by Anna Wybieralska Jul 17, 2020

In today’s constantly evolving and ultra-competitive market, it’s no longer enough to obtain the best product or service and have the lowest price.

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One of the vital factors is to excel customer experience to attract the potential and retain existing clients. Even when your customer service shines, you should still consider new ways to value customers and build the trust of winning their loyalty.

For achieving desired results and making your business thrive, it is essential to know the rules of effective customer experience. That includes a plethora of elements, and customer communication is no exception. In order to provide a truly authentic service and empower your employees to satisfy the clients’ needs, let’s look closer at the significance of customer communication and its mistakes in email or other communication services.

Why is customer communication important?

Even if you spend a vast amount of money on the mass marketing strategy, the modern era of customer communication requires a personalized approach. Clients have greater choice and significantly higher expectations of the business they deal with. Furthermore, they tend to switch to another company if they aren’t happy. According to research, 66% of consumers state to use a different brand in case they are treated like a number instead of an individual.

Outstanding customer service and personalized communication have become important factors to differentiate your company from competitors. As a result, companies implement lots of ways to enhance the long-lasting relationships with prospects, improve brand image, and adhere to customer communication etiquette.

Top 10 customer communication mistakes and how to fix them

Efficient customer service enables you to make your clients loyal ambassadors. They can spread positive feedback about your brand, and accordingly, increase business sales. To help you achieve these goals, we have combined the most common email related customer communication mistakes that you shouldn’t ignore during direct interactions with your clients and solutions on how to fix them if such happened:

1. Neglect thorough preparation

The thinkJar survey shows that 84% of users become frustrated when a customer support representative doesn’t have the proper knowledge when assisting them. Careless planning and preparation before a call or a chat with your client can lead to miscommunication or even conflicts. As a result, a company can lose a customer and the client will switch to another business.

From a customer support side, a team should be thoroughly prepared with the required data before talking to a customer. Collect clients’ personal information, research their needs and preferences to clearly understand what the individuals want. It will help you avoid any misunderstandings, and show a personalized approach.

For example, you can send a survey to new clients prior to having a conversation with them. Take into account the best time to send an email. ncrease the chance of its opening and replying to it, and making sure clients get the information you want them to be aware of.

2. Lack of brand vocabulary

Clients prefer to have clear communication, so using ambiguous and complicated language or skipping a vocabulary that is related to your business can frustrate them. For instance, if you use very technical terms, it can easily confuse the buyer. Moreover, talking with slang expressions can make you look unprofessional.

When managers communicate with customers, the vocabulary used to describe an offered product or service should match the language of your business. Also, it is essential to interact with brand terms that clients can easily understand.

In other words, use a lexicon that is appropriate and in harmony with your company’s website, mobile apps, social media profiles, and so on.

3. Rely heavily on scripts

Sometimes, it is hard to find the right words to keep a conversation on track when your client feels uncertain. It's especially difficult for the managers who are new in the customer-facing role. Here scripting comes in handy. It makes your interaction more consistent, cohesive, and convincing. For example, scripts are very useful when it comes to transactional requests. They can streamline communication and put a client on the right track to buy your product or service.

However, the Software Advice research states that 78% of clients felt more positive and engaged when the support reps don’t sound like they are reading from a script. Of course, there are the advantages and disadvantages of using a prepared text and following it through communication.

The above-mentioned study also emphasizes that using a customer’s name doesn't make the customer feel respected. It is a common tactic used in the call scripts. One of the many factors that fall flat once the client realizes the rep uses a script instead of responding to their inquiry. Besides, relying heavily on scripts signals to the individual that the manager isn’t confident in the ability to help you out. This can kick off a call of conversation on the wrong foot. Bottom line is that using mostly scripts in any form of communication with customers, including email is quite a big mistake.

Try to use scripts as a training tool and a starting point to help new customer representatives learn the ropes. It will allow them to better understand the flow of effective customer interaction. At the same time, it will still allow them to maintain a natural flow. Also, there are different other tools and resources that can be used to solve the problems and provide more information about your product or service.

For instance, today’s market offers a lot of knowledge management tools that help your team increase their efficiency. By taking advantage of knowledge management software, you can better navigate throughout a knowledge base and use other features to improve customer satisfactin. Send the required articles to your clients easily. They can try to solve their problems by themselves and skip the feeling of being ignored.

4. Ask negative questions

Asking negative questions or using sentences in a negative tone can lead to irreversible consequences. Frustrated clients want to hear a solution to their challenges. So, if you ask questions with a negative tone or words, it can convey negative news. Customers may think you can’t resolve their problems. Even though you don’t mean to ask negative questions, using the word like “not” or any discriminatory language can easily carry a negative tone. This can lead to miscommunication between you and a client.

Negativity can not only frustrate your clients but make them lose confidence in your brand. Avoid asking negative questions to prevent conflicts and improve engagement. Stay friendly but maintain an appropriate level of professionalism. Customers appreciate clear communication, so ask clarifying questions instead to know all the details. It’ll help you eliminate consumers’ negative reactions and show that you’re ready to resolve the issue.

5. Ignore positive tone

If clients hear a touch of negativity in your tone during a conversation, you may not need further communication steps. Agents should use only positive language and show confidence that will most likely attract, please, and satisfy both new and potential customers.

It is important to use positive phrases like “I can,” “I will,” “I understand” to connect closer with your clients. These phrases are reassuring, empathetic, proactive and can easily restore the customer’s trust in your business and brand.

6. Interrupt during conversation

With constant interruptions during a conversation with a customer, efficient communication is almost impossible. When you interrupt clients, it means you’re not listening to them properly in the first place. So, interruptions show the lack of respect or sympathy for the issue. By expressing your opinions before the consumer, you run the risk of missing valuable insights about their problem and mentally shutting down the conversation.

When clients are starting to complain or telling you the events and actions that led to their disappointment, do not interrupt. Even if you’ve heard the same lines before, it’s a good idea to listen to customer’s problems again. You might think: offering a quick solution would make great customer service. Let the customers talk, and only then politely offer a solution once they’re ready to hear it.

7. Do not use personalization

In the world of customer care, skipping a personalization approach is one of the vital communication mistakes. Clients demand personalized interactions based on a thorough understanding of their exact requirements and needs.

Thus, use customer data to help you customize an efficient service. Activities can range from personalized suggestions based on browsing a buying history to offering a discount on a product related to the previous purchase, as well as sending personalized emails and follow-ups.

8.  Fail to listen and apologize

Sometimes, employees that deal and communicate with customers may be so eager to jump into conversation and rush to find a solution that they forget to attentively listen to a client. Of course, it is important to introduce themselves first. Then invite consumers to explain the details of their problems without interruptions.

It is recommended to summarize and analyze a situation and only after that proceed with a conversation with the right solutions. Also, if some misunderstandings occur, it’s important to know the time and manner to apologize for making customers feel secured and special.

9. Skip the right promotions

Sometimes, customer service representatives can’t deal with customers’ objections anymore. They fail to solve a problem by offering proper discounts, coupons, and so on. As a result, they lose a potential customer or a situation can get worse when the existing consumer jumps to another company.

Providing a discount or free additional help can be your way out and help you avoid losing a customer. Also, clients love being rewarded. So, when you offer some exclusive promotions to your buyers, they feel both excited and valued.

10. Exclude follow-up and feedback

Ironically, one of the biggest email follow-up communication mistakes you can make as a customer service representative is simply not doing it. As critical as it is to follow-up, it’s equally important to perform the task concisely. Clients are busy, so they most likely skip to read the lengthy emails. So, in case you have asked for feedback from your client, you most likely fail at receiving it.

Sending your clients a follow-up email after you serve them or resolve a problem will make them feel special and important. When customers feel appreciated, they’re more likely to be loyal to your company. Especially compared to others who haven’t bothered to build close relationships with them. Also, ask for feedback in a proper and concise way that will help you generate business promotion via customers’ positive testimonials and thoughts.

Final conclusion on problems in communication with customers

How to avoid common mistakes in customer communication? Great customer service starts with clear and positive conversations. The lack of key service skills can risk putting a brand in embarrassing situations, or worse yet, a company can end up losing clients due to poor customer service.

By avoiding the above-mentioned customer communication mistakes related to email and adapting interaction to the specific customer’s needs, your brand can easily win clients’ loyalty, confidence, and trust. These concepts will help you to communicate effectively with the customers. It will allow you to delight them but increase your sales and make your business thrive.

About the author

Lidia is a PR and outreach specialist at HelpCrunch, an all-in-one customer communication platform. Her professional experience encompasses customer service improvement, social media marketing, and SEO. Her free time she spends searching for new marketing trends and tv shows, and practicing yoga. Follow her on Twitter @Liya_Bondarenko.

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