As a society that’s constantly evolving with technology, we’ve reached an era where it’s perfectly acceptable to use artificial intelligence (AI) for answers that once required human conversations. Whether it’s asking Siri (from Apple) for directions or Alexa (from Amazon) about the weather tomorrow, AI has made simple tasks more convenient and less time consuming. In the B2B (business-to-business) world, however, AI has been slow to catch on due to the need to make customer service communications engaging and memorable. So how can you keep these conversations impactful and valuable for your customers? Here are a few ideas…
When possible, have the same agent work with specific customers – It’s still surprising how many businesses stick to the “next agent up” approach to customer service. Instead, do your best to have the same agent work with specific customers that they have helped in the past. Sure, the customer may not get a response immediately, but they are more likely to have an engaging conversation with someone they’ve spoken to before. Creating a level of comfort with customers is ideal for maintaining strong communications.
Personalize the interaction by ensuring agents complete up-front work – When training agents, make sure there is an understanding of the prep work required before they respond to a customer. By keeping a thorough activity log in software and utilizing customer service integrations, it’s easy to avoid repetitive information requests. As a good practice for B2B agents, address the contact by name and start off the conversation with details about what was discussed in the past. This shows you understand their company and increases engagement because you’re immediately shifting the conversation to their business (a topic they know very well).
Have agents be quick with responses and show genuine interest – Try to avoid those dreadful scripted conversations with long pauses and avoid putting the customer on hold as much as possible. These wait times can be alleviated with an intuitive customer service software solution that displays an abundance of company information in one place. Having everything right in front of you makes it easier to quickly find the information you need. In addition, if it makes sense with B2B customers, feel free to fill the conversation with casual dialogue (i.e. “How’s business been?”). Not only does it show you care but it also keeps the conversation going and the customer’s mind engaged with yours.
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Always try to keep the conversation alive with follow up interactions – Especially for large customers and/or important conversations, instruct agents to say they’ll send over a recap of what was discussed. Not only are you making the customer’s life easier, but here you can ask any relevant follow-up questions to keep the dialogue going. A recap is also a great way to ask for feedback on their experience with your business. This is an excellent communication tactic as it generates yet another opportunity for customers to be heard.
Wrapping up, there are several tactics for improving customer service communication so your valued B2B customers feel more engaged. Having the same agent work with a specific company when possible is a good first step for forming a one-to-one customer relationship. From here, utilizing B2B support software for smarter communicate is essential to show customers you understand their business and have learned from past discussions. Lastly, don’t forget to open the door even further through follow-up opportunities to make their life easier. Providing your customer service team with a plethora of information and encouraging them to be conversational will only help with increasing customer engagement.