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10 min read

5 Deadly Mistakes Businesses Make When Communicating With Customers

When customers and prospective customers angrily blast your name on social media, it’s almost always poor communication that’s to blame. In fact, when you really look at the data, most lost customers - from abandoned shopping carts to unhappy customer service can be traced back to poor communication.

So where does it go so wrong? And how can you make sure that as a business you’re communicating effectively with your customer base even before they convert?

Here are five simple mistakes you can avoid when communicating with your customers - and two case studies that you can start implementing immediately to improve your company-customer communication now.

Switching Platforms Mid-Complaint

Words of caution - don’t answer a customer complaint or question on social by giving them a phone number to call, website to visit or anything that gives them more work to resolve their issue. When a customer or prospective customer approaches you with an issue on a certain platform, it’s best if you resolve it right then and there instead of jostling them around. It’s frustrating, wastes time and it sucks to be the customer that has to relay the same message 10 different times to 10 different people.

Not Valuing Your Customer’s Privacy

A friend of ours recently was shopping at a high-end retailer and was snubbed by the salesperson. Our friend wrote a polite email to corporate and was surprised when an hour later she received a voicemail from the salesperson asking to “work things out.”

Our friend was freaked out that her name, address and phone number had been passed along to someone she didn’t know. The company did resolve the issue, but it brings up a huge error in communication. Protect your customer’s private information and if there is a complaint, solve it for them and then provide additional training internally without involving (or expecting) the customer to resolve it themselves. Never, ever, give out sensitive information when a customer has confided in you.

Over Familiar Assumptions

One of the most common mistakes that companies make when communicating with their customer base, is also one of the laziest. In sales emails it’s sometimes demonstrated as an overly familiar tone paired with assumptions about your customer. While we have our hands on more customer data than ever before, companies still forget to ask their customers direct questions and actually listen to the answer. The result of this is messaging that misses the mark, comes across as arrogant and worse than that - irrelevant.

It’s All About You

It’s so easy to get all swept up with product updates, new funding, recent investors - but the truth is unless your message has everything to do with your customers, they just aren’t going to care. One of the biggest mistakes companies make when posting to social media, emailing their list etc., is they don’t write everything from the vantage point of the customer.  What if you can’t figure out how to make it relate to them precisely? Skip it. They aren’t interested.

Personalization Isn’t Your Priority

When it comes to personalization, your customers don’t just think it’s a “nice touch.” As our pal Elle Morgan, Content Marketer for Woopra points out “they expect it.” With  Salesforce reporting that 58% of customers say personalization is important when purchasing from a company - how do you accomplish that at scale?

Elle and the Woopra team are geniuses when it comes to personalized messaging and getting to the heart of the solution - leveraging customer data.

Elle explains “At Woopra, we've seen brands leverage their customer data to engage with the right message, through the right channel, at the right time.”

Luckily, Elle shared with us two powerful examples of how Woopra is leveraging customer data to personalize the right messaging with dynamite results. And the great news, it’s something everyone can implement. Get ready to take notes:

1) Personalize Live Chat Communication
Using a chat tool on your website? Chat is an incredibly powerful way to communicate with visitors to your site the moment they have a question. If you're collecting information such as a visitor's IP address, you can often match this data to information such as their company name. Even cooler, if a returning visitor is on your site and has at one point identified themselves (either through signing up, completing a form, etc.) you could launch a chat window that greets them with their name!
Companies like Segment do this by integrating Clearbit, a data-enrichment tool and Drift for live chat. At Woopra, we're in the process of building this out even further by allowing you to send personalized live chat messages based on any user behavior. For example, if a user signed up for our service but did not try out our funnels feature, we could trigger a chat message that reads, "Hey John, We're so glad you're giving Woopra a try. It looks like you haven't tried to build your first customer funnel. Watch this video to learn how!"
2) Create Highly-Targeted Email Campaigns
Collecting data about your user's demographics, product engagement, support inquiries and more? Use this as fuel for triggering email messaging based any combination of behaviors. A way we do this at Woopra is to look at an user's engagement within our platform and pair that with user information including industry and role. Leveraging this data, we can trigger an email to reach users who are, for example, in a Marketing Role, at a SaaS company, that have not engaged with a certain feature. This allows us to customize the messaging and create highly-targeted communication that is relevant to the user's behavior and their needs!

We’d love to hear more about how you’re striving to communicate more effectively with your customers, which mistakes you’re “guilty” of making and which one of Elle’s tips you and your company can start implementing today. You’re just one highly-targeted email sequence, or better Twitter response away from retaining those almost-customers into happy, loyal buyers for life.

Read more from the CloudApp blog — Inside The Workflow.
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