Customers are a key part to having a successful business, therefore you want to be able to communicate efficiently with them to build relationships, resolve conflicts and identify needs. This blog will discuss different methods to connect with your customers and the many benefits of doing so.
Keep It Personal
Making your communication more personal is a great way to build relationships with your customers. Make them feel that they are more than just another customer/sale by asking them their names, remembering repeat customers orders, asking how their days going and give them a friendly complement. This can help customers to feel more connected to your company and may increase repeat custom. It will also create a more friendly and welcoming atmosphere for your customers and you! (10 Effective Ways to Connect with Your Customers – businessnewsdaily.com)
Although it may seem like the obvious one, its important to remember its not enough to just have a social media account, you need to be actively engaging with it. You can start simple with this! Choose someone within your organization (you or someone else) to start sharing posts from your workday once or twice a week. If you work in a restaurant, you can post videos of the chefs or baristas in action. Don’t underestimate the power of a simple post, some videos of people making coffee on TikTok have millions of views.
Social media can help you better your organizations customer service and connect with your customers in a quick and informal way. By responding to messages, questions and resolving any issues here quickly it shows your customers you care about what they have to say and are listening to them.
Social media can also help you to give your business more of a personality. By sharing posts, you think are funny and match your brand, you can remind customers its more than just a company, it’s a place with real people involved. This can make customers feel more connected to your business.
Communicating With the Rude Customer
This is something that’s unavoidable in every customer orientated business. No matter how much hard work you put in, somethings will go wrong and that’s okay! Not every customer is going to be a happy customer so as long as you know how to communicate and connect with an unhappy customer, you’re doing a good job.
Let them talk, its important to let them communicate their issue to you and makes them feel heard, show your invested in what they are saying and apologise if necessary. Resolve their issue to the best of your ability and once that’s done remind yourself you have done everything you can do and take a moment to clear your head as to not let it impact your mood or your other customers experiences with your business.
Ask For Feedback
Asking your customers for their feedback shows them that you value their opinions and that you want to keep on making continuous improvements for your business. Asking for feedback can happen in 2 ways, informally or formally/structured.
To receive some quick informal feedback, for example in a café/restaurant, ask your customers how their experience was and if they have enjoyed their food/coffee. This shows your customers you are taking an interest in them and their experience and may make them feel more valued.
For a more structured type of feedback, reach out to your customers after their experience with you has ended. You can post polls or questioners to your social media accounts or reach out to your customers directly if their contact information is something you have obtained from their experience. This type of feedback may offer you a more in dept insight into their experience, issues, opinions, and suggestions.
Most importantly don’t forget to act on the feedback you receive! There may not be a need to make drastic changes to your company based on customer feedback, but implementing small changes could possibly help your business for the better and show your customers you value them and their opinions.
Useful Skillnet Training Courses, Podcasts, Videos & Links:
Restaurant and Hospitality Skillnet Courses:
- Certified Hospitality Programme Level 1. More information at: https://www.rhskillnet.ie/training/certified-hospitality-programme-level-1-up-to-25-staff/
- Customer Service – Delight & Upsell 27th September 2023. More information at: https://www.rhskillnet.ie/training/customer-service-delight-upsell-sept-2023/
- Ethan at BombBomb: The Customer Experience Podcast (On Spotify)
- Customer Success Talks: Real Challenges, Expert Advice (On Spotify)
Quick Reading Links:
- 10 Effective Ways to Connect with your Customers. Available at: https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10330-connect-with-customers.html
- 6 Ways to Build Better Customer Relationships. Available at: https://www.bdc.ca/en/articles-tools/marketing-sales-export/marketing/importance-building-customer-relationships
- How to truly connect with Clients and Customers. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2020/07/29/how-to-truly-connect-with-clients-and-customers/
- Rude Customers – Staying in Control During Confrontations. Available at: https://www.mindtools.com/azy1p15/rude-customers
- Communicate with Customers. Available at: https://business.gov.au/people/customers/communicate-with-customers
- 9 Excellent Customer Service Tips for Hospitality Industry. Available at: https://www.soegjobs.com/9-tips-excellent-customer-service-hospitality/
- The Benefits of Customer Feedback, According to Experts. Available at: https://blog.hubspot.com/service/benefits-of-customer-feedback#
- 8 tips for excellent Hospitality customer service | How to give great customer service. Available at: https://youtu.be/FKWNvC82krc
- The BEST Way to Connect with Customers. Available at: https://youtu.be/reaApINO9vk
- How to Handle Rude Customers Listen and Understand. Available at: https://youtu.be/jZIxxm2xpm4