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Conversations are the backbone of any relationship. When you are building your relationship with a customer, you need to be observant and careful.
There’s just two intentions behind every conversation – either to give or to take. In a customer conversation, you are the giver and the customer is a taker. Your customer might be in need of numerous solutions for their life. But they are here with you only for a small chunk of solution. Your job is to identify that area as precisely as possible.
Your questions and responses should be driven in such a way that it allows you to know the domain of the red pie, as accurately as possible. You might be asking various questions but it might all fall under the domain of your customer’s solution without letting you know the full expanse of your customer’s problem. Such conversation between customer and customer care would be fruitless until you try to cover the entire gamut of customer’s domain, i.e. through A1 and B1 rather than a, b, c, or d.
Once you start obtaining responses for A1 and B1, only then start going inward to drill down further.
Holding a meaningful conversation with a customer is both an art and a science. Your conversations should add value both to you and to your customer. Through customer conversations, you must be able to bring out their needs, challenges and pain points and provide solutions. Few points that make a conversation meaningful are:
Relationship develops over time. You cannot go about talking everything with every kind of customer. You must know their stage in the customer journey and speak accordingly. The initial level customers should have a conversation at an abstract level. What sector do they belong to? What are the major challenges in their sector? Where does their company fit in their whole industry? These are few of the points you must initiate your customer care conversation with. Once you get a bird eye view of your customer, it becomes easier to deal with them later.
There must be few customers who are often time-consuming with silly doubts. While others would have meaningful queries for you to answer. You must prioritize them and respond to them accordingly. Know that you are also spending money on answering them through the man-hours spent on them. Hence, spend your money wisely by responding to those who matter you most.
For dumb customers, you must have automated approach for them to self-serve. You can answer them manually only for the first time in which you can direct them on how to use self-service automated option. The spending on creating automated solution is just one-time while you can reap its benefits for lifetime.
All kinds of issues your customers are facing and reporting to your service team must be categorized. Then each category’s frequency must be calculated on a monthly basis. This will reveal what are the most recurring issues faced by the customers. Then you must act for a permanent solution to fix those issues. This will reduce a lot of time going forward. Your customer service software must have data analytics based on which you can generate reports and analyse the different kinds of customer queries. Hence, analyze them properly to fill the gaps in your software and reduce the frequency of recurring customer queries.
There are few more things you need to keep in mind while holding quality conversation for customer service. You need to make them as comfortable as possible while providing the necessary support they need. Few best practices for customer service conversation are:
You need to talk about the customer and the values they get from the product. They are least bothered about the features of your product or knowing how great your product is. You need to address their challenges and the solutions they would get from the product. Articulating your product features into customer value is an art that you need to learn in order to hold meaningful conversation with your customer.
Customers always like personalized service. Before holding a conversation, it is a good idea to glance through their details in your customer database. This would give you a brief up about who your customer is, what industry they belong, what are their most common challenges, what issues they raised earlier and who are the main point of contact in their company. Holding personalized conversation would allow you to get closer to your customer and give them space to open up with more concerns they face with your product/company.
Although you would glance through the entire history of the customer before talking to them, know that it is only for yourself and to fill in the gaps in their service. Keep your customer away from entire data you have gone through about them and stick to the context they are referring to in the call. Talk about the issue in hand and use the historical data only when needed. Going out of the context would waste yours as well as your customer’s time. If the issue can be resolved in less than a minute then be it. Resolve it and close the call with a warm good-bye.
Earning customer trust is a big challenge. If you say you don’t have a clue about the issue they are raising, your relationship would go for a toss. You need to always sound optimistic and earn their trust by ensuring them that you are the right person for resolving their issues. Sound positive and considerate while you resolve the issue and make them feel comfortable in your call. This is the secret of earning their trust and building their loyalty towards your brand.15
Conversations are the backbone of any relationship. When you are building your relationship with a customer, you need to be quite observant and careful in the kind of conversations you hold with them. Just going by the gut feeling will not work as it does in any natural conversation. Because here you need to be an expert in resolving customer issues while representing the solutions your brand offers. Although some amount of natural improvisation is good in humanizing the conversation between customer service and client, your expertise is equally important. With the tips and best practices mentioned in this blog, you can surely boost your customer conversations and build lasting relationships with them.
Shoeb lives and breathes Customer Success and SaaS. He has a passion to research on the latest innovations happening in SaaS and Customer Success. Shoeb hails from a Software Architecture background where he worked for many years with Indian Tech Giants like Wipro and ITC building software solutions for their MNC clients in the UK and Denmark.
Published March 24, 2021, Updated March 24, 2021
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