All e-commerce businesses have customers. How we act and react with them can mean the difference between losing them or getting them to stay and refer their friends and family members. Here’s a few tips to keep your customers happy.
We all feel special when our name is said. It’s usually one of the most fond and conscious parts of our identity. While it might be awkward to continue to say someone’s name in a face to face conversation, finding the right amount of it over the phone can help develop positive feelings.
“Whenever you use the customer’s name, you recapture her attention,” wrote Pascal, a customer communication author for Userlike.com. I don’t think this notion asserts that we are selfish creatures, maybe that we just like to be humanized. That can sometimes be a difficult task via telephone or chat.
Most of us can tell a difference when someone on the phone is smiling or not. It changes a lot of para-linguistic features and can sometimes have an emotional impact.
“Smiling isn’t only nice on the eye, it’s nice on the ear as well,” Pascal wrote. “A laughing voice sounds warmer, making the customer feel welcome. By putting on a smile when you pick up the phone you’ll notice your calls become more friendly.”
Of course finding the balance between that forced smile and genuine. Remember Flight Attendant Barbie at the end of Toy Story 2? Don’t be her.
“Verbal nods are those tiny utterances you make when listening to someone else speaking. ‘Ah’, ‘I see’, ‘right’. These come naturally for most people, but in phone conversations it pays to intensify them,” according to Pascal.
These verbal affirmations vary in intensity depending on the culture and some suggest women do a better job at it than men. But the point is to let your customer know that you are still there and they aren’t just talking into the telephone line abyss.
Close your Eyes
Closing your eyes is a simple tactic to increase concentration. Whether you are preparing for a sports game or doing yoga, shutting our eyes helps us focus better. In the environments that allow it, and really, many should because research suggests multitasking is not efficient nor effective (as we discussed last week), close your eyes while speaking on the phone with a client.
Communication is a portal of reality and when we focus on our conversations we are more likely to build a healthy relationship with others.
Keep a neutral-happy tone
Olivia Fox Cabane, the author of The Charisma Myth, suggests a neutral-happy tone when speaking with customers, this means in a positive way, but not overbearing or insincere.
“Only when the customer says her name and you know her, do you take out the warmth and enthusiasm. ‘Oh, Hi Ellen, how are you?!’ This creates the impression that her call actually made you happy – making the customer feel good about herself,” wrote Pascal. He also warns of only employing this tactic when the customer is known. It might backfire if they are new or unknown.
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Please share with us some of the customer service strategies you use to WOW your customers.