What’s The Best Way For Customers To Contact Your Business?

Communication technology has been through many chances in the last couple of decades but there have been less drastic changes to the way in which customers can get in contact with the companies that they are using regularly. Good communication is one of the most important parts of any business and is a key customer service point. After all, if your customers cannot contact you as and when they need to then they are far less likely to want to do business with you in the first place.

There can be many reasons why a member of the public would want to get into contact with a specific business, but the most likely one is to issue a complaint or straighten out a troubling issue. Therefore it is imperative that communication is easy and effective otherwise more frustration is likely to ensue and it could result in damage to the company’s reputation.

So what is the best form of communication in 2013?

Email –

email

When email was first invented it was championed as the quickest and easiest form of business communication. Not only could it be used for free if you had access to the internet but it also allowed long distance messages to be sent instantly and for conversations to play out as and when it was convenient. Today email is not used as much as it used to be by customers but remains a very important form of communication between staff members in-house and clients from other companies.

Emails can be frustrating for customers looking to lodge a complaint as it can take a while to receive a response. Therefore the best way to make the most of this form of contact is to monitor them regularly, respond in a swift and professional manner and make it easy for the customers to find your email address.

Telephone –

telephone

Provided you have effective telephone systems in place; telephone communication will always be the preferred choice for the majority of your customers. The main reason for this is that it offers an opportunity to speak to someone directly and get an answer straight away. Nothing can be misconstrued on a phone call like it can be with written contact and you can also take as much time as needed to rectify your problem. Emails often require a few exchanges in contact before the situation can be resolved but on the telephone it is likely to be dealt with in one transaction.

To ensure your customers can reach you by phone you need to have reliable telephone systems in place as well as a call answering service or a voice recording facility. Without these, customers can become impatient and by the time the call is answered you may be dealing with an escalated issue because of the time they’ve had to spend on hold.

Social Media –

social-media

Social media is arguably the ‘go to’ form of communication for customers from the younger generations. Its instantaneous nature and the fact that anything written there is immediately in the public eye means that solutions are reached a lot quicker and companies are more likely to react favourably. However, you shouldn’t see this as a bad thing.

The fact that complaints made on social media can be seen by the rest of the world should be an opportunity for you to show that your company has great customer service and goes about rectifying problems in the right way. In the same way that funny criticisms can end up going viral, your response could also do the same and end up earning you praise and attention from all corners of the online world.

As powerful as social media is though, it will never be the most popular form of communication for everyone. Older generations and younger people that don’t see the lure of sites like Twitter and Facebook will still prefer to make contact in other ways and so it is important to have multiple options available to your customers.

Featured images:
  • email License: Creative Commons image source
  • telephone License: Creative Commons image source
  • social-media License: Creative Commons image source

Chris Mayhew has worked in customer service for a large part of his life and knows that effective communication is the key. He would recommend telephone systems, software development and I.T support from Three Cherries who are based in Bristol.