Customer Communication: Consequences to Avoid
In the last decade or so, businesses have made major changes in the way they operate. With the rise of the Internet and the information age, consumers suddenly wielded more buying power. As the company-consumer power dynamic shifted, so did the way companies approached customer communications.
As the access to a broader, more widespread field of information expanded, consumers have become more adept at making informed decisions on where they want to take their business. Top-tier companies saw this trend in the making and swiftly adjusted to a customer communication strategy that prioritized transparency. In so doing, customers gained a sense of trust for those companies, which translated to improving an array of critical business metrics.
In assessing companies that lack strong communication channels or have a poor customer communications strategy, a new series of trends have emerged that provide indicators for customer retention.
One of the most influential factors to impact a consumer’s purchase-making decisions is their customer experience. These days, with an increasing number of business interactions occurring virtually, a major portion of the customer experience is dictated by customer communications within customer journeys.
As such, it has become vital for companies to prioritize the development of a comprehensive customer communications plan. Enacting such a strategy helps direct your business to realize higher customer satisfaction levels, higher rates of customer retention, and a boost in customer loyalty—all of which culminates in a higher average lifetime value per customer (the targeted end goal results).
Negative Reviews and Influencers
It isn’t hard to find examples of displeased customers online. In fact, many disappointed customers are quick to take to the Internet for a variety of reasons: from simply venting about a negative experience, to continuously reaching out in frustration in an attempt to resolve an issue.
However, it’s in the best interest of the company to monitor these online communications, throughout all of the various social media channels: in today’s business landscape a negative review from the right influencer can completely demolish a venture.
Stay ahead of the curve with a robust, comprehensive customer communication strategy.
Signs Your Customer Communication Needs Improving
Ignorance, to an extent, is forgivable. There’s just no way for us to know what we don’t know. However, once we learn something, it’s our obligation to make use of that knowledge. When it comes to customer communications, there are often signs to look for when things aren’t operating as smoothly as they should.
There are some easy signs to watch for in your company that may indicate it’s time to step up your customer communications strategy:
- A high volume of inbound calls related to communications – If your company is experiencing a higher-than-usual rate of inbound calls in reference to your company’s customer communication efforts, then you should immediately recognize this as a red flag for the decision-makers (and the process to arrive at that decision) within your organization. A good first step would be to investigate and see if your content may be confusing or turning your customer away.
- Poor customer response rates – Poor communications can be reflected on the other end of the line as well. If consumers aren’t responding to your communications there is likely a reason why. Most importantly, you should track how often outbound customer communications requiring a response actually receive a response. You may want to consider also that your “call to action” is simply not clear enough for the customer.
- Repeated customer contact – Customers should never have to hunt you down. Ensuring that customers can contact your team through a variety of easy-to-access communication channels is a necessity for companies conducting business today. Most critically, customers should only need to contact you only once over any given channel for each issue they raise.
In today’s business landscape the majority of work has shifted to remote locations, a.k.a., work-from-home. This “new normal” makes effective communication more important than ever before. That’s communication in all its forms: between partners, internally between teams, and arguably most importantly, externally with consumers.
A comprehensive customer communications strategy will lead to higher customer satisfaction, greater rates of customer retention, and an increased sense of customer loyalty.
If your customers are turning to Twitter to complain about your customer communications; or you’re just not seeing the response rates you’d hoped for, get in touch with Topdown today and see how we can help convert negative reviews into positive responses with a comprehensive communications strategy and the tools to implement them into your business.
About John Zimmerer
John Zimmerer is the senior director of marketing at Topdown, where he leads market research and outreach efforts for the company's customer communications and customer experience products. Most recently, John has been researching and writing about the future direction of the technologies that power customer experience, and is regarded as a thought leader in this area. John has nearly 20 years of software product marketing experience. His areas of expertise include market research, analyst relations, public relations and digital marketing.