Speak your customer's language to get loyalty.

Author:Lusky, Mark
Position:CUSTOMER Service

Much has been written about connecting with romantic partners by learning to speak their love language. For some, that love language is about service. Others crave verbal accolades. Still others seek visual affirmations.

It's very similar with customer relationships. Understanding preferences for mode, tone and content of communications can turn a frown upside down in no time flat.

For example, where feasible, reach out to customers using their favorite form(s) of transmission, versus making them fit into yours. When dealing with a millennial, addressing concerns and requests via text may prove far more responsive than voice. It the matter requires discussion beyond perfunctory text exchanges, then at least use texting to frame the discussion and set up a mutually agreeable time to talk.

Baby boomers, on the other hand, are far more likely to pick up a phone to discuss customer service issues. Offering live customer support, versus making them fill out an email request, can lead to better outcomes.

Speaking the customer's language extends all along the customer interaction continuum, including labels on products. While labels generally aren't associated with customer service, they can heavily influence consumer satisfaction or lead to major frustration.

It's a form of customer service that exists largely under the radar, but it can impact sales and subsequent satisfaction.

Let's look once again at millennials versus baby boomers. Most millennials are joined at the hip with their smartphones, communicating, commiserating, and making consumer decisions on those devices. For them, a QR code on the label leading to additional information that they can scan quickly may be the ticket to satisfaction--both around product FAQs and to resolve issues they're experiencing.

Baby boomers may just want type big enough to read. With increasing volumes of information being jam-packed onto labels, it's not uncommon to see four-and six-point type. Even with reading glasses, that may not cut it--creating frustration and in some cases a search for a legible label among competitors. (As a baby boomer passionate about reading labels to know what's in the products I purchase, I can tell you firsthand that I've made buying decisions based on ability to read the type. If it's too small to read reliably, I move on to other products.)

So, before creating a label design, think about the audience (s) being targeted, and what their preferences may be. If the target...

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