Customers usually have high expectations when purchasing a product or paying for a service because they believe that they are making a good decision by choosing a particular product or brand over its competitors. Entrepreneurs could take advantage of these expectations, but the consequences may be steep if they do not live up to customers’ expectations. Furthermore, sometimes, the frustrations that may arise as a result of ineffective customer communication, bad customer service, and poor customer engagement processes.

Companies must deal with customer’s issues irrespective of whether it feels the processes it has in place and dedicates itself to providing great experiences for their customers. This is because frustrated customers are likely to switch to competitors if a company does not pay attention to whatever grievances they may have at particular times. Moreover, since customers are the lifeline of any successful business, startups and smaller companies cannot afford to ignore their concerns.

Therefore, it is pertinent that companies reevaluate their processes, giving special consideration to how the pandemic has changed the way customers want to communicate, that is, through social channels instead of visiting offices or phone calls.

Make use of a two-way communication channel

Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, customers have become accustomed to movement restrictions and social distancing, making social platforms a more preferred communication channel. Companies cannot afford to ignore this development. To maintain and strengthen customer relationships, businesses should utilise online platforms to interact with their customers. 

They can take advantage of social media to develop open and consistent two-way communication, enabling their customers to ask questions, state their concerns and have them addressed promptly.

Create livelier conversations

According to Sprout Social’s data, 57% of customers are more likely to increase their spending on brands that connect with them. Consumers love brands that engage with them personally. Therefore, startups can ease customers’ frustration by using a humanised voice, giving room for conversations, and receiving customer feedback. Even fun and playful conversations can make customers have a more positive opinion about a brand since they will always remember how it made them feel.

Pay attention to unhappy customers

Some unhappy customers might go to the extent of dropping rude comments and nasty reviews on a company’s website. However, businesses can address issues using appropriate and calm responses to avoid harming their reputation. They should show genuine concern and approach the customer’s problems with an open mind instead of avoiding, ignoring, or even worse, fighting back. 

A Bazaarvoice report reveals that over 70% of customers changed their perception after businesses responded to reviews. 

Give prompt response to reviews, questions and comments

A Harvard Business Review publication indicates that consumers will most likely become loyal to brands that respond quickly to their comments or reviews. When businesses reply to comments and questions promptly, they prove that they are genuinely concerned about their customers. 

They succeed in giving their customers a sense of importance, which impacts their overall brand reputation. One good way to ensure a quick response is to set up a system primarily responsible for customer service and actively seek out customer reviews with a strategy to reply to them on time.

Avoid being overly promotional

A startup’s mission online involves self-promotion as well as customer communication and customer engagement. However, most people tend to shy away from businesses that use pushy tactics and are overly salesy. Consumers are easily attracted to businesses that create valuable content because of the positive impact they offer.  

To build better brand engagement and reduce customers’ frustration, startups can regularly post free informative or relevant educational content that addresses their customers’ needs or solves a problem.

Make the best of customer feedback and ideas

Customers can provide key information about a product or services because their experience gives them insight into its positive and negative effects. Therefore, companies can obtain valuable ideas from their customers, helping them improve on a product.

Startups should consider using surveys, polls, or interviews to know what their customers think. Plus, customers will be pleased to learn that their feedback is valued and considered important, making this is a great way to run a customer-inclusive business.

Reward engagement

To encourage participation, commitment, and loyalty, SMEs should consider rewarding customer engagement. They can offer loyalty rewards that align with their values and customer goals. If a company is unsure of what kind of loyalty package to offer, it can obtain customers’ opinions and use this information to help them create an attractive package. Startups and SMEs cannot ignore customer communication and engagement if they care about easing customers’ frustration, retaining customers and achieving business growth. With many unhappy customers seeking to be heard and treated better, businesses must work on becoming more reachable and accessible to their customers.  If startups can build a loyal tribe of evangelistic promoters and increase brand engagement, they are sure to find success and face fewer customer complaints.