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Guest Blog: 5 Surefire Ways to Improve Online Communication with Your Customers

This week we feature an article by Alexandra Mederrick who writes about why effectively communicating online with your customers is a key to success for any business. One that unlocks the opportunity to form a relationship and build customer loyalty.  Do you speak Internet? Just like any forum, the online world has its own codes, […]

This week we feature an article by Alexandra Mederrick who writes about why effectively communicating online with your customers is a key to success for any business. One that unlocks the opportunity to form a relationship and build customer loyalty. 

5 Surefire Ways to Improve Online Communication with Your CustomersDo you speak Internet? Just like any forum, the online world has its own codes, best practices, and of course, language – one that is imperative to know in our digital age. If chatting on iMessage with your friends has become second nature, then the big question is: How can you communicate online with your clients and still get the message across, as you would face-to-face?

The issue with communicating with your customers online can result in your words being lost in translation. Yes, it enables you to chat across various mediums. But, it cuts out nonverbal cues like body language and tone of voice. If you don’t take the time to improve communication, you risk unhappy customers and negative word-of-mouth, which can both snowball into bigger consequences for your business.

This is why effectively communicating online with your customers is a key to success for any business. One that unlocks the opportunity to form a relationship and build customer loyalty.

Regardless of the channels and formats you use, here are a handful of best practices to communicate effectively with your clients online.

1. Use data to better understand your customers

According to Epsilon, 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company that offers personalized experiences. To improve exactly this, having the right tools, like a powerful help desk software, can assist with tracking customer pain points in a streamlined and organized manner. For example, your business can make data-driven decisions based on top linked articles to your tickets and calls. As a result, you’ll be able to better serve them with relevant content and solutions.

Additionally, you can use third-party tools such as Google Analytics and group customers based on demographics and other relevant factors. These reports will assist you in shaping relevant information about your business.

For example, if there’s an increase in your website traffic from social media, you may want to consider investing more time to attract new customers. Additionally, if you ever wondered how people use your site, you can track what site visitors are searching for – providing you a better picture of what’s missing.

2. Offer a self-service solution

You do not need to talk on the phone, live chat, or email with a customer in order to provide good support. With self-service tools, like a knowledge base software, you can communicate answers to questions in a fast and more efficient manner – no human intervention required.

Nowadays, if a customer runs into a problem, their first thought isn’t to pick up the phone. It’s to head to Google. In fact, a knowledge base can also have major SEO benefits. Including FAQs that are often searched on Google may increase the chances of your knowledge base articles appearing as a top result. This could bring organic traffic into your site with minimal effort.

Yes, customers helping themselves does sound a bit too good to be true. But it can be your reality – and it will reduce the amount of time your support agents have to spend answering basic questions.

Not only will this solution document your product or services as a whole, but it also gives your business the opportunity to analyze, gather and address common customer concerns.

3. Respond to (every) negative and positive feedback

Every business today is an open book, with each page available for anyone to see. With the rise of social media as a tool for customers to express their praises and grievances, everything can become public – and viral – within minutes. Therefore, it’s crucial to track and respond to every customers’ feedback. Even better is if you reply to all inquiries in less than one business day. According to Statistica, 47% of customers found social media to be an effective channel for customer service.

When responding to positive feedback – and depending on your brand’s voice – use a simple “Thank you!” or humorous GIF. When it comes to negative feedback on social media, never ignore a customer. For example, disregarding a tweet is perceived as cowardly by potential customers viewing your feed. There is always a way to be witty, responsible, and true to your brand’s voice, no matter the severity of the situation. Customers may still be unhappy after your reply, but they will appreciate that you took the time to respond.

Related: How to deal with angry customers.

To make sure customer feedback is captured and not forgotten, use social media monitoring tools such as Hootsuite. It’s a valuable opportunity to track and measure customer service satisfaction levels and improve your product and support as a whole.

4. Talk to customers in real-time

Customers’ expectations are on the rise. It comes as no surprise they want to talk to a real person who will address their inquiries in minutes. Solutions such as a call center and live chat software are must-have customer service tools to understand the issue at hand in real-time.

The longer it takes for customers to get in touch, the more likely they will end up going to your competitors. Ensure all of your communication channels are visible on your company’s website and make sure to offer a channel familiar to all of your target demographics – e.g. social media, phone number, email, live chat.

However, sometimes customer service teams can become more focused on closing tickets and calls than on quality. When training your support team, make sure to emphasize on how to effectively communicate without impacting customer satisfaction.

5. Speak your customers’ language

Even if you know all the bells and whistles of your product, your customers only see what’s offered to them. Cut the jargon, and make sure your customer service team communicates on the level of your users. This means cutting out the scripts and taking on a positive and natural tone when talking. Here are a few tips to remember when communicating with customers:

  • Listen to them carefully. Your customer has approached for help. They may have their own specialized terms for parts of your product. For example, they may refer to a ‘red button’ but what they actually mean is an error. Take the time to understand their lingo and adapt it to your business.
  • Use common words. There’s no need to speak high-level English. Be as explicit as possible when speaking to a customer. No one says “We’d be delighted to input that request for you.” They simply say “Happy to pass along your feedback – thanks for much for sharing!” The simpler you state your answer, the smoother the communication will be.
  • Ask for feedback. Take advantage of users’ valuable insights on your customer service. On top of providing you with valuable data (see tip 1), it will show your customers that you genuinely care about their experience and opinion. Send an email with a simple two to three question survey the day after the call to understand what can be improved.

Communicating with your customers online is not as obvious as you may think. And there really isn’t one formula to follow. The beauty of online communication is that its dynamic and flexible, which allows you to try and try again until it works well for you and your business. Once you grasp these communication practices, you’ll improve the customer journey, leading to a more positive experience for clients and business.

Alexandra Mederrick is a blog writer for Wix Answers, the help desk platform that gives you all the tools you need to deliver smooth customer support. Created and used by Wix, Wix Answers is proven to scale to 150 million users.

For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to

Read Shep’s latest Forbes article: So, You Want To Be A Motivational Speaker?

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