Let’s talk about communication
Communication defines how we connect with other people in our everyday lives. It’s not a word that is brought up as often as it should be when it comes to customer service. Sure, the average store defines great customer service as having inventory, and decent pricing, and while these things are important, they’re missing one key element–communication.
How do business owners get inside their customers’ heads?
Sending out surveys is outdated, and rarely gets enough people to opt in to yield valuable results.
How do we know what to give our customers if we don’t know what they want? We must allow them to reach out in the way that they deem most convenient.
This article says, it’s texting.
By allowing your customers to text your business, you open a line of communication, in a way that works best for them. They don’t have to call and wait on hold, or be stuck behind their computer in a live chat conversation, or worry about their email sitting in your spam folder. They can take the conversation anywhere, increasing their chances of following through with a purchase.
Being available to your customer during their visit on your site, not only creates an exemplary customer experience for the visitor, it also makes them want to tell their friends. By cultivating a relationship with your customers, they are more likely to share your updates, recommend you to their friends, and become repeat shoppers!
Having founded and operated a text messaging solution for a decade, I’ll volunteer the suggestion that while it is definitely beneficial to offer text as a customer service channel, a recommended first step upon responding to the customer is to offer to migrate the conversation to a voice call. As per a recent LinkedIn post (http://bit.ly/EndChatSupport), it is often easier and more beneficial for both parties to dialogue by voice vs. in writing. Text messaging then serves as an excellent means of initiating a request for a business to call the customer back at the customer’s convenience and they do not have to wait on hold, go through voice trees, and be transferred among agents. Of course, if the customer wants to continue chatting via text, then certainly do so.
Hi Jim – Thanks for taking the time to read and reply. We think texting is very case specific. For some use cases and some customer types, a texting only conversation makes sense. We have thousands of conversations on OwnerListens where the customer was extremely happy NOT to have a call with the business. Some examples: When the issue they raise is simple (e.g. how late are you open?); When the customer is at work and can’t speak on the phone; When the customer is a millennial and hates talking on the phone; When the customer has an accent and is embarrassed by it or is hard of hearing… and many more.
Of course, in some cases, it’s best to suggest a phone call. For example, companies who use our service for lead generation for a relatively complex product such as a financial service, will reply via text to set up a call. It all depends on the context.
Reach out to us if you want to chat more about this. Text or call 650-825-1166