How has the definition of good customer experience changed in the last few years? Let me give you a personal example. I recently moved and had to set up a PG&E connection for my new home. After attempting to use the website, it was clear I was going to need to call PG&E and talk to a real person…I put it off for as long as I could until the last day of my deadline. It’s electricity and gas, so it’s not like I could opt out. But this experience made me think that, if I was so reluctant to make a phone call to get electricity to my home, I was definitely not going to get on the phone for something that was non-essential.
Your customers are no different. Nobody wants to stop what they are doing — be it working or watching television — to get on the phone and talk. Especially when it’s a simple thing like finding out if the working hours have changed or if a store had a particular item in stock. Good customer experience is highly dependent on how easy the customers find it to communicate their questions and needs with the business.
What is a good customer experience?
Good customer experience adds value to a customer’s life and makes them want to continue doing business with you. It covers everything from communication to post-purchase support. In this article, let’s focus on the communication part. If your customer is unable to communicate easily and effectively with you, chances are they are going to another business/vendor soon.
Some customer-preferred ways to communicate
Today, everyone loves the ease of communicating with their phones, but without the disruption of a phone call. Here are some easy, low-key ways to communicate with your customer:
There is a reason why Mark Zuckerberg is a billionaire. Almost everyone is on Facebook and that includes your customers. Sites like Google and Facebook have become such a huge part of daily life. This is why Facebook reviews are important to gain credibility amongst your customers. Additionally, being active on Facebook Messenger means that there is another channel for customers to communicate with you.
Imagine a customer is on your business’s Facebook page to read reviews. When they see the ‘highly responsive’ tag next to the business, it makes them want to message and engage with you.
For example, if the customer’s query is to find out if they can return something they bought at your store, calling your store and asking is time-taking and disruptive to their day. Instead, they can find your store on Facebook and message you. They can read the reply at their convenience and this makes the whole process easier.
By making yourself available on Facebook Messenger, you can attend to customers in-store while also responding to any questions via Messenger — without making anybody wait. Now that’s a good customer experience.
Nearly every business has a website. It legitimizes them and makes them seem more professional. But just having a website doesn’t cut it anymore. You need to be able to communicate with the customers via chat too. You have 3 types of website chat options to choose from — livechat, chatbots and text-based Webchat.
- Livechat is for immediate replies. It’s almost the same thing as a phone call but it’s less disruptive for everyone involved.
- Chatbots are for questions that need automatic answers. Questions like ‘what is your address?’ or ‘Is there parking?’ which don’t need a unique answer each time can be easily answered with chatbots.
- Webchat is the best of both put together. You can’t always have someone be online to answer livechat (like weekends or late in the night). Similarly not all questions can be answered automatically using chatbots. With Webchat, customers on your website can leave their cellphone number and ask a question. When the business owner replies to this message from his dashboard, the reply goes to the customer as a text message. The conversation can be continued uninterrupted. This is a win-win, since the customer gets their query answered and the business does not lose out on leads. You can also set up auto-reply on webchat, so that even if a customer asks a question at 1 AM, they know that they can expect a reply soon. Again, this helps businesses not lose out on leads.
Together the three channels help provide comprehensive channels for communication over chat.
Studies show that text messages have a stunning 98% open rate. Using text messages to communicate with your customers today is a no-brainer. More and more customers prefer to use text as their preferred mode of communicating with businesses. It is fast and far more efficient than any other form of communication.
This is why businesses increasingly use text messages to communicate with their customers. You can set it up so that your customers text you on business landline. All this communication can be managed from a central place within your Birdeye dashboard and the customers have a single point of contact as well.
You can also send bulk text messages using the text feature. This can be seasonal greetings or promotional messages. You can text all your customers with just a few clicks. This saves your time and helps you gain new leads.
Example of good customer experience
Here is an example of how a dental practice, Brockport Smiles, used Webchat to drive customer communication.
“I love the Birdeye Webchat feature because it makes it easy for patients who have dental anxiety to connect with us. This simple tool allows us to alleviate their concerns which brings them into the office on a more regular basis.”Katie Langenstein, Office Manager at Brockport Smiles
Minimizing your customers’ anxiety is also ensuring that they have a good customer experience.
How to communicate effectively
Using a customer interaction platform like Birdeye, you will be able to communicate effectively with all your customers. You can also do a few other things that will help save you time. Here is what else you can do with the right customer interaction platform:
1. Create templates
You can create message templates that reflect the tone and voice of your business. Whether it is formal or casual, seasons’ greetings or a special offer — you can customize, personalize and save messages as a template to communicate in the right way, even faster.
2. Use attachments
You can send attachments, like an invoice or a picture, easily. If you have ever struggled with describing something to your customer (or suffered because your customer couldn’t describe an issue to you), you know the importance of being able to send attachments. When words don’t cut it add a picture, gif, pdf, or just an emoji.
3. Manage your contacts
Using a customer interaction platform, when you communicate with someone, their contacts get automatically created in your database. Similarly, you can easily integrate it with your CRM software as well, so that all your communication to your contacts go from one place.
4. Internal notes
Whether you have three employees or three hundred, all of you need to work together and be on the same page to ensure good customer experience. If you want to give your biggest and favorite customer an extra 10% off or if you want your most experienced staff to deal with a particular customer, you can coordinate all of that using internal notes. This way, there will be more accountability and collaboration between your team as well.
5. Mobile App
Using an app, you can do all of the texting, messaging, live chat and more, from your mobile phone. So, no more worrying about missing something if you stepped away from the front desk for a little while. With the mobile app, you can feel free to get up and move around.
6. Never miss any communication
With all the communication stored in one place, you are never going to miss any communication from a customer.
How can Birdeye help
Using Birdeye Interactions, you can ensure that you provide good customer experience to all your current and future customers. Using Interactions, you can get more leads by being present on various channels of communication such as webchat, text, and Facebook messenger. And with Inbox, all of these communications will be stored and managed from within one unified Inbox. Try out Interactions to see why over 60,000 businesses choose Birdeye to be found, be chosen, and be the best.