The business world has witnessed a major shift in how customer service is delivered to the customers. With the advent and popularity of the internet as a means of communication, it has become exceedingly easier for company representatives to stay in touch with customers and communicate with them. However, this channel of communication has had many drawbacks as well.
Often times the element of personal touch is missing from all forms of communication conducted online through email, live chat or social networks. Companies are continually trying to find ways to integrate the element of personal touch into their online communication channels.
This is because the presence of personal touch enables companies to build and strengthen their relationship with their customers. Research has shown that it is considerably difficult to attract new customers compared to retaining old ones, which is why companies value customer loyalty and repeat sales. Some of the ways through which personal touch can be added to the online customer service experience are as follows:
The use of appropriate tone will ensure that a message is communicated in a clear and concise manner. Even a positive message could be misconstrued if the correct tone is not employed. There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to determining the correct tone, since there are a lot of factors that need to be taken into account like purpose of communication, target audience, follow-up actions or consequences of the communication. Customer service representatives should be positive in their written communication, regardless of the subject matter. Effective use of tone can be illustrated using the example below:
Because of the recent increase in demand, your order will not be processed before the Holiday Season
The above can be improved as follows:
Unfortunately, due to the unexpected increase in demand this year, we will not be able to process your order in time for holiday season. However, we want to thank you for your loyalty to our company and we promise to deliver your order as soon as possible. Thank you.
Although communication with the customers should be formal, but if the correspondence is too formal, it loses the element of personal touch from the conversations. Ideally, the communication should sound natural and not made-up to sound overly flowery and verbose.
The use of appropriate language is an important component of adding personal touch to the written communication. Although the same kind of language cannot be used for all businesses, due to a lot of variations in nature of communication. Customer service representatives should use language that is not only courteous, but sincere as well. The language should be appropriately used to show empathy and compassion for the customer. Addressing the customers by their names and making effective use of care makes the person on the other end feel like they’re talking to a person who understands and can empathize. At the same time, the language should not stray away from being professional in nature. Slang or informal expression should be avoided, since it might be offensive to some customers.
It must also be made sure that customer service representatives are laconic in their communication. Concise, short and simple sentences should be used to avoid confusion or misunderstanding. The use of vocabulary should be calibrated to match the target audience, which will ensure complete understanding without any constraints.
Focus should be placed on making the conversations relaxed and comfortable, where the customers can easily interact with the company, without feeling too formal or disconnected. This can be done through creating amiable conversations online and engaging the customers in a friendly and pleasant manner.
While engaging customers on social media, relevant jokes can also be shared. At times the use of humor in written conversations can be tricky because it is difficult to determine the cultural and environmental differences, which impact the kind of humor that is appreciated in a particular place. It should be ensured that the humor does not offend any customer. If humor is used properly and effectively, it has the ability to relax the customers and puts them in a mood to read and devote their full attention towards the content.
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