Customer Contacts: Why They Matter and How to Improve Them

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Published on: May 16, 2023 Updated on: July 09, 2024 views Icon 2056 Views

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Author

Rahul Sindhwani
Rahul Sindhwani LinkedIn

VP - Operations

Rahul carries 20+ years of rich global experience in product development, web & mobile applications, marketing automation tools, Healthcare software, and various enterprise-level solutions. Throughout his career, Rahul has served more than 350 clients, including Fortune 500 companies. He is a dynamic leader with a strong EQ and a business consultant who has helped companies grow and expand to new markets.

Article Reviewed By: Taran Nandha LinkedIn

Table of Contents

If you've ever asked yourself, "What on earth are customer contacts?" you've landed in the right place. 

Stick around as we delve deeper into customer contact definition, where to contact customer service, and much more. Presenting the ins and outs of customer contacts. Let's begin:

What Is Customer Contact?

We've all been on the line with customer service, exchanging emails about a recent purchase, or chatting with a friendly bot on a website. These interactions are what we call "customer contacts." They're the moments where you, the customer, connect with us, the business.

In other words, customer contact refers to any interaction between a customer and a business. Its goal is to provide support, resolve issues, receive feedback, and ultimately improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. Effective customer contact can also provide valuable insights to a business about its products, services, and overall customer experience.

Channels of Customer Contact

Customer contact can happen through various channels, including:

  1. Phone calls: This is a traditional and still widely used method of communication. Many businesses offer customer service lines where customers can call in to ask questions, make complaints, or get support.
  1. Emails: Customers can email a business for support, inquiries, or complaints.
  1. Social media: Many companies use social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to interact with customers. Customers can send messages, leave comments, or participate in conversations on these platforms.
  1. Website chatbots: Many websites now have chatbots that can answer common customer questions, help navigate the website, or connect customers with a human representative.
  1. In-person contact: This includes face-to-face interactions that happen in physical locations, like stores or offices.
  1. Mobile applications: Many businesses have mobile applications where customers can interact with them, make purchases, and receive support.

Importance of Customer Contacts

Effective customer contact is vital for understanding and meeting customer demands, offering excellent customer service, and driving business success.

It is crucial for several other reasons, including:

  1. Building relationships: Regular contact with customers helps build solid relationships and foster trust. It demonstrates that your company genuinely values their needs and is committed to providing support.
  1. Improving customer satisfaction: When customers know they can easily reach out to a business with their questions or concerns, they will likely be more satisfied with their overall experience.
  1. Providing valuable feedback: Customer contact is an excellent source of feedback. Customers can provide insights into what's working well and what isn't, which can help businesses improve their products, services, and overall customer experience.
  1. Increasing customer retention: Good customer service, facilitated through customer contact, can help retain customers. Customers tend to stick around when they experience a sense of value and appreciation from a company.
  1. Encouraging word-of-mouth marketing: Satisfied customers who positively interact with a company are likelier to recommend it to others. This word-of-mouth marketing can be a powerful way to attract new customers.
  1. Resolving issues promptly: Regular customer contact allows businesses to address and resolve issues promptly. This improves the individual customer's experience and can prevent minor problems from snowballing into major ones.
  1. Promoting sales and growth: Through regular contact, businesses can inform customers about new products, services, or promotions. It can lead to increased sales and business growth.

Customer Contacts Templates

Don't just leave these precious interactions with customers to memory. Record them in what is known as a "customer contact template." This handy tool helps to track who you talked to, the discussion points, and when to reach out next. It's like our little diary of all your customer interactions!

If you're looking for a template to track customer contacts, consider using a customer contact sheet or a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system.

Here's a simple example of one of the primary customer contacts templates:

Customer Contacts Templates

Based on your needs, feel free to add additional columns for things like:

  1. Address: If you do physical events or need to send a postal mail or package.
  2. Company Name: If you're dealing with B2B customers.
  3. Customer Status: Are they a lead? A current customer? A past customer?
  4. Purchase History: What products or services have they purchased in the past?
  5. Customer Feedback: Any feedback or complaints from the customer.
  6. Follow-up Actions: What are the next steps?

Remember to comply with all applicable data privacy laws when storing and using customer contact information.

How to Export Customer Contacts from Software?

Whether you're shifting to a new CRM, backing up your data, or need a list for your next email campaign, exporting customer contacts from your accounting software can be incredibly useful. 

If you're using software like MYOB, the process is pretty straightforward. For our purposes, let's walk through the steps to export your customer contacts from MYOB. 

Remember, while we're using MYOB as an example, the process might be similar in other accounting or CRM systems, albeit with minor differences. 

Here's how to export customer contacts in MYOB:

  1. Open your MYOB software and go to the "File" menu at the top.
  1. Select the "Export Data" option from the dropdown menu.
  1. A new window will appear. Here, you must select the data type you want to export. Choose "Cards," as this is where your customer contact information is stored.
  1. MYOB will ask if you want to export customer, supplier, employee, or personal cards. Select "Customer."
  1. On the next screen, you'll have the option to choose which details you want to export. You can select things like the contact's name, phone number, email address, etc. Once you've chosen everything you want to include, click "Export."
  1. MYOB will prompt you to choose where to save the exported file on your computer. Choose your location and click "Save."
  1. Your customer contacts should now be exported to a CSV or TXT file (depending on what you selected), which you can open in a program like Excel.

Examples of Customer Contacts 

Different companies have various approaches to ensure efficient service when managing customer contacts. SAP customer contacts are often lauded for their professionalism and knowledge, providing top-tier support for their software users. The DStv customer contacts are also known for their prompt service, addressing all inquiries related to their broadcasting services. 

In the world of eyewear, Hubble Contacts customer service is famous as America's best contacts customer service that helps customers find the perfect contacts and glasses. It's the same with EZContacts customer service, which makes finding the perfect glasses or contacts seamless for their clients. 

Where to Get a Customer Contact List?

Building a customer contact list is an essential step for any business. It's important to note that this list should be built ethically, respect customer privacy, and comply with all relevant federal and state laws and regulations, like data protection laws such as the CCPA (in California, USA) or GDPR (in the European Union).

Here are a few ways to ethically build a customer contact list:

  1. From Your Customers: The most straightforward way is to ask your customers directly. This could be during the checkout process (online or in-person) when they sign up for an account or through a registration form on your website. Always make sure to get explicit consent for marketing communications.
  1. Lead Generation Forms: Offering valuable content (like ebooks, infographics, templates, whitepapers, or webinars) in exchange for contact information is a sure-shot way to build a quality list. Use a form where visitors can enter their contact details to access the content.
  1. Social Media: Use social media platforms to encourage your followers to join your mailing list. One effective strategy is to share a link to a signup form on your Facebook or Twitter account. 
  1. Events and Trade Shows: If you participate in events or trade shows, you can collect contact information from attendees who visit your booth or sign up for your presentations.
  1. Partnerships and Collaborations: Partnering with other businesses can provide opportunities to reach new customers. For example, you might co-host a webinar or create a joint offer where both companies promote the event to their contact lists.
  1. Paid Advertising: Use online advertising platforms (like Google or Facebook Ads) to target potential website visitors based on their demographics, interests, and behavior. You can direct these individuals to a landing page with a form to collect their contact details.

Remember, purchasing customer contact lists from third parties can be risky and is often considered unethical. These lists may not be accurate, up-to-date, or legally compliant. While it may be resource-intensive and time-consuming, building your mailing list organically is generally considered a better approach. 

How to Improve Customer Contacts?

Improving customer contact involves enhancing the quality of interactions between your business and its customers. It is a continuous process requiring consistent effort and a genuine commitment.

Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Understand your customers: The first step is truly understanding who your customers are and their needs. Use data and feedback to develop a clear picture of your customer base and tailor your communication to meet their expectations.
  1. Personalize your communication: Use the information you've collected about your customers to personalize your communications. It can make customers feel valued and understood, making your communications more effective.
  1. Train your staff: Ensure that everyone who interacts with customers, from your customer service representatives to your sales team, is adequately trained. They should understand your products or services, know how to interact professionally with customers and be equipped to resolve issues effectively.
  1. Be proactive: Don't wait for customers to discuss a problem. Regularly check in with them, ask for feedback, and anticipate their needs. It lets you identify potential issues before they become bigger problems.
  1. Make it easy to contact you: Customers should know how to contact you easily. Ensure your contact information is clear and readily available across all your platforms, including your website, social media pages, and physical locations.
  1. Use multiple channels: Customers prefer different communication channels, such as phone, email, social media, or live chat. By offering multiple contact channels, you can ensure that customers can reach out to you how they feel most comfortable.
  1. Respond quickly: A prompt response time is one of the most critical aspects of excellent customer service. Have all the processes in place to respond to customer inquiries promptly.
  1. Use CRM software: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software keeps track of customer interactions, making managing customer contacts easier and ensuring a consistent, high-quality experience.
  1. Regularly review and improve: Continuously review your customer interactions and look for areas of improvement. Use customer data and feedback to build your strategy.

Conclusion

In conclusion, customer contacts are the lifeblood of any business. They serve as the various touchpoints between a company and its customers, paving the way for engagement, feedback, and relationship-building. Businesses can dramatically enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty through effective management of these contacts—be it a structured customer contact template or a robust CRM system.

In today's digital age, with myriad communication channels at your disposal, staying connected with customers has never been easier. However, respecting privacy, handling data responsibly, and ensuring customer-centric interactions are equally crucial.

Indeed, fostering positive customer contacts in business is not just a luxury - it's an absolute necessity for success. If you're looking to optimize your customer contact strategy or need help managing your customer relationships, reach out to Growth Natives at +1 855-693-4769 or info@growthnatives.com.

Our team specializes in helping companies like yours flourish in the digital landscape. So why wait? Contact Growth Natives today, and let us help you take your customer relations to the next level! After all, every contact point is an opportunity to delight a customer. So, ensure to make every interaction count!

Frequently Asked Questions

Customer contact is important because it allows businesses to engage with their customers directly, understand their needs and preferences, and build stronger relationships. Regular customer contact helps businesses gather feedback, address concerns, and provide personalized experiences, leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Improving customer service is important because it directly impacts customer satisfaction and loyalty. By providing excellent customer service, businesses can differentiate themselves from competitors, build trust with customers, and increase customer retention. Additionally, satisfied customers are more likely to recommend a business to others, leading to organic growth and a positive brand reputation.

A customer contact strategy is a plan that outlines how a business will interact with its customers across various channels and touchpoints. The goal of a customer contact strategy is to create meaningful and consistent interactions with customers to build relationships, drive engagement, and ultimately, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. The strategy may include methods for collecting customer feedback, responding to inquiries, and proactively reaching out to customers with relevant offers or information.

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