An important part of your business’ success lies in communicating properly with your customers. Here are several tips for making this work.
As a small business, you probably don’t have millions of dollars to spend on a mass marketing strategy. This means you’ll need to engage your customers in a more personalized way like through web conferencing. You really shouldn’t be surprised by this though. Recently MarketWatch conducted a survey in this regard. It showed that 90% of clients expect the questions they post on Facebook to be answered but most businesses don’t do this. MarketWatch continued to say that this is why it isn’t surprising that only 20% of businesses make it to their fifth year.
Why effectively communicating with your customers is important
Coast Line Marketing Group says that businesses need to learn how to communicate with their customers on their customers’ terms through visual calls. One of the main things you need here is a social media presence. This doesn’t mean that you want to show up on every possible social media network though. Instead, you need to determine what social media platforms your customers are interested in and the best light to present yourself in on those networks. For instance, businesses that are visual based will do better on Pinterest (e.g. flower shops) while other businesses will find themselves doing better on other social media sites instead. Making this determination usually requires some help from a third-party that specializes in social media marketing.
Mass marketing is something you need to avoid. In other words, having the most followers isn’t going to guarantee your success. Instead, you need to find a good strategy to use. Today there are many of these available, which is yet another reason to talk to a social media marketing firm – they can tell you which one would work best for your business. Although you may not think it’d matter, the way you arrange your social media and direct email marketing campaigns so they work together is a vital part of your success. These are things you’ll also want to automate as much as possible but not so much that you reduce your customers to a faceless or nameless entity.
How to Effectively Communicate with Your Customers
1. Improve customer loyalty because they’ll see that you’re committed to their satisfaction. This is especially true when you tell your customer about any issues you’re facing as doing so demonstrates your honesty and transparency – something customers welcome. While this may feel uncomfortable, take heart in the fact that every business makes mistakes and experiences performance issues. Dealing with this adversity in an open, honest, proactive manner sets you apart from your competition and builds a trusting relationship in which your customers continually reward you with their business – even when mistakes happen.
2. Control communication by framing it in the most favorable light which is preferable to responding to an inaccurate framing of a situation.
3. Improve and maximize organizational productivity by answering your customers’ questions before they even have an opportunity to ask them. By discussing your application or website issues with them you can significantly reduce the number of incoming support calls you receive. Today there are a lot of great tools available to facilitate this type of communication. Velaro says Uptime.ly is one of the best tools for this. It’s a cloud-based unified communication platform that makes it easy to proactively communicate application up-time status and scheduled maintenance with end users.
How effective communication benefits your business
When you increase the average CLV you’re moving from continually worrying about how to obtain new customers to “simply” maintaining the ones you already have. Communicaid reminds us that there are a lot of great benefits here, including:
1. The customers you’re communicating with will refer new customers to you. Word of mouth advertising is an effective, inexpensive way of obtaining new clients today. Since generating a new customer is 5 times more expensive than maintaining existing customers, you’ll want to use this in your favor.
2. Regular communication makes change easier. Research shows that customers are more likely to stay with companies they trust when things change. This trust is built through regular communication, which makes the changes seem less dramatic too.
3. Companies also need to see customers as a source for new ideas. By letting your customers express their views about your products or services you’ll know what improvements need to be made. When you ask for this ‘feedback’ you’ll discover any common feelings that your customers share about what modifications you need to make. When you make these modifications your customers see that you’re taking their comments seriously which makes them feel valued. This will also encourage them to continue communicating with you in a constructive way.
4. Listening to what your customers need will help you change and improve your products and services that are tailored to meet their specific needs. This is better than developing new products or services that your customers don’t want or need. It’s important to remember that each of your customers is an individual with their own needs here. As such, you’ll want to talk to them and “co-create” products with them.
5. It’s important to remember that a good reputation is spread just as easily as a bad reputation. When you treat your customers well they’ll talk about you in a positive light. This is a very important type of marketing – word of mouth marketing. It’s important because it’s based on a genuine personal experience, which research shows is worth just as much as a well-written brochure or a well-designed website.
Clearly, there’s a strong, solid case to be built for communicating with clients today. Now that all the evidence has been presented to you here, all that’s left for you to do is start being more proactive in this regard. By starting to do this today you’ll start seeing the benefits soon. Good luck!