How to improve communication skills in customer service
Improving your customer communications can help strengthen brand loyalty, increase sales potential, reduce support costs – and it makes good sense for your business. Yet it can be challenging to get everyone at your company to communicate in a clear, consistent, and unified voice.
A great place to start is looking at how to improve communication skills in customer service and complaint management.
While you may have many touchpoints with customers, start with the letters, notices, and email sent by customer service teams.
6 tips on how to improve communication skills in customer service
1. Recruit champions
To get a communications initiative rolling, you need champions across the company who recognize the near and long-term gains and invest in promoting it. Your champions can help mentor team members in improving their writing and create incentives to drive broader support.
2. Develop standards and guidelines
A key to creating effective communications is ensuring they are easy to understand and use the appropriate tone and language for your target audience. Across an enterprise, people need to know what that looks like, so developing standards and guidelines for your customer communications can provide necessary guidance and help get everyone in sync.
3. Promote your brand
The goal of a brand is more than having a recognizable logo; it’s about building a strong connection between customer and product. What better way than through communications that show your customers you understand who they are and what they care about and need? Encourage internal teams to learn your brand attributes and communications best practices so they can more effectively and consistently express the brand to customers.
4. Provide engaging learning tools
If you develop writing standards and guidelines or other best practice tools to help teams improve their customer communications, make these resources broadly available through an internal website.
Motivate learning with interactivity and downloadable tools, and provide plenty of best practice examples such as before and after letters. It’s not enough to toss out high-level ideas. When you’re serious about how to improve communication skills in customer service, providing tangible, repeatable examples makes a big difference. It helps copywriters learn by seeing what customer-focused writing looks like in real world content from their everyday work.
5. Set an example
Create model language guides that highlight the best ways to address various scenarios, line of business events, and customer segments. For example, a guide for recommended language in handling negative news, or one focused on situations around lending, or how to communicate better with wealth clients.
Provide sample phrasing for starting a letter and making a clear call to action. Show how to handle complaints in a friendly way, or how to be more direct and concise while still sounding warm and approachable. Consistency is key.
6. Offer hands-on learning opportunities
One of the best ways to build support for improving customer communications is to engage teams directly through hands-on training. Compelling, interactive writing workshops help teams learn the importance of standards, guidelines, and brand messaging.
Training should include collaborative hands-on editing sessions where they can apply what they’re learning to improve actual customer letters and email.
In creating more effective customer communications, everybody wins. Your customers are better able to relate to your company. Internal teams strengthen their writing skills and increase insight into customer relationships. And your enterprise as a whole increases its potential to build a stronger, more marketable brand.
Need help to jumpstart your team’s writing skills?
to increase customer focus