Tell The Truth
Scathing reviews will always have some truth attached to them. A review is an interesting way to collect information from a customer and is a lot less restrictive than a poll or survey. No matter how good a company is, scathing reviews will always gain more attention than the positive ones. Unfortunately, this is the way business works. A few bad reviews here and there are not a big deal. But when you get a lot of reviews complaining about the same thing, then it looks bad. Instead of going on the defensive, pay close attention to the way the tide turns. A bunch of consumers that go out of their way to complain about your company may have already reached out in other ways. This is their final solution after not getting anywhere with your company’s customer service department. When your business blocks normal consumer engagement, they will find other ways to reach out and ‘touch’ the company.
15. Fine Tune Live Chat Software
Any plans that you have of incorporating live chat software should follow the latest standards. Pop-out options, encryption, optional email transcripts and a notification of the other person typing. These convenience features in chat will lower the stress of customer service calls on a phone line. Customers that feel comfortable conversing through chat will spend more time on your website. Not only is this great for data collection, but it lets you redirect a lot of traffic in real-time.
16. Practice Empathy
Empathy makes all of the difference in the world for a customer service representative. Not being able to show empathy will lead to a range of emotions from the other side. CSR’s are not the only part of a business that should be expected to uphold these values. Empathy needs to be a company-wide rule to help with brand recognition and image. A company that can show they care will be valued by clients and consumers.
Focusing on customer engagement should not be an afterthought. The people that buy your products and services have expectations. Even if all of their needs can’t be met, there should be a good-faith effort into making the customer happy. With a good plan, you can secure the building blocks of your company.