Stay calm, be cool, and stick with the person-to-person etiquette, and thrive in the professional space.
One of the biggest pitfalls for businesses across the globe is the declining customer retention rate. Businesses make it their goal to increase their customer base, but forget to retain the existing customers.
It is a fact that getting new clients is five times harder than nurturing the existing ones. Still, most businesses do not have a fool-proof strategy to retain their clients. The ones that do majorly depend on automation tools.
It’s not wrong to use automation tools. However, humans desire relationships and real connections instead of automated emails. Automated tools can help, but only until a point. When you need effective improvement in customer retention, you need human resources to deal with your customers.
However, the decreased rigidity in the office dynamic is impacting the regard for business etiquette. Some staff members may consider the business communication etiquettes as old and unnecessary.
Business etiquette is essential to maintain since it allows customers to feel comfortable and safe in a public or private work setting. Hence, person-to-person business communication etiquette can help you in restoring the declining retention rate.
Here are the steps you should train your employees to follow to see improvement in churn rate – P2P Business Communication Etiquettes to Improve Customer Retention:
The overall principle is to have the client feel like their line of communication is met with an approach with them in mind. The email, phone call, memo, even exclusive offer was made specifically for them. People financially align with companies when they feel specifically catered for, not just taken care of. Putting this into practice can be nebulous so here are additional pointers to increase your customer’s retention.
To cultivate civility in business communications, we need to embrace business etiquette. Here are a set of professional and social rules of conduct in business communication that helps to establish a relationship with the customers and decrease churn rate.
Always Start with a Polite Greeting
Just like it happens in real life, a polite greeting goes a long way in business communication channels too. When you are communicating with your customers, be it either on the phone or by email, do not jump right into the work. Spare the first few seconds or words to exchange pleasantries. It establishes a compatible behavior.
Greeting people with a degree of kindness showcases you as a friendly and pleasant brand. Also, maintain a positive tone of voice throughout the message on email. If you are aiming to pass on a sarcastic comment to lighten the message, do not risk it by email. On the phone, it’s easier to judge your voice and intent, but on email, you may come across as rude.
Whether you are in a group meeting or having a one-to-one audio/video call, be actively involved in the conversation and pay attention to the customer. When we say be active, we don’t mean to imply that you should interrupt them. Instead, show your participation by making a short remark on the customer’s comment. Never leave the customer’s opinion unaddressed. They should feel they are valued in your company.
Mention Names and Other Specific Details
When you communicate with a customer through email, include introductory details in it. Introduce yourself with your first and last name and provide a line of background information about your company and your designation. It is most important when you are connecting with new customers or potential clients,
If it is possible, include the name of the customer too in the email. When customers see their name, they know it’s a customized message and take a genuine interest in it.
Focus on Internal Communication Etiquettes
You need your communication with your employees to be polite and positive. One way to enforce it naturally is maintaining a civil code of conduct within the workplace with the employees. When employees feel satisfied and happy, it translates into their work, and hence your customer relationship strengthens.
If you are someone who doesn’t prioritize effective internal communication, you should know how incivility can affect the employees.
So, how Can Incivility Affect Your Business?
Incivility can take a huge toll on people. The widespread assumption is that adult employees can handle a conflict. If they are not able to do so, they can take it to formal HR channels.
However, in most cases, incivility occurs in subtle forms. For instance, if your peer ‘forgot’ to invite you to a meeting a couple of times, or had not been greeting you formally, you cannot complain to HR. However, these may be the signs of ignorance or exclusion.
Such gestures affect individuals highly and disrupt business productivity. Following are the impact of incivility in a professional setting:
- 48% of employees decrease their work effort intentionally.
- 38% of employees decrease their work quality intentionally.
- 80% of employees stay disturbed about an uncivil incident and lose time thinking about the reason why it happened.
- 66% of employees have stated that their performance declines after facing a rude situation.
- 78% of employees accept that their commitment towards the company declines.
- 25% of employees take it out on their customers.
- 12% of employees admit to having left the company because of uncivil treatment.
Find a Balance
Customer retention is tricky because it majorly revolves around pleasing your customers every single time. You are dealing with humans – and we have both rational and irrational emotions. One single twisted ball in the court can change the game score. You drop a daily message into their inbox thinking it will keep them updated, but they send you to the spam box or block list. You try to avoid taking follow-ups, and they forget about you completely.
Therefore, P2P-centric businesses demand to find a balance in communication. You should begin by making a communication calendar. Plan customer phone calls, notification drop-ins, thank you emails, offer intimations, etc in advance, and schedule them. Having a spreadsheet for the month will help you know how to not overdo your efforts.
Apology and Action Goes a Long Way
When a customer is dissatisfied with your service, do not take it lightly. You are not only at risk of losing that customer, but you may also unknowingly add bitterness to your relationship.
If they cut ties with you, firstly, you broke their trust. Secondly, you are closing doors on the potential future customers that person could have brought you. Therefore, whenever things go unplanned in a bad way, do not hesitate to send an apology letter. A heartfelt apology from a brand may surprise them, and you may even win their trust back.
However, what should follow after this is action-oriented solutions. Analyze what went wrong, amend it, and ensure it doesn’t repeat itself.
Summing it Up
No matter what, be at your professional best. Your action should contribute to a productive and inclusive work environment. Therefore, mind your words and behaviors and do not make offensive, hurtful, hateful, or abusive remarks on anyone.
A civil work environment can indirectly help you maintain impressive client interaction and customer support. So, stay calm, be cool, and stick with the person-to-person communication etiquettes, and thrive in the professional space.