76% of consumers think business should understand their expectations and needs.
Yet how are you going to accomplish this task without setting up the right channels of communication?
The truth of the matter is that your customers will have different needs and preferences. From a customer segment that prefers talking through a screen to another that will want direct human interaction, it truly varies.
However, that brings up the question of what channels of communication are on hand. In addition to whether they’re the right ones for you and your customers.
Therefore, you’ll need to have a thorough understanding of the most common channels of communication. It’ll serve you well before making any changes to your current ones.
Keep on reading for a full breakdown of channels of communications, its types, as well as what makes every channel unique.
Channels of Communication: Synchronous vs Asynchronous
It’s crucial to understand that there are two main categories under which all communication channels fall. Communication channels are either synchronous in nature or asynchronous.
Synchronous Communication Channels
In short, synchronous customer communication channels have an immediate nature.
It’s every channel that provides the customer with the ability to present a problem. Then, it presents a solution or resolves the problem practically instantaneously.
They include phone calls, live chats, and even face-to-face interactions.
What’s great about these types of communication channels is the ability to provide the customers with a solution to their issue with no delay. Also, it’ll integrate a sense of importance and value to your customers.
However, synchronous communication channels tend to require big amounts of time, money and resources to keep the level of service consistent.
Asynchronous Communication Channels
On the other side of the spectrum, you’ll find asynchronous communication channels.
These are the methods of communication that a bit more sedate. They don’t have any sort of immediacy ingrained in the channel.
For instance, the most common communication channels are asynchronous, like e-mail, text messaging and social media.
Furthermore, this type of communication channels has the advantage of giving both you and your customer some breathing room.
Your customers can send their concerns your way at whatever hour they please, and you’ll be given time to thoroughly respond to their inquiries.
Types of Synchronous Communication Channels
Now, we have a thorough understanding of the differences between synchronous and asynchronous communication channels. It’s time for a closer look at the subcategories of each overarching type.
Let’s start with synchronous communication channels.
1. Live Chat
In the simplest of terms, live chat is an application that’s hosted on your website. It allows your customers to connect with live representatives on demand.
Of course, it’s seen as the most effective synchronous communication channel. This is due to its ability to provide instant answers to your customers.
Further, it’s the perfect method of customer engagement with your call-phobic customers.
In addition, if you’re looking for both high performance yet affordable communication options, then you should check out live chat. It can help you save up to 50% or more on your support costs in comparison to other methods.
An AI bot, commonly known as a chatbot, is a synchronous communication method that’s automated in nature.
It delivers high-quality customer self-serve experience by harnessing the power of customer data and identifying trends. Thus, if you’re looking for ways to boost your customer experience strategy, chatbots would be a great addition.
Asynchronous Customer Communication Channels
As we stated previously, common asynchronous customer communication channels encompass emails and text messages.
However, we’ll break down some of the more recent channels in the industry as they can be quite useful for businesses that are more online-based than not.
A great channel for tech companies to utilize would be ticketing.
Basically, ticketing is a platform that gets service requests from users in the form of an email or an online form. The received request is transformed into a ‘ticket,’ which is tracked through the system until the issue has been resolved.
In addition, ticketing can be integrated with a ‘chat’ system, which can give you (and your customers) the best of both worlds.
2. Knowledge Base
A knowledgebase is a form of an FAQ in the format of a library with huge amounts of critical information. It includes information about your services, products, topics, or even departments.
It takes quite an initial effort to set up. However, once a knowledge base is live, it provides almost a self-serve help to your customers that’s available 24/7.
Moreover, knowledge bases have the benefit of requiring almost no effort on the side of your customers.
In addition, it helps cut down on common questions or simple solutions cluttering your customer service queue. After all, most organizations tend to face the same types of questions showing up on a frequent basis.
This way you can free up time and effort that can be reallocated to other complex issues and challenging scenarios.
3. Social Media
Social media is considered to be a rather effective communication channel, especially for the younger generations of customers. 64% of millennials believe that social media is an effective channel for customer service.
Therefore, you’ll find customer service issues popping up on your social media channels, even if you tend to use them as a purely marketing tool.
In order to keep your social channels in great condition as the epitome of your brand image, make sure to address any customer service issues as soon as they arise.
Social media platforms are a two-way street. Your customers can reach out to you on one of your channels. If they don’t get a response, then they can just as easily shame you for not addressing the problem.
Consequently, having a specialized social media response team on standby should be an essential part of your customer service and communication plan.
Customer Communication Management: Unlocked
It can be a bit overwhelming to select a specific communication channel from the plethora of different types of channels of communication available.
However, by keeping the different types in mind, you can start understanding which channels better suit your customers.
Besides, you can use your strategic communications plan as your guideline for selecting the appropriate channels for your business.
Moreover, there is a huge collection of the best business communications tips and advice available on our blog. Make sure to check it out regularly for the latest strategy breakdowns.
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