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The problem with customer conversations is that they are often not seen as instrumental to customer conversions, which are the bread and butter of a business. Instead, they are considered intangibles, in the same way as relationships are, until you need something from someone.

Then they become crucial. We build relationships when we start building tangible activities around customer contact. Some suggestions:

. It’s not even a matter of promises anymore. Conduct a realistic assessment of where your organization and its products are, and deliver against that. First impressions matter, but more importantly knowing that every contact is a chance to make an impression - make it positive.

Support your employees. If you have rules and incentives that discourage customer interaction, revisit them. You should bear the responsibility for failure when you don’t address these issues. This also means paying attention to what they need to make your business stand out.

Know how to prioritize
. While it would be ideal to attend to everything right away, some things need attention immediately, others can be handled over time. Do you know the difference? It’s not a guessing game, you learn what’s key by listening and observing.

Translate your story into action. Way too often, the ad or the script fails because there is no substance to animate it. What are the three things you need to do today to make that happen?

Use speed and collaboration to your advantage
. Speed is when an organization is "on it", when it manages to make important changes happen fast. Speed can also be about responding to situational conditions - for example those of social media conversations. Collaboration is about getting the whole organization to work in concert to realize efficiencies and leverage.

These last two can be crucial for a business that has high customer interaction - like retail, hospitality, and travel. When you build tangible activities to support customer contact you achieve stronger brand unity and greater customer satisfaction.

Valeria Maltoni | Conversation Agent