In Fintech, communicating effectively with customers is an extremely important aspect of a community manager’s job. But because interacting with customers comes with a variety of competing interests, how to best go about doing that is not always so clear.
On the one hand, customers want effective solutions to their problems — and this is especially true of sophisticated businesses which purchase quality Fintech products.
On the other hand, these same businesses are made up of people. People who expect their interactions with that community to unfold in a way that has an emotional, human touch.
Striking the proper balance between these two needs is crucial to successful community management. Although less complex problems can be quickly resolved , more difficult problems require managers to listen carefully and show a genuine interest in the customer.
And this requires empathy — showing the customer that not only does the business want to offer a solution, but that it genuinely cares about their problem. Building this rapport in a business setting may sometimes be a daunting task, but it’s not impossible.
Let’s look at three clear strategies managers can follow to be more effective at creating satisfied customers in their community.
Be Proactive and Search for Permanent Solutions
Ironically, showing that you care begins before a customer approaches you with their problems. Finding a band-aid solution to a problem is easy. The challenge is anticipating the customer's issues and preemptively finding innovative solutions.
For the community manager, this means proactively searching out feedback before an issue is made known to them. This can be as simple as soliciting feedback on different ideas for a new feature by using a customer service feedback card on Twitter.
Taking the time to engage with your community in this way has benefits beyond just showing that the company is listening and solving customer problems. It gives the organization a heads-up about what’s working and what’s not, helping improve future products and services . Showing customers your business cares in this way will go very far in making them feel more valued and respected.
Hire Representatives Who Are Social Media Savvy
Of course, a community manager needs to have a capable team to maximize the tools at their disposal. While it might be easy to find people who know how to “use” social media or community management tools, that by itself is not enough. Employees need to be well versed not only in the mechanics of Facebook, but also in the tone and culture of how to communicate with customers online.
For example, research has shown that customers find it more empathetic when service representatives use emojis to communicate. This underscores the importance of not only having people in your organization who can communicate effectively, but people who can communicate properly through the community’s channels.
On the other hand, representatives should also be well-versed enough in online communications to know its limitations. Online communities are necessary and important, but they are not a panacea. Sometimes, the conversation needs to be taken offline. Representatives who have a good grasp of this will empathize better with their customers and genuinely want to find solutions to their problems.
Avoid Killing Employee Empathy
Which brings us to what is arguably the most important thing of all. A business that wants customers to feel that it empathizes with them must actually do so. This means understanding how to cultivate a sense of empathy with representatives.
It all starts with the company culture and management showing empathy to its employees. If a customer service rep is in a bad state of mind themselves, it will be nearly impossible for them to be empathetic towards customers. Reps who are subjected to unrealistic performance standards or overwhelmed with too many tickets (something that is all too common) will deliver cold, calculated responses designed to meet rigid, objective guidelines. That’s the opposite of empathy, and customers will pick up on the lack of a subtle touch.
To remedy this, management must equip reps with language that will guide them towards more empathetic responses. Scripts which use verbs like “help” or “resolve” are empathetic by definition, and management can also direct reps to set timeframes that convey a sense of urgency — words like “immediately,” “right away” and “high priority.”
Ultimately, companies that are proactive, properly use the community management tools available to them and foster a culture of empathy within their own organization will be able to provide the service customers expect.