Yinka Padonu, founder of Smart Brands Media, has urged operators of micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to deploy enough resources in customer service communication skills to run successful businesses.
Padonu, who spoke at the monthly Masterclass organised by the University of Lagos Mass Communication Alumni, said effective communication in delivering excellent customer service cannot be compromised as this can be achieved by training.
Padonu asserts that business owners need to provide satisfactory and excellent customer service delivery in order not to lose customers to competitors.
He also said effective communication in customer service can be achieved by training customer support staff on communication skills to ensure they communicate effectively with customers as this can provide the highest satisfaction to customers, build trust and loyalty, and keep the customer-business relationship going.
According to him, he noted that businesses should leverage the power of communication to manage genuine interactions with both internal and external customers through various channels such as face-to-face, emails, phone calls, SMS, social media, etc., to retain customers.
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Customer service communication skills, he said, are essential, adding that there is a need for businesses to make customer service communication a structured process.
He maintained that customers prefer to communicate through channels of their choice and expect clear and efficient communication.
Padonu suggested speaking politely, efficiently, effectively, and being empathetic, persuasive speaking, use of positive language, and simplicity in conversation to ensure customer service communication and strengthen the customer-brand relationship.
”By incorporating customer service communication as a structured business process, organisations can provide a conscious, consistent, and satisfactory experience for each customer, maintain fluid communication, offer quick and effective responses to their requests, and propose improvement actions,” he said.
“All organisations especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) should prioritise customer satisfaction and cultivate loyalty to ensure business sustainability.”
To ensure business sustainability, Padonu recommended measures such as going above and beyond for customers, cultivating loyalty, leveraging social media, acknowledging special occasions, offering incentives, and implementing an open house policy.
“Customer service communication training and continuous review are essential for businesses to thrive and remain competitive in the long run. Mass Communication professionals who are consultants can also offer training in Customer Service Communication to businesses.”