The biggest put off for any customer in the World who thought you were a good Business to buy from, is getting badgered and followed to the end of time until he/she made a purchase. For relationships forged on transactions, the traditional way would be to converse with customers in a strictly professional manner.
But we know how vital it is to nurture a caring, and amicable customer-brand relationship today, for a long association. When it comes to brands, its a jungle out there. All it takes is one unenthusiastic response, for a customer to quickly move on to the next Business that treats his/her queries as their own.
Warm Greetings give an edge to your Brand and act as a differentiator amidst the competing business landscape. It’s not just about smiles and sweet gestures physically, but about inducing warmth and friendliness through all mediums of communication.
Customers look for so much more than just a casual ‘Hello, How are you?’ which no doubt, you’ve said to a dozen other people. They want to feel welcomed, appreciated and assured of the fact that their questions and queries will be answered at any time.
Lasting First Impressions hold stock even more so today and this Blog Post will attempt to elaborate the right way of greeting your customers at every step along the way.
Welcoming Customers New to your Biz:
7 seconds – Is all you have to make a first impression that counts. In the case of a new Email Subscriber or a Call Lead, the first communication sent out from your Business/Brand will be a deciding factor for the future of the relationship.
In Sales and Support:
Support and Sales Greeting Techniques are a lot trickier since the Sales and Support sectors are infamous for setting people off wrongly. Sleazy sales executives or support agents who simply recite their script by rote, totally missing the context of a conversation have shown us time and again that these two operations are most in need of improving the way they greet customers.
On the other hand, Sales and Support Teams have a greater chance of making a lasting first impression with the way they greet customers because friendly Sales and Support Agents are a valuable asset to any organization. Greeting Customers in the best way possible will bring
- A successful one-time sale
- Repeat Successful Sales.
- Conversational Etiquette:
Your customers must feel like you’ve been waiting for their call all along. You need to acknowledge their presence with a
‘Welcome! How are you doing today?’.
But first, you must attend a customer’s call, email, or chat message IMMEDIATELY. Acknowledging customers as soon as they arrive at the beginning of a prospective relationship.
Instantly Reply to Emails, attend to calls, respond to chat messages without the client having to wait long.
- Politeness with a well thought-out script:
Since Sales and Support Agents need to follow a script when communicating with customers, they need to be aware of the fact that they are conversing with a human instead of rote reciting to a brick wall. This involves polite speaking amidst the script.
- Don’t steam-roller over the conversation by being strictly scripted. LISTEN to the customer and acknowledge everything they’re saying.
- Use ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ throughout.
- Help Customers familiarize with your Business:
New Customers usually come with a sense of skepticism since they’re unsure whether their purchases will be profitable. As such, Sales and Support Teams must be cautious and patient enough to help them familiarise. Without being too inquisitive, get up-close and personal with customers to get an idea of their expectations from your Business.
- Ask them exactly what they’re looking for.
- Request them to disclose their budget and use case. Tell them to feel free while sharing this information since it will help you serve them better.
- Encourage them to trust in you right from the start by sharing Business Portfolio, Clientele, Products and Services, New Features and Services, USPs to build credibility.
- The discussion can turn casual here to ease the tension. You can discuss market trends, competing businesses, and more.
Customers aren’t opposed to questions, especially when they’re trying to buy from you. If you allow them to tell you exactly what they want, they will spend a good deal of time sharing their nuances and telling the story of how they think your Business will improve or change their life.
Open-Ended Questioning will unlock all the answers you need from the customer that will be pivotal in tailoring your services.
Don’t forget to listen to every word without interrupting your customer.
In the Hospitality Industry:
The Hospitality Industry must always greet customers in the best way possible. Bad Customer Service in the Hospitality Industry is a sin that can prove to be very expensive. Apart from offering customer loyalty programs and being trained to deal with unexpected situations, the Hospitality Industry must be well-versed in the subtle art of greeting customers whether in person, through written or phone communication.
When customers make online bookings in the Hotel Industry, they expect prompt responses, as well as warm greetings that say that the Hotel where they will be staying is more than pleased to have them and is taking all the efforts to ensure that the booking is confirmed and the stay will be pleasant. Here is a sample best hotel booking email series:
In the E-commerce Industry:
In the E-commerce Industry, you can bump into customers on more than one place. Online Shoppers like to share images and video clips of their purchases online. They also like to share reviews with a click of a button or leave a long rant about the poor service they experienced.
Nevertheless, if E-commerce companies learn how to welcome customer communication online by greeting them right, you can satisfy irate customers and positively attract new ones with the friendliness and rapport you build with them.
With so many communication channels in E-commerce, customers must feel welcome and comfortable to contact a brand for information, regarding their purchases, or to provide feedback freely.
Greeting Customers on Live Chat:
Proper Chat Etiquette is as important as the use of polite language on call. After all, the Live Chat System exists to reduce waiting time and for faster issue resolution. So when a customer pings the live chat support system, these pointers will help you greet them in the right way and initiate a productive conversation leading to a happy, satisfied customer:
- Immediate Response:
Warm greetings won’t make a difference if a customer had to wait more than 20 minutes for a response. A live chat agent must be ready and waiting to reply as soon as a customer pings.
Automated responses to Live Chat Requests will help your business save face in the event that an agent is not available to respond.
- Chat Etiquette:
The easiest way to put off a customer trying to use the live chat system to solve their issues is to misspell their name or use incorrect grammar.
Chat with a customer politely but not in a very casual tone.
Avoid the use of slangs, like the plague.
Use Capitals only on first letters and do not use short forms for words.
Be Professional on Chat, like you would on Email.
- Let the Customer know your name, and no more:
Customers on Chat do not want to read an entire introductory paragraph that looks like this,
“Hello and Welcome to Live Chat. My name is John and I am your Support Agent today. Please feel free to ask questions, submit your complaints, or leave general feedback. Note that this chat conversation will be recorded for quality assessment. Please confirm your Email Address and Customer ID for smooth assistance. Please choose from this list of options, your reason for contacting us today.”
Can you imagine the speed at which the customer would hit the close button on the chat window at that?
Since Live Chat is a speedier, less formal method of customer contact, tell the customer your name before you get down to business, and let the customer put his heart and soul out while you go all-ears.
“Hi, My Name is John. How may I assist you today?” is the right way to greet customers on Live Chat.
- Maintain a Positive Customer Service Experience throughout the Conversation:
Maintaining a great customer service experience even during tricky situations is the mark of an expert service agent.
If an irate customer is firing away angry chat messages, take the time to apologize first before greeting them.
“I apologize for the inconvenience we’ve caused. Welcome to Live Chat and allow me to fix this for you.”
This is the best way to greet irate customers without further agitating them with endless sorries and pleases.