If you are in a customer facing role, be it sales, procurement, marketing or any such role for that matter, you ought to be good at engaging with them. And some people have an inherent ability to keep customers warm during their conversations.
But what if you are not one of them? You don’t have to worry. This article will help you systematically improve your customer engagement skills, that will help you perform better in your job.
Please note that, here I am going to discuss 3 unconventional techniques. I will not be talking about improving your communication skills, or being polite & pleasant. You already know all these. The idea is to supplement the traditional techniques you have tried with my tips to maximize the results.
I will also break down each tip into actionable points, which will make it easy for you to try them out. So here we go
1. Focus on your core expertise
In any business, customers come to you by virtue of your core expertise than anything else. It doesn’t matter whether you speak Oxford English or not. The primary intention of any customer is to buy your product or service to achieve their business goals (in the case of B2B), or fulfill a personal need (in the case of B2C).
So whenever you engage with your customers, focus on your core area of work. It could be your domain expertise, technical knowledge, market awareness, or anything related to your subject. Use your knowledge and expertise as a tool to support customers in their business needs.
Following are a few ways in which you can focus on your expertise to improve engagement skills:
- Specify your role clearly to the customer: During customer interactions – especially in a B2B scenario – with multiple stakeholders involved, at times it becomes difficult for the customer to remember who is who. So bring in the details of what you do into your conversations. But don’t overdo it. The idea here is to clearly communicate your areas of work.
- Anchor discussions around your subject matter expertise: This is easier said than done. But whenever you are in a customer call/meeting/interaction, try not to divert from the core topic. This will make sure that you get enough opportunities to share your wisdom and knowledge.
- Always relate your expertise to customer’s business: When you showcase your expertise, add more value to it by relating it to customer business. Like, mention how your experience in so and so areas can help achieve their goals.
Using the above tips, you shall be able to improve your engagement levels with the customer, without having to learn any additional skills.
2. Be prepared with your points
This requires you to prepare well before a customer meeting/interaction, in terms of understanding his/her immediate needs. If you come across an unexpected problem, keep your resources – both human and non human – ready to tackle the situation. Whether you are going to make a pitch, or share a piece of information with the customer, be sure to have enough weapons in your armor to respond to queries and concerns.Click to enlighten your network with this piece of knowledge Click To Tweet
You might ask how this can help in improving customer engagement skills.
Providing creative solutions to customer problems is one of the most powerful techniques to improve customer satisfaction. And higher satisfaction levels lead to smoother engagement.
Being prepared with your points may not be as easy as it sounds. It might require some readiness and effort from your side. Following are a few tips to help you out in it:
- List down all the possible problems that might occur, and craft a solution with detailed steps. This will help to reduce the overall problem resolution time.
- Brainstorm with your team members and colleagues to help you prepare better.
- Back up your solution/argument with past data and insights.
The above tips can help to a great extent in terms of improving your customer engagement skills. However, this might not happen overnight. It is going to be a process, and a path of continuous learning.
3. Collate and share your experiences
Experience helps you stand out in the crowd. Customers are welcome to suggestions that you make based on it, in order to improve the outcome of a service or utility of a product.
Let us look at how this can make a difference in B2B and B2C scenarios separately.
In B2B, experiences matter especially when it comes to the following two situations
- Handling a crisis situation
- Customizing a product or service
In a crisis situation, experienced professionals are in a better position to manage it. Whereas during a customer interaction, sharing your experience in addressing a customer need can be a game changer. To do this, you need to think over it. Collate all your past business experiences that can be applied to your customer’s business environment.
In B2B, this is relevant in convincing the customer either to buy your product or service, or managing a complaint. He/she should trust you based on the experience and credibility you have.
So those are my top 3 tips to improve your customer engagement skills. Try these out, and you shall start seeing positive results in a few weeks time. If you are already using any of these techniques, let me know in the comments section.