3 young women
Conversation that creates mutual value between brands and customers starts with honest, spontaneous and personable dialogue. PHOTO: Fouquier

There are countless, constantly evolving factors affecting human communication.

However, the desired outcome of communication is almost always the same. Each party wants to gain value from the interaction.

Customer experience (CX) industry leaders understand this — and must create this value for customers as well as their employees.

Creating the Best CX

Human interaction is the only thing standing between your brand and a positive or negative customer experience.

But the sheer number of situational possibilities that occur before the engagement specialist even says “hello” is more than any one person can prepare for. There are also other factors, such as cultural values and emotional expressiveness, which add even more complexity to interactions.

So how can industry leaders manage engagement specialists and customer communication to create unique and authentic experiences that improve customer satisfaction, retention, sales and value?

The answer is dialogue. Conversation that creates mutual value between brands and customers starts with honest, spontaneous and personable dialogue.

Communication Challenges

Technology has connected the world while simultaneously creating vast distances between neighbors, making digital communication feel impersonal and mechanical.

If customers feel like they are simply a reference number, they are more likely to treat the company or brand in the same way. If customers feel they are getting automated, non-human responses, they believe the company is minimizing their issues and see alleged concern for their problems as disingenuous.

But if a customer feels like she's having an insightful conversation and the brand representative on the other end actually wants to resolve issues, things greatly improve.

Communication Guidelines

Treat every customer as a unique person with distinct circumstances and specific needs. Pre-planned responses are not included. When engagement specialists offer rehearsed responses, customer satisfaction suffers. Power words and professional apologies feel disingenuous and mechanical.

Disrupt the traditional approach and have engagement specialists develop their own, personalized response. Teach an optimistic mindset and how to stay present in the conversation to build rapport. This will drive communication based on customer reaction, allowing a quick and appropriate response to all situations.

Once an engagement specialist naturally creates a good flow of conversation, they develop a deep understanding of customer responses and techniques to produce positive experiences, regardless of initial frustration.

This free flow of conversation effortlessly meets the needs of the customer in a spontaneous, professional and personable way, while simultaneously giving the engagement specialist a genuine sense of accomplishment.

The result: mutual value creation. This method produces the highest gains in customer-facing metrics resulting in an unmatched customer experience.

3 Takeaways

1. The communication goal: create value for both the customer and the engagement specialist.

2. Free flowing dialogue is key. Scripted dialogue seems mechanical and insincere to the customer and does nothing to inspire the engagement specialist. Spontaneous conversation produces the highest customer satisfaction rates and encourages engagement specialists to pursue unique, personable ways to succeed, thus creating pride in their work and a sense of accomplishment.

3. The dialogue approach requires more initial dedication from supervisors as well as employees; however, all parties will greatly benefit with this knowledge than with alternative, less genuine strategies and outcomes will only improve over time.