Coffee Chat: Best Practices for Customer Communication ☕

  • 13 August 2021
  • 59 replies
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Hey everyone! Thank you for showing support by participating in our previous Coffee Chat. Please Subscribe to this post to get instant updates

Our next Coffee Chat session is happening on Wednesday, 18th of August at 11 AM EST

We hope to hear from you during the chat!

The topic of discussion: Best Practices for Customer Communication

Please block your calendars for about 45 minutes to answer five questions. To keep this session as engaging as possible, I’ve chosen a topic that all of us can relate to, and here are the
key-segments: 

  1. What are some general pointers to keep in mind when you’re talking to your customers?

  2. How do you turn down requests from customers which you can’t fulfill?

  3. How do you handle hostile or unreasonable customers without being rude?

  4. How often do you think communication with customers is necessary? (not just for updates, but in general.)

  5. What is the best way to apologize to your customers- feel free to share your stories, emails, and more here!


59 replies

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Hey everyone!
 
Six important things to know before we get started on our coffee chat :coffee:

  1. To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering the first question Q1, start your answer with A1 and use the Quote option 

  2. If you cannot make it at 11:00 am EST or even if you’re past time, you can still post your answer to a particular question.

  3. You can reply to each others threads/posts to keep the conversation going.

  4. Be polite and respectful of other people’s opinions.

  5. Most importantly, have a great time here!

  6. Lastly, I will make sure to engage with all of you to make this interesting! 

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Hey everyone! We’ll get started in a few minutes.

I hope to see our usual participants - 
@manns@Warden Brown@Johan L@LeonieWagenaar@Bex@epetrutis, @chianne.shepherd :coffee:

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Hey everyone! Welcome to our coffee chat. 

First question for today is here below. To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q1, start your answer with A1 and use the quote the option

Q1 What are some general pointers to keep in mind when you’re talking to your customers?

Userlevel 3

Hey everyone! Welcome to our coffee chat. 

First question for today is here below. To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q1, start your answer with A1 and use the quote the option

Q1 What are some general pointers to keep in mind when you’re talking to your customers?


A1

Our customers are human, they have high expectations and their concerns are valid.  They chose us as a customer, when they could have gone with another company. Having a culture of expectation management and overall positivity as far as customers is concerned is important for us!

Userlevel 5

Hey everyone! Welcome to our coffee chat. 

First question for today is here below. To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q1, start your answer with A1 and use the quote the option

Q1 What are some general pointers to keep in mind when you’re talking to your customers?

A1. Some points to look out to:

  1. Know whom you are speaking with, basics of their relationship with us
  2. It’s always good to know about the previous interactions they’ve had with us - this can be feedback, requests, etc.
  3. Listen! This is always key to enable better support to the customers
  4. Be realistic - with timelines, commitments and anything that we intend to inform them about
  5. Show up - completely, on time and with the right attitude
  6. Get regular feedback

Hi everyone!

 

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A1. Be yourself, not a version of yourself that you think your customers want.  You’ll be far more comfortable, will talk more freely and will be viewed as trustworthy and relatable.

A1. Be understanding and polite while resolving any issues a customer is coming across especially when they are impatient.

Userlevel 1

A1. Truly ask yourself why you’re doing this work in the first place. Having that in mind and putting in efforts to make it work would should up in the way we interact with our customers. Being available for them in the right way (presence, time, consistence, attitude) and building a good relationship with them will go a long way!

Userlevel 3

A1. Speak less, listen more.  It seems simple enough but I’ve been on plenty of calls where we feel the need to over explain and fill silence with more words.  Let the conversation breath.  Allow time for information to be consumed, absorbed and responded to.

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Hey everyone! Welcome to our coffee chat. 

First question for today is here below. To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q1, start your answer with A1 and use the quote the option

Q1 What are some general pointers to keep in mind when you’re talking to your customers?



A1: Sometimes, your customer needs to know that you’re listening to them. Even if you cannot provide an immediate solution to them, communicating that you have their back, and know what they’re concern is essential. No matter how trivial their concern is, never dismiss their thoughts

 

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Second question for today is here! To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q2, start your answer with A2 and use the quote the option.
 

Q2: How do you turn down requests from customers which you can’t fulfill?

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Hi everyone!

 

Welcome to our coffee chat, @JulieR 

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A1

Speak less, listen more.  It seems simple enough but I’ve been on plenty of calls where we feel the need to over explain and fill silence with more words.  Let the conversation breath.  Allow time for information to be consumed, absorbed and responded to.

Absolutely, Jim. Listening to the customer is more important that ever. 

Userlevel 1

A2: Be honest, transparent and polite. Give them the right reasons or back up the turn down requests with valid explanation. It is very important to let them know why their request cannot be taken now rather than just saying a NO with no explanation. Also, if it’s something that can be looked into at a later stage, let them know about that too.

Userlevel 3

A2. I first try Anchoring.  Positioning an alternative outcome as more desirable by comparing it to a lesser one.  I do this with my kids all the time. 

Kids: “Daddy, I want 2 cookies”  

Me: “You can have 1”

Kids: “But I want 2”

Me: “You can have 1 or zero, your choice”

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Second question for today is here! To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q2, start your answer with A2 and use the quote the option.
 

Q2: How do you turn down requests from customers which you can’t fulfill?

A2.

This can be very difficult, especially when you’re also focussing on building a good relationship with the customer and trying to support them to the fullest. Somethings I have learnt my way through and has helped in the past are - Being patient with explaining to them why their request had to be turned down; declining their request with gratitude; providing actionable alternate solutions for them.

 

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@JulieR and @Jadespire45: Honestly and politeness are something to keep in mind while interacting with customers. Keeping in touch with customers is crucial. But sending a “check-in” message isn’t just an ineffective way to get a pulse on a customer’s progress, it can also harm the relationship.

My teammate @Divya Murthy always insists this and she also made a video about it. I’m putting that right here: 

 

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Second question for today is here! To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q2, start your answer with A2 and use the quote the option.
 

Q2: How do you turn down requests from customers which you can’t fulfill?


A2: If a customer asks for something we cannot do we say no - but with sincere apologies.  Most of the time we are able to do something or offer some sort of alternate solution, so it is not a total and complete shutdown, but in the cases where there is no leeway we must manage our customers’ expectations appropriately and respectfully.

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Second question for today is here! To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q2, start your answer with A2 and use the quote the option.
 

Q2: How do you turn down requests from customers which you can’t fulfill?

A2: Saying NO is very hard. But if you can bring the rationale to the table, then nothing like it. You can be open and honest with customers and tell them that features on roadmaps compete with each other and hence their ask may be picked up later and worked on but not right away. Providing a work around and not leaving them alone will comfort them 

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A2. I first try Anchoring.  Positioning an alternative outcome as more desirable by comparing it to a lesser one.  I do this with my kids all the time. 

Kids: “Daddy, I want 2 cookies”  

Me: “You can have 1”

Kids: “But I want 2”

Me: “You can have 1 or zero, your choice”

That’s beautiful way to put it out, Jim. Love it! 

Userlevel 3

​​​​​​A2. Ultimately, just be honest and transparent so you close the loop and can move on.  Letting items linger in limbo doesn’t properly set the right expectation and just mounts frustrations.

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Third question for today is here! To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q3, start your answer with A3 and use the quote the option.
 

Q3 How do you handle hostile or unreasonable customers without being rude?

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A2. Turning down customer requests can any day be hard. No matter how good your relationship with them is, we ought to be very careful about declining their requests in a manner that it doesn’t sound harsh or they’re not just left hanging. Let them know why their request cannot be taken up now. See if you can provide realistic alternatives to their requests which may help them achieve their goals. If you do not have any immediate solutions in hand, assure them that you’ll get back to them with some alternate recommendations and also let them know that their request is heard and that the same would be shared with concerned teams to look into it in the future.

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Second question for today is here! To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q2, start your answer with A2 and use the quote the option.
 

Q2: How do you turn down requests from customers which you can’t fulfill?


A2: If a customer asks for something we cannot do we say no - but with sincere apologies.  Most of the time we are able to do something or offer some sort of alternate solution, so it is not a total and complete shutdown, but in the cases where there is no leeway we must manage our customers’ expectations appropriately and respectfully.

You’re right, @foxcubmama! Offering an alternate solution is way to go in such situations. 

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