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Improving customer communications

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Improving customer communications is not only about getting to know your customers and their needs better, but it is also about improving customer satisfaction and gaining customer loyalty.

Your relationship with your customer begins the moment they walk into your business, make a purchase online, or call in. You gain a customer not by the advertisements you have or will release from this point on - but how you treat them from this point on.

Every customer wants to have satisfaction from the product, but along with that they wanted to be treated well. It is the treating them well that will bring them back, and in the end bring you longer lasting customers (thus longer lasting profit). So how do we go about providing or improving upon our existing customer service? The following are suggestions that will help:

First: Be courteous. They are not the only ones that need something out of this relationship, you need their loyalty. Show them the respect anyone deserves whether they are your customer or not. Identify yourself and find out who they are, remember their names so you can use it in the conversation later. Make sure and respond promptly to their questions or needs, and make sure to understand exactly what those needs are. Sometimes a customer is going to be angry and their only needs are going to be that they need to be listened to. Make sure and listen to their whole complaint, never interrupt, and be sure to recap what they said to make sure they know that you understand. Be courteous and teach your employees to be the same.

Second: If the customer complaint or question is not for the employee who is receiving it then make sure they take clear and accurate messages. Date the message, put the customers name on the message (spelled correctly), and put and accurate description of their complaint or need. If the employee who took the message gave the customer a specific time and date you would get back to them, make sure that is noted so you can follow through.

Third: Communicate information about your company clearly to the customer. If you are running a sale or a promotion and you are sending out the information previous (via mail, email, or flyer) to the promotion make sure and state the information accurately. For example, if you sell clothing and you're running a promotion on a group of sweaters - don't send out the promotion labeling it, "Sale on Sweaters," when in all reality it is only a sale on a few select sweaters. This may be a quick way to get a lot of customers into your store, but you won't be making any long term relationships and in the end you'll lose more than you gain.

Fourth: Maintain a professional appearance. Teach your employees that no matter how angry or upset a customer is, whether the employee is dealing with them on the phone or in person, never try to confront or match their anger. Listen, learn, and move on. Do not allow your employees to get angry, upset, or fight back with customers.
Maintaining a professional appearance also has to do with how much information your employees give to customers. Teach your employees that these people are their customers not their best friends, they don't need to delve deep into conversation nor talk about their personal lives with the customers. Keep the conversation on a business level and your customers will gain more respect for you.

You can improve customer communication by listening, responding professionally, sending out accurate information, and keeping the relationship you have with customers on a business level.

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Posted by DF
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