What Do Customers Value Above All Else? Communication

Communication can make or break a business. Whether your company is B2C or B2B, good communication should be at the very heart of all your dealings.

Communication can make or break a business. Whether your company is B2C or B2B, good communication should be at the very heart of all your dealings.

Unfortunately, doing business online throws up a lot of barriers to effective communication. Chatbots can be helpful in certain situations, but talking to a real-life human is almost always preferable, especially when you have a unique query that’s never come up before.

This is something that Premier Hot Tubs know very well. This family-run business sells luxury hot tubs to clients throughout the UK, and as their customer reviews prove, good communication has always been one of the company’s top priorities.

Here are some excerpts from Premier’s most recent reviews:

“Wonderful service from the team, who were very helpful from ordering through to delivery.”

“Excellent communication from start to finish.”

“Very responsive.”

Compare this to the things people say about other hot tub companies on review sites like Trustpilot, and the value of good communication immediately becomes apparent:

“I tried to get help, but it all had to be done online. There was never anyone to talk to.”

“Customer support is inadequate and slow.”

“The lack of communication caused a lot of stress and days wasted waiting for something that wasn’t even on its way.”

It doesn’t matter what type of business you operate – fast, clear communication should be as high a priority as the quality of the product or service itself. The Premier Hot Tubs website does feature a fairly exhaustive Frequently Asked Questions page, but it will never be possible to address every conceivable query in the FAQs, and so it’s crucial to offer superb customer support as well.

How to improve your company’s communication

If someone encounters a problem with your company’s offering, they will want to know that someone cares, and cares enough to respond efficiently.

Artificial intelligence is an increasingly popular first-response solution. If used carefully, AI-powered webchat bots can help to resolve customer issues without requiring an intervention from a human member of staff. An AI chatbot can, for example, suggest relevant articles from your help centre, route requests to a human support agent in the correct department, collect customer data for certain security purposes, and keep track of previous conversations for the sake of a fully-documented resolution procedure.

However, if you peruse all the negative reviews on Trustpilot, this is one complaint you’ll see over and over again: “There was never anyone to talk to.” The option to speak with a real person is often the key thing that separates a good customer experience from a bad one.

A lot of consumers find talking to chatbots frustrating. Not only is the conversation somewhat stilted, but a chatbot may not be able to comprehend a more complex issue – or a customer’s description of the issue if they are communicating in a language that is not their first. This can make for incredibly inefficient communication.

Furthermore, a chatbot cannot empathise. A customer who is trying to resolve a problem might well be in a state of distress, and there is no warmth in a chatbot’s response. An AI chatbot is simply a script waiting for the right inputs, whereas a human has the ability to respond sensitively and sympathetically, even if the discussion is taking place over the phone or via email. To state the obvious, there is far more humanity to be found in correspondence between two human beings, and this goes a long way towards making the customer feel heard and respected.

AI chatbots can be useful, especially if you don’t have a large team that can spend all day responding to customer queries. But if you want to make your clients as happy as possible, it’s clear that there’s still no substitute for human communication. So make sure that you’re giving customers an easy way to reach you, and do whatever you can to make sure their enquiries are well handled in a timely manner.