Point of contact (POC)
A point of contact serves an important role in the relationship your brand will have with its clients. Every interaction between customers and a point of contact can either build or damage your organization.
Point of contact meaning
A point of contact (POC), or a single point of contact, is an individual or a department that handles communication with customers. They serve as coordinators of information in terms of an activity or a project and act as an organization’s representatives.
Their role is to help organizations maintain good relations with their potential and existing customers. At the same time, a POC increases brand awareness and visibility in the market.
Point of contact examples
Let’s consider who may be a POC in a company:
Customer service department. It helps clients solve their problems effectively and promptly. The customer service team handles all complaints and inquiries via various communication channels, such as phone, company website, email, etc.
Salespeople. They are one of the first POCs every new lead gets in touch with.
Service desk. This type of POC is typical of IT companies that offer service desks to deal with any service support request.
Project manager. The manager in charge of a project may represent a POC, responding to any project queries.
Why is a point of contact important?
The benefits of having a POC are the following:
It eliminates the risks of miscommunication
When a company has one coordinating entity, customers can always be sure their inquiries will be solved efficiently. A POC prevents questions from being repeated, handling all communication in one place. As a result, not a single issue is ever lost or miscommunicated.
It ensures timely solutions
Did you know that 67% of customer churn is preventable if companies resolve issues the first time they occur? With a single point of contact, an organization shouldn’t worry about keeping customers waiting for their problem to be considered by different representatives over phone chains. They have a person or a board who has immediate access to all client information and company resources, which will enable them to solve problems in a timely manner.
It helps build trust
When a customer knows there’s a real person they can rely on in solving any difficulties with using a company’s product or service, the relationships with this person become more trustworthy and longer-lasting.
It creates a positive brand image
About 68% of clients believe the key to excellent customer service is a polite customer service representative. So, whenever a POC maintains friendly and professional behavior with clients, they associate it with a brand as a whole, which improves a company’s reputation.
It increases customer satisfaction
56% of people worldwide have stopped doing business with a company because of poor customer service experience. This shows that the most crucial advantage of a POC is their ability to create a positive customer experience.
As long as the client feels secure and has no doubts that their problem will be tackled by a company representative professionally and a solution will be offered quickly, the brand has big chances to improve customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention.
Point of contact tips to follow
Being a POC for your customers is a challenging part. You should have good tech skills and balance them with knowledge of professional communication. Here are some POC best tips that can help you build trust and improve customer experience:
Apply the right tools
Install automation tools that will help you manage incoming customer requests and enable people in charge of solving them to get access to client information.
For instance, if a POC is a customer service department, you may consider using a help desk. This service platform organizes your team’s open cases with customers by setting up tasks for your reps, providing pre-written email templates, and sending automated follow-ups on the opened issues.
Maintain personalized communication
Use a personalized approach to contact your customers. Avoid too formal tone and robotlike communication style. Instead, address your clients by name and sign off your emails using a personal name even if a POC is represented by the department in your company.
Use positive language
A positive tone of communication encourages a better customer experience. By using it, you’ll demonstrate that you are confident in resolving the client’s problem. Speaking positive means finding the words that won’t get the issue escalated but rather make the customer feel easier about their case.
Let’s imagine a client has experienced an unpleasant situation with product delivery. Telling them, “I’m sorry, we can’t deliver the goods on time” will aggravate the situation, as you will agree with the problem by using negative language. Instead, you may say, “The goods will be delivered in 2 days. We’re sorry for this delay and would like to offer you free delivery for the next purchase”.
Be prepared to respond to your client’s inquiries as if you are communicating with someone who has little understanding of the problem and how it should be resolved. If you are a sales rep, be clear about the qualities of your product or service and how it can satisfy your prospect’s needs.
Know how to end the conversation
Your ability to correctly close down the conversation demonstrates that:
- You care about getting your customer right.
- You’re willing to keep going until you get your client’s needs right.
- The customer determines what “right” is.
Customer support needs to keep in mind that other customers may be waiting for help, too, so you cannot just lose time answering tons of aimless questions. Scope the problem, promise to help by reporting it to the people in charge, and remember to ask your customer directly if they need more assistance.
The rule is the same for a sales representative: never leave the potential client with questions to be answered. Discuss your further steps of cooperation and ask whether there is anything else your prospect needs.
Unify the team
If a POC is represented by the department, it’s necessary to ensure all team members follow the same culture: use the same rules, notions, and words. Provide a handbook on how to communicate with customers, focusing on examples of positive language that should be used and negative language patterns that should be omitted.
You can also make a list of guidelines for all team members to use as a map in their contact with potential or existing clients. This way, they will be given autonomy yet work as a single unit.
Wrapping it up
A POC is a key person or department in the company that starts a relationship with potential customers or brings the interaction with existing clients to the next level. So, the responsibility of making the impression about the whole brand lies solely on their shoulders.
Customer satisfaction with the company being at stake, a POC should have a defined strategy of communication with clients. This would boil down to adopting clear guidelines and tools for the unified system of conduct for all team members, using positive language, and keeping communication clear to customers.