Best Ways to Master Every Customer Interaction

by Scott Carrion January 13th, 2022
Customer Interaction

What Is Customer Interaction?

Customer interaction refers to how a business communicates with a customer. Specifically, it deals with how effectively a business is able to meet the needs of buyers through the supply of a product or service.

1.   Empathy Is Key to Having Incredibly Customer Interactions

Customer interaction etiquette comes down to treating others as you want to be treated. This simple customer interaction concept can help you connect with your buyers way past the surface level and ensure that you can meet their needs. 

The last thing buyers want during a customer interaction is some pushy salesmen trying to force a product on them to meet their quota. Instead, buyers want a salesman to approach them from a place of empathy where they truly care about the problem they are facing and do their best to come up with an ideal solution.

While practicing through the different customer interaction cycle stages may sound simple, but the fact that pushy salespeople are so common is evidence that many businesses don’t understand this concept. Here are some empathetic customer interaction examples:

  • Thank your buyers - It is incredibly important to show appreciation for your customers because at the end of the day, without them, your business would not exist! You should thank them for being patient if there are delays. Thank them for understanding that mistakes occasionally happen. Thank them for choosing your business over competitors and continuing to come back. Thank them for taking time out of their day to give your company valuable feedback, which you can use to improve your customer interaction process.
  • Display genuine empathy when dealing with your customers’ issues and complaints - The last thing buyers want in interaction is you being dismissive and telling them their problem isn’t a big deal. It is a smart strategy to start with "I'm sorry.” You don’t know how much time and money they are losing or how much stress they are under.

Practicing empathy is an example of customer interaction best practices. If you can use empathy to create positive customer interactions, your buyers will spend more and purchase more frequently. Remember to make an effort to be positive and gracious and leave your customers feeling satisfied after every interaction.

 2. Be Conscientious

Do not keep customers waiting; keep appointments and always keep your word - these are incredibly important customer interaction guidelines. If you stick to these 3 simple factors, you will never have low customer interaction scores again!

What do you think a customer is going to think if you organize a meeting at 12 pm on Thursday and don’t show up? Or do you promise to send them an email with the proposal and completely forget? All of these mistakes leave a sour taste in the customer’s mouth and are not easily forgotten. While some customers may be lenient and forgive you for one poor interaction, many will not, and you will lose a customer forever by not being conscientious.

It doesn’t matter if the customer interaction is over the phone, face to face, or it is a customer interaction online. You need to consciously work with your customers to solve problems and adequately meet their needs. Here are a few ways you can do that:

  • It is not always possible to solve a buyer’s problem in the first interaction. So don’t panic! Simply provide them with a clear outline of the fixing process, including the time frame and tasks that need to be done. You should also schedule a time and date that suits the customer and keep your word to follow up and ensure the problem is taken care of.
  • If your customer suffers an issue and you manage to fix it, give them a courtesy call to find out if the solution worked and to see if they are having any other issues that need to be solved.
  • A smart tactic is to survey your buyers and find out if there are any common issues. Then you should send out mass messages and emails on how to prevent the issue in the first place to prevent angry support calls.
  • If you have established a long-term and valuable relationship with a customer, you should go the extra mile for them. It is important to spend some time learning about their unique needs and coming up with customized solutions.

Conscientiousness is a critical aspect of customer interaction. The quickest way to annoy a buyer is to flake and not keep your word. If you want to build a reputation for positive customer interactions, start working on your conscientiousness right now!

interacting with buyers

3. Be Transparent

It is critical that you are honest when interacting with your buyers, especially when there is uncertainty or a mistake or when a buyer is asking for specific information that is critical to their buying decision. For example, if a customer is asking about the delayed release date of a new game like Book of Ra or a new piece of clothing, don’t just give them a general answer, instead tell them what went wrong and how you are going to solve it.

And customer interaction during COVID needs to be extra transparent because of all the extra uncertainty. Instead of worrying about offending your customers, it is better to be honest and tell them exactly what is happening. 

It is ok to say “I don’t know” if you genuinely are unsure about a situation. If you don't know when stock will arrive or when products will be shipped, you should be honest because there is no point in lying to a buyer and telling them their product will arrive in 2 weeks when it takes 6 weeks. However, you should make a point of following up with your buyers when you have more information to keep them informed and show them that you value the relationship.

When being transparent during an interaction, it is important to explain why the situation has occurred and communicate it in a basic and easy-to-understand fashion. You should also emphasize the future and explain how the steps you will take will not only rectify the current situation but prevent problems from occurring again.

During interactions, buyers want to know exactly what is happening. Buyers are smart and can instantly tell when they are being lied to or fed some pre-written message. If you want your buyers to feel valued and respected, you should keep them in the loop of what is going on and lay out the plan to help solve the problem. You can never go wrong with being honest!

4. Ask For and Leverage Customer Feedback

If you want to improve your interactions, then you need to collect feedback. The only way to collect feed during an interaction is to ask your buyers. While some buyers may be slightly annoyed at being asked to give feedback during an interaction, you can make it optional and make it as short as possible.

Many buyers won’t share their feedback voluntarily during an interaction. This is why sometimes they need a slight push but remember to back off if they resist. If a client does not want to fill out a survey or complete formal feedback, you can just slip in a few informal questions during your interaction and write them down.

To ensure you gather helpful feedback during your interaction with buyers, you should ask the following questions:

  • How would you rate the service?
  • What did you enjoy about the service?
  • What would you change about the interaction?
  • Did we help you solve your problems?
  • What is the best way to communicate with you?

Once you have gathered a decent sample size from your buyer interactions, you can then start analyzing the data. If a large percentage of buyers want to change a certain aspect of the customer interaction process, then you can quickly make changes and meet the needs of your buyers more effectively. Alternatively, if a large percentage of clients enjoy a certain aspect of the interactions, you can make an effort to increase those parts. With how easy it is now to collect feedback from clients and to analyze it using software, there is no excuse to not be constantly working on customer interactions and use a quantitative approach to perfect your process.

Conclusion

Customer interaction is the responsibility of your company. You should have a well-defined interaction strategy and always attempt to gather feedback to improve your process. If you remember that customer interaction should be a mix of empathy, conscientiousness, and transparency, you will be able to meet the demands of customers and increase your customer base. So what is your customer interaction strategy? How does it improve your business?

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