Customers have questions. It’s a given. Whether they call your customer service line with product questions or ask about your brand’s mission on social media, it’s important to answer every question.
When customers ask about something, they’re showing interest in your brand – and that’s valuable. It means they’re a prospective or paying customer; either way, you want to nurture that relationship. Quick, efficient responses help you build on that interaction.
Here’s a closer look at the benefits of responding to customer questions, tips for answering them, and ways to leverage that feedback.
Benefits of answering customer questions
When customers voluntarily come to your brand for an answer to a question, the action has advantages. By answering customer questions, you can:
Help customers feel heard
Customers want to know that their opinions matter. If they call in to report a problem with a product or a poor experience with a sales rep, they want to know that their feedback is valuable and will help your brand improve.
Elevate your products or services
As a brand, you can use customer questions to improve your products or customer experience. If, for example, hundreds of customers have a common complaint about the product, it’s fair to say your brand can improve the product by implementing their suggestions.
Customer feedback can also help your brand adjust its sales pitch, tweak brand messaging for clarity, or enhance the customer experience.
Increase customer satisfaction
By handling all questions and concerns in a professional, efficient way, your brand can increase customer satisfaction.
Let’s say a loyal customer purchased a product, but it was damaged during shipping. When the customer reaches out via email to inquire about the return process, a quick, considerate response can boost customer satisfaction. How? Customers want you to stand by your product, and by owning the problem and presenting a solution, customers will appreciate your efforts.
Attract new customers
Today’s consumer does a lot of research before making a purchase. During their research phase, they might pose questions on social media. By answering the prospective customer’s questions, not only are you helping that particular customer move through the sales funnel, but other prospects might see the Q&A on social and look into your brand’s products, too.
Customer questions, especially those asked on public channels like social media, can aid in customer acquisition.
Gain a better understanding of your customer
Your brand earns valuable insight as you interact with customers and discuss their needs. While your core objective is to provide answers to each question, through the conversation or follow-up surveys, you can learn more about the customer. In time, these pieces of information can help your brand refine its target audience.
Tips to answer customer questions
While it may seem pretty simple to answer customer questions, to succeed, you need a plan in place. You need a dedicated team to manage questions and a workflow to ensure each question receives an answer. To help, here are some tips to consider:
Segment questions and response time
Different questions require different solutions. In time, you can identify FAQs and assign a response time. A customer asking simple questions, like the date of a new product release, for example, takes less time than someone asking about a software update’s impact.
Segment questions into categories and produce an average response time to ensure you can manage the volume of inquiries.
Minimize wait times
Customers don’t like to wait, so do your best to provide answers quickly. If necessary, tell customers how long they’ll wait to speak with an agent. Manage expectations as best you can.
Acknowledge a customer’s feelings
If a customer is upset, acknowledge it. If your product inconveniences a customer, acknowledge it. Don’t dismiss a customer’s feelings. Instead, try to understand their perspective and then work towards a solution.
Present the solution
After you understand the customer’s question, provide a solution. Be as clear as possible. If the solution requires several steps, explain each one or plan to email the directions so the customer has a written reference to review.
Answer what you can
A customer may have a complex question that requires a supervisor. If you can answer part of their question, do so, but elevate the call to a manager who can offer a complete response. Also, encourage customers to ask each other questions, such as in an advocate hub.
How to leverage customer feedback
As you interact with customers, you might find these conversations exist in silos. Customer service reps are trained to handle questions swiftly, but how do you take the information and turn it into actionable intel?
Zuberance, an advocate marketing platform, can help you answer questions in a secure community setting. Aside from answering the question at hand, the platform can help you engage with customers through polls, surveys, and idea sharing.
With customer Q&As in one place, you can assess additional data and make informed business decisions.
This platform goes beyond a traditional customer service hotline and instead turns inquisitive consumers into brand-assisting advocates. Want to learn more? Check out the Customer Answers feature of Zuberance.