How to Talk to Customers like They’re Your Friends

Ever had that moment when you only remembered someone because you needed something from them? Or ever felt like someone just reached out to you out of the blue, only to find out that they remembered you because there’s something they have to ask from you?

That’s how your clients feel whenever you suddenly reach out just to introduce a new product or sell a new service.

It’s only natural to see interactions with clients as part of the job. But, it doesn’t mean that’s all there is to it, and we don’t have to make it feel that way. In fact, talking to clients is an art form.

There are numerous ways to improve customer relationships, one more popular method is utilizing a Customer Relation Management (CRM) software to analyze, strategize, organize, and manage customer relationships.

This is a data-driven method that allows you to track performance and productivity using information from the system. Not only is CRM accessible, it also allows businesses to connect platforms and technologies with data in order to provide consumers with a more personalized experience.

Why do you need to talk to clients like they’re your friends?

1. It makes them feel valued. You owe your success to your customers. Simply put, you won’t exist without your clients. If your customers feel valued, it means you are providing them with what they need.

2.  It builds trust and assurance. Customers buy a product because they trust the brand and they’re assured the product they bought can help them solve their current problem. When you treat and talk to your clients on a more personal level, it creates a connection and a sense of assurance that you know them.

You know what they want and what they need and you can deliver the services they require. Your relationship with your clients adds to the value of trust and will give you an edge against competitors.

3.  It will lead to client retention. All marketers, whether you’re digital or traditional, need to improve retention to increase profits and scale a business. With white label SEO tools at the disposal of companies and businesses, it’s much easier to find leads and close customers. Take note, though, that if in the beginning, your clients used logical reasoning and Google in choosing your company or brand, how long they’re going to stay with you will depend on their emotions.

4. It shows the values of your company. Every action that you take – from the product performance to how you send emails or write copies – reflects the values and outlook of your company. Never underestimate the power of a simple ‘Thank You’ email, as personalization plays a big part in client retention and digital marketing as a whole.

How do you stay friendly and professional at the same time?

1. Personalization

Calling your customer by their first name – whether you’re doing cold calls or sending an email – can make a mountain of difference. Dale Carnegie even said,  “A person’s name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language.” You already gain an edge in establishing a relationship and rapport with them.

For example, a customer calls and you answer with “Good day, is there anything I can help you with?” compared to “Good day, Chris. Is there anything I can help you with?”

talking to customers

The first one feels a bit impersonal, but if you add the client’s name, it sounds warm and inviting.

Another tip is to automate your emails with your client’s name.

Example:

 Hi!

Thank you for your order. We’ll notify you about the tracking once your package is shipped. Your order number is #0987654321. Please take note for tracking purposes.

From,

Company ABC

Compared to:

Hi Greg!

Good day! Thank you for purchasing with us! We’ll notify you about the tracking once your package is shipped. Your order number is #09877654321. Please take note for tracking purposes.

Best Regards,

Andy Johnson

    CS Team

Using their names makes the conversation feel more human, not to mention, it also adds a sense of respect. Never forget that your customers are people and not just e-wallets. Here are tips on email automation you can look into.

2. Care about their needs

There’s nothing that sounds friendlier than letting customers know you care about what they need. Remember that people now have more choices than ever before. Your competitor is just one click away. So what will make a customer choose you over them? By letting them know that you care. Talk to your customers and let them know that you know their problems and pain points. 

Show them that you’re interested in getting their thoughts and feedback. This small gesture can have a significant impact on the relationship with your clients. 

3. Connect by paying attention to personal details

Just because you’re running an online business and rarely has face-to-face interactions with all your clients doesn’t mean you can’t pick up on some of their personal characteristics. Be observant and notice every detail you can take advantage of to connect with your clients on a personal level.

For example, your client sent an email and you noticed that he’s wearing a University of Washington shirt in their thumbnail photo. You can leverage that and create rapport by saying, “I see you went to school in Washington! I actually live in Seattle.” this helps you establish a common ground and makes for a more natural conversation.

4. Maintain a consistent tone

This is important when sending emails. Always be aware of your phrasing. Develop a tone for personal conversations. There’s a difference between “Is there anything else?” and “Is there anything else I can do for you?”

Always use positive phrasing.

5. Hear them out

Not everything will be smooth sailing. There will be times when you have to talk to clients who are upset. Always be mindful and ask for the reason they’re upset.

It lets them know that you’re willing to listen and their issues are important enough that you paid attention. Always remember to stay calm and professional.

6. Always be prompt with your reply

Ecommerce exists because people are now living in a fast-paced environment. If a customer is happy with the product, they quickly post a comment or review. Same with when they’re unhappy with a product or service. 

A prompt reply tells them that you are there for them, that their concerns on social media or email are not neglected. That’s how it is when you send a message to a friend after all. If you’re happy, they will most probably reply with a celebratory message.

If you have a problem, they will definitely give you advice on how to solve them. If you treat clients like a friend, they will definitely respond, and you should too.

7. Be sensitive

We all know there are many types of friends. The one you want to emulate in this particular scenario is the friend they trust – not the party-friend who they only turn to when they want to have fun. You want to be the confidant or friend they turn to for advice. 

This also means you should be careful when you inject humor in your copy. Never go overboard.  You have to find the balance between sounding amusing while maintaining your professionalism.

8. Don’t just reach out when you have promotions

Send birthday emails or random greetings to let them know that you remember them even when you don’t have a special promotion running.

9. Offer to help further

When it comes to customer service, talk to your customers like people and steer clear of customer service cliches. Let them know you care and listen to their problems. When they’re having an outburst, don’t just tell them to calm down but listen to them. If you don’t know how to solve an issue, never say ‘I don’t know’, but find an answer instead. 

Never put them on hold without letting them know first and, most importantly, always follow up. Even if you’ve made a transfer, it’s important to let the customer feel that you are following through their case. Whether it’s by email or a call, always check up on whether they have resolved the issue or if they need further assistance.

10. End on a high note

Being positive is always beneficial, even when you’re dealing with an unhappy customer. So always remember to present a positive front. 

Some customers might forget to mention that they have another problem aside from the one that they just presented, or they might feel like they are  taking too much of your time. So ask whether you can help them with anything else and always say that you’re always ‘Happy to help’ without making them feel like they’re a burden.

Conclusion

The goal is to make them feel valued and understood because not only will it garner trust, it will create loyalty to your brand. They will stick to your business and become your major advocates. Again, your business won’t survive without your customers. More than your friends, you should treat them like family. Make them feel special and they will return the favor to you tenfold.

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