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Tips for Avoiding the Most Common Customer Communication Failures

Tips for Avoiding the Most Common Customer Communication Failures Blog Feature

September 18th, 2012 min read

 

customer communicationThe client/agency relationship; is there anything more sacred to your company?


Of course there isn't. After all, isn't it the cornerstone of all successful business models? Keep the customers happy, and not only will you profit, but you'll also profit from the reputation that will surely precede you. And you know what the key to happy customers is? (Spoiler alert: it's in the title.)


It's all about building trust.


And trust is often time built around communication. And let's face it, no one is perfect. All companies or agencies have dropped the ball with communication at some point during a the life of the customer relationship. The key is how your company deals with it.


Below we've listed some of the more common client communication failures, and most importantly, how to avoid committing them.


Interested in learning more about transforming your marketing campaign for more leads and happier customers? Give us a call at IMPACT and learn how we can help!


The Most Common Customer Communication Failures (And How to Avoid Them)


When it comes to customer communication, we've put together a list of what we think are the most common and how you can avoid committing these. Think of this as your customer relationship manifesto, and come back to it whenever you feel that you may be lacking in certain areas or if you have a premonition that a customer may not be happy.


In one of our most popular ebooks, "What to Expect When Working With IMPACT," we thoroughly discuss the client/agency relationship in further detail and how we approach it here at our agency.


Empty Promises


With so many deadlines and tasks to meet on a daily basis, it's sometimes very easy for the words, "no problem. We'll have that done by tomorrow morning" to slip out of your mouth.


Rather than feed your customers a line, be honest with them. Always show your cards, your customers will appreciate the honesty. By making empty promises, you're setting your team up for failure, and your customer for disappointment. That's just not a good day for anybody.


So be up front with your customers, this will prevent you from rushing out an inferior product or service, and will also keep the stress level around the office at a minimum. Talk to your team and come up with a realistic time table, communicate this with the client with the reasoning behind it, and everyone will be happy.


No Excuses


So what happens when a deadline is missed?


Every company or agency goes through this at some point, and it's important to handle it correctly. When a deadline is missed or something else that was promised to the customer, this is usually when excuses start flying. No one likes hearing excuses.


Instead, be honest and up front with the customer and work to develop a solution or a more accurate timetable. Spend your time and energy not on making excuses and trying to cover your behind, but rather on working with the customer on a solution.


Blaming the Client


Once again, a deadline isn't met, a meeting is missed, something gets messed up with the product or service, this kind of stuff will happen at one point or another. Here's where some companies often compound the problem; they blame the client.


Sure, you may have been waiting on something from the client, or they committed a goof somewhere along the line that had repercussions, but it's important not to point any fingers.


Instead, keep the customer informed and clued in on any delays or missed deadlines. It's okay to let the client know that you've run into some delays, they'll surely appreciate this much more than you assigning blame to them, because how is that helping the situation?


Work with your customer to fully explain what's happened, and the steps necessary to get everything back on track. Always put a positive spin on it.


Beyond your Capabilities


Too many times, companies feel they should never tell their clients or customers that a job may need to be outsourced, or that they'll need to spend more money to have something done.


Avoid the classic, "I think we can get that done for you." If something is out of the realm of your capabilities, let the client know that this work will need to be outsourced, and it may be an additional cost in the end.


And whatever you do, NEVER outsource work without first informing the client of your plans. That's a major no-no that can have major repercussions.


Again, honesty and being up front should always be the number one priority.


Be Clear


There's nothing more frustrating than vague answers from the customers standpoint. "We'll get that over to you soon," or "let me talk to {insert name] and get back to you."


This leaves room for doubt in the customers minds about not only the completion of the service, but also the competence of your company as well.


As challenging as it may be, try to be as specific and realistic with your timetable and deadlines at all times. Let your customers know that, "we'll have that content over to you by 8 am tomorrow."


Never leave room for doubt. There's simply no room for it in the customer relationship.


Improve Your Relationship with Customers


Managing your customers or clients can certainly be a stressful endeavor, however, it can also be a breeze. It's all about how you approach the relationships and what kind of  relationship you foster. If you're honest and forthright from the beginning, they'll both trust and respect you along the way.


So avoid these common customer communication failures, and you'll be on the road to more fruitful client relationships.


Interested in learning more about creating a marketing campaign that your customers love? Give us a call at IMPACT and learn how we can help!

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