Finding the customer communications sweet spot
With the recent explosion in multi-channel communications, you could be forgiven for thinking that it helps form deeper customer relationships. It’s very easy to fire off a stream of emails, share something on Twitter, or have a text-based conversation. But good customer service is much more nuanced than that.
Every customer is different and will have their own ideas about levels of engagement. Daily updates might be just about right for one client, but overkill for another. In a previous life, I had a customer that would only deal with one request per email, which is very challenging when you’re working on a project together with over 100 tasks!
At Ergo, we pride ourselves on our customer service engagement and consider communications key to forging strong and long-lasting relationships. After all, it’s only through communication that we can gain an understanding of client needs and are then able to act on those needs.
People meeting people
The essence of Ergo is all about understanding customer requirements; we don’t want to do anything that might compromise the process. Finding the communications sweet spot that works for both parties is a challenge, it is not a one-size-fits-all world. So how do you strike the right balance and what is the best way to communicate?
I find the personal approach is the best for building meaningful customer engagement – face-to-face as the starting point, followed by a phone conversation. It’s much easier to set out a plan when you’re sitting opposite someone, so I go out of my way to schedule an appointment as early as possible.
Far too often people hide behind email, which feels calculating and cold to the customer. The nuances of face-to-face conversations can be lost and misunderstandings are much more likely to occur. My own feeling is that a meaningful five-minute conversation will always achieve more than a trail of emails.
Updates and resolution
The old adage that "no news is still news" very much applies to the customer service space. We know what pressures businesses are under and how important it is to keep communicating. A quick update to explain the issue that’s being worked on, or a status update outlining the next action, will remind customers that we are on their case.
We put ourselves in our clients’ shoes. Radio silence usually means there’s nothing happening and issues are unresolved. We do not operate like that. We work relentlessly to get problems fixed and keep businesses up and running. Bridge the gap with an update and it avoids customer frustration and increases overall satisfaction levels.
From the service desk side, there is often a fear around delivering news to customers, that it might mean telling them something they don’t want to hear; but Ergo is all about transparency. We’ll keep customers informed and up to date, and if we are struggling to fix an issue, we’ll come clean and tell you about that too.
Timely communications binds us to our customers with a shared purpose. In any relationship, it’s fundamental for forging trust and honesty, creating a common culture where growth and trust can prevail. So let’s keep talking….
To start the conversation with Ergo, click here.