When running a business, there’s one element that is more important than any other: the customer. If you don’t have customers purchasing your products or services, your company will quickly cease to exist. It’s that simple.
Due to the importance of customers, your communication with them should be a primary concern. Not only can this help to convince potential consumers into buying your wares, but it’s also a significant factor in ensuring current customers keep coming back for more.
If you’re ready to strengthen the customer relationship, this guide is here to help. As the following information will demonstrate, you don’t need to spend bundles of cash or hire a marketing expert. All you require is the right strategy and tools for success.
Be armed with the right communication tools.
As a starting point, you should acquire all of the right tools to communicate effectively with your customers. The issue with this is how tech-oriented the world has become. Back in the day, you could get away with simply having a telephone number and email address. Now, there are various other communication tools needed – it’s something your customers expect.
Now you likely already have social media profiles created for your business. Yet these shouldn’t only be utilized as marketing tools. Due to their accessibility and the fact that virtually everyone uses them, customers often find it easier to send messages to businesses via the likes of Twitter and Facebook. As a result, you need to continually monitor your social media accounts for any questions or enquiries.
Another communication tool customers anticipate is live chat. For the uninitiated, live chat usually appears in the bottom right-hand corner of a website. When someone clicks on the box, this will open up a live chat where customers can instantly receive the help and advice they desire. While you can have a real person behind the live chat, it’s recommended to use automation.
Hang on to the telephone.
With the prevalence of live chat, social media, email, etc. it can be easy to forget one of the most traditional forms of communication: phone calls.
However, this is something you need to avoid scrapping. According to research from Google, consumers see calls as an “important” channel of communication, with 70% of searchers on mobile using click-to-call.
Nevertheless, trying to operate a dedicated phone line can be tricky for small and even medium businesses. Calls can disrupt your work and negatively affect workflow. This is where a professional answering service comes in particularly handy. Instead of taking the calls on yourself, you can outsource and let professional receptionists handle the job. You save bundles of time, avoid timewasters, and receive efficient feedback about the callers who matter.
In this day and age, customers demand instant responses. Yet if you’re a small business with limited staff members, it’s not feasible to have someone available to help on a 24/7 basis. Thankfully, the rise of automation means you can stay online at all times.
This isn’t the only advantage automation has, either. It also delivers responses immediately to customers. As soon as they input their query, the automation should fire back a suitable reply within a matter of seconds. Yes, customers will likely catch on that they’re chatting with a ‘bot’. Yet if they receive what they’re searching for, it’s unlikely they’ll care. Plus it beats waiting potentially hours to receive a reply via email or social media.
There is one problem with automation: it cannot possibly answer or anticipate every enquiry that is thrown in its direction. However, you should have the ability to customize the experience as much as possible. This means you can always have a response ready for commonly asked questions. If a customer begins asking more complex questions, you can have the automated response hand them other to a different communication channel where a human employee can take over.
Avoid robotic replies.
Having just talked about automation, this may seem like a point that is difficult to avoid. However, you can personalize your automated responses where they stay far away from being robotic and conservative. The more effort you put into this, the more customers will feel they are actually talking to a real human being – even if they’re not.
Of course, this approach should also extend to all of your other communication methods. It can be easy to send out a strait-laced email devoid of any personality, for example. Also teach employees to respond in a real way, where it’s clear they’re not just reading off a sheet of preempted questions/answers.
Learn to listen.
When you’re in direct contact with a customer, always learn to sit back, let them respond without interruption, and take into account what they’re saying. Nothing annoys a customer more than when they feel they’re not being heard by a business. Once you have comprehended what they have said, always attempt to respond in the right way. Positive and polite language can go a long way, but at the end of the day customers want answers – always be ready to supply them when needed.
In relation to this, you should also pay attention to all feedback that is sent your way. Constructive criticism from customers is one of the best ways to learn more about your business. They’ll give you honest appraisal, and you can have a greater insight into what’s working and what isn’t. Also take the time to publicly acknowledge all comments and reviews, even if they’re bad.
Create the right content.
Communication isn’t only done directly. You can also convey the right message to customers with the content you create. Meaningful content, the type that captures the attention and educates, is integral for diminishing the chance of consumers being confused about the products or services you offer.
There are various different ways you can create content. Writing is the most obvious avenue to take, but videos are even more effective. Due to their visual nature, they are fantastic for showing off your products, telling a story, detailing how your business works, and so much more.