Communication is essential in all relationships, but never more so than with customers. Without the right communication methods in use, you can lose out on sales and revenue and lose customers to the competition.
Why You Need Communication
You have several situations where communication with customers is imperative to the success of your business.
- Gaining new customers – you must let them know you exist and what it is you offer
- Retaining current customers – you must remind your current customers about your company and why you are better than the competition; you must also let them know they are important
- Promotion – you want customers to know about new products or services or changes in your company that affect them
- Resolution – when a customer is unhappy, you want to resolve the issue to maintain the relationship
Each situation requires its own special communication method.
While emails or online ads may appeal for attracting new customers, you may need to make a phone call to resolve issues with a customer.
Know What Your Customers Want
As the following article points out, Is Your Company Communicating Like It Should?, you can never overlook the importance of effective listening. Get to know your customers and potential customers to find out how they prefer to communicate. Some of this will be influenced by demographics.
For instance, if your company works with senior citizens, you may find they respond better to in-person contact or over the phone. While more seniors are becoming computer savvy, many of them still prefer personal contact. On the other hand, young professionals are busy and on the go, so they respond to text messages and emails that they can view in their own time. A phone call may not be as effective with them.
You can also conduct a survey or add a question to a contact form about the preferred method of contact. This ensures that you respond in the way that best fits the customer.
Know Your Staff
Unless you are a one-person business, you most likely won’t be the only one dealing with customers. To provide the most effective communication for your customers, you must know how skilled your staff is in the different methods. While it is not always possible to use the method they are most comfortable with, they can be trained on various options to ensure the best results.
You can provide email templates or phone scripts to help staff provide the best response. Training sessions on communication that includes role play are also effective at helping them feel more confident in their skills. It ensures that they are prepared to talk with customers in whatever situation may arise.
Communication is key to gaining and keeping customers. It cannot be overlooked in any business, no matter what industry you are in. With numerous communication methods available from phone calls to text messages to social media, you have to decide which methods work best for your company and in what situations.
Then, you must ensure that your staff members are trained and capable of working with those various options.
About the Author: Joyce Morse is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including business and technology.