During any busy season, good customer communication with leads and buyers can be difficult. That said, quality customer service is not impossible. With current employment shortages added to the mix, we realize your business is likely running at full speed with staff numbers at half capacity. Luckily, there are multiple ways to modify business communication to accommodate the flood of high phone traffic and messages. We’ll show you how to answer incoming inquiries—not just with phone calls, provide great service even when you feel like there’s no end in sight, and why it’s important to always respond.
Economic Trends Impacting Customer Communication
Don’t let outside events you can’t control stress you out while running your business. If you have a plan in place to handle inquiries from leads and customers, you will reap the benefits of high demand in your industry. And you can do this with excellent customer service!
Clear Communication Directly with Customers
While consumers can be demanding at times, most are understanding if they’re informed. Humanizing your business will likely help your inquiries have some patience while you work to answer their questions. How you chose to address the issue and what information to divulge, is up to you.
What to Tell Customers
We recommend an “honesty is the best policy” approach. If you’re short staffed, say so. If you’re operating on limited hours due to economic effects, say that too. Let customers know your staff is working on reaching everyone, but it will take longer than expected to contact them. If you know it is taking your staff one to two business days to respond to inquiries, provide a rough “when to expect a returned communication” timeline. Customer service is all about communication.
Where to Communicate with Customers
Use your website’s home page slider or pop-up feature, social media pages, email newsletter, email autoresponder, and blog to communicate. Tell prospects and customers what’s happening at your business. An attractive, clean graphic and simple message can do the trick. Provide information such as limited hours, turnaround time for returned communication, or general information you want consumers to know. Create social media posts and pin them to the top of your pages so all visitors see the information. Use your email newsletter or even your blog to discuss what’s happening at your business with your customers and leads.
Platforms for Consistent Contact with Customers
So how do you juggle all the obstacles plaguing your business to serve your leads and customers? Due to the shortage of many supplies and materials, and the fast rate they’re selling at, it’s even more likely people will call you prior to visiting. The buyer wants to make sure you have what they need before driving to your location—as it may be located far from their town or city.
If you’re busy and/or short staffed, you may not be able to answer every call or return voicemails in a timely manner. Your staff may even decide to not return a voicemail about a unit that’s no longer available. Instead, they will reach out to a lead inquiring about an available unit or service request. While that may seem like a good idea in the moment, we can all probably agree it’s just not good customer service. Customer communication in a timely and respectful manner is vital to all businesses. Lucky for you, there are so many ways to communicate with your leads and customers!
Facebook Messenger is a great way to ask customers to communicate with your business. Messages are available when your staff is available. Messenger’s text-like interface is familiar to customers, making it easy for anyone to use. It also allows your sales or management staff to field multiple messages at once. Additionally, because the messages are received from the business page, it does not have to be the specific employee answering the incoming inquiry. Any staff member with access to your business page will be able to provide exceptional customer service to inquiring leads.
Though most businesses already have email addresses set up for information requests, you can direct leads and customers to use them more. Ask leads and customers to provide certain information on all website forms or email inquiry posts on social media. This will help your staff respond more efficiently to each individual need, providing top notch customer service to every inquiry email. You can economize time sifting through the body of the email to figure out the reason for the inquiry by asking for the main details to be provided in the subject bar. This will help you get the message to the correct department and serve customers quickly.
When email or Facebook Messenger is not ideal, text messaging from your website might do the trick! With how often text messaging is used every day, it may be the most natural way for your sales staff to communicate with leads or customers. Though text messaging seems less formal, allowing for free-flowing communication is better than leaving leads or customers hanging. These tools often allow you to send text messages to an unlimited number of phones, so any number of your staff can receive them.
Much like a text messaging feature for your website, there are also chat feature options you can use on your website. You can implement a chat bot to automate segmenting your leads to certain funnels, so they get to the right person on your staff. Live chat is also a helpful option that allows for a more personal feel when communication with incoming inquiries. Customer service is all about what makes the process easiest for your customer. Whether you use a chat bot or a live chat tool, inquiring customers are still receiving a response, and that’s good customer service.
Restoring Customer Communication
It’s no secret that the economy since 2020 has gone through many changes in almost every industry. The fallout of COVID-19 has left inventory and material shortages in many different industries. While it seems funny to complain about “too much” business, it can be difficult to accommodate so many inquiring leads or customers. Add in shortages in staff and you have the perfect storm for lackluster customer service. But there is always a way to navigate through to the bright side.
Overwhelmed by calls and messages?
Our team of social media experts will help you find solutions to better serve your customers. We can help you leverage technology to grow you business and ensure you never sacrifice customer service to the busy season!