“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” –Bill Gates
Typically, it’s the unhappy customers you’re most likely to hear from. Still, frequent communication with all customers is also essential to learning. Thus, quality client communication is also your greatest source for bettering your business.
Better business equals happier customers. Happier customers equal greater profits.
Here are 5 helpful strategies to step up your client communications today.
1. Let clients “serve themselves”
Sound weird? All this means is to try creating opportunities for self-service on the part of your clients and customers.
What this does is allow your customers to approach you and your product or services on their own terms. This, in turn, communicates to you what your customer’s preferences may be for a variety of things.
You can save create customer “profiles” based on the information self-service provides you. For example, your customer’s usage will communicate to you things like what time of day they prefer to shop, how often they log in before actually making a purchase, what types of products they are most interested in, etc.
These self-service opportunities give you a chance to virtually “hear” your customer.
Doing this then enables you to reach out to them using the information you’ve gleaned, at times and in ways that are more appealing or useful to them.
2. Utilise a quality client portal
Depending on the type of business you manage, a client portal may be essential to your day-to-day activities.
Client portals are valuable for a variety of business models. Anything from sales companies, law firms, consultants, to just about any business where regular sharing between client and service provider is a norm.
If this is the case for your business, choosing a top of the line client portal is an absolute essential. This portal will be where most of your client’s impressions and interactions with your business will take place.
Your client portal will be your location for uploading and downloading documents, sharing documents between you and your clients or customers, tracking client activity, collaborating, and more.
Basically, a client portal is like a one-stop shop for your client-to-business communications. It also allows you to save of all these communications in one secure location.
3. Match your online and offline presences
When your customers or clients become accustomed to visiting your retail/office space, it can feel jarring and confusing for them if your online presence doesn’t have the same organization.
This tip falls under the idea of having CLEAR communication with customers.
For example, if your office or retail space or open, simple, and clean, but your website is loaded with tiny text everywhere and is challenging to navigate, it communicates a lack of cohesive business savvy to your customers.
You need to not only come across as though you know how to manage your brand in both arenas but keep your customer interactions the same regardless of where they occur.
Think of Apple for example. The Apple website has plenty of white space, clarity, and simplicity. Now think of the last Apple store you walked into… same thing.
Consistent communication between you and your customer also helps your customers know what they can expect from you.
It creates a sense of security that no matter where they engage with your business, the quality will always be high.
4. Share your brand stories
It’s very common now among consumers (particularly among groups like the millennial generation), to want to be sure everything they purchase, whether it’s an expat shipping service to their sunglasses, with their personal identity.
What do we mean by this? Customers want what they buy and use to align with how they view themselves. Do they view themselves as authentic, charitable foodies?
Whatever the case may be, the best way to appeal to this new common consumer mindset is to share your brand’s story.
This helps your customers (especially if you’ve targeted your services to the right demographic) recognize that your product or service is, in fact, in line with how they see themselves.
So how is this done?
Find a way, whether on your website or in your store, to display the background of each service or product. How did you come up with a particular product? What type of people enjoy using it? Show a profile of users who are fans–include a review from them.
Whatever you can do to communicate to your customers who you are, what your business’s core values or mission statement are, will be beneficial.
Not only does this help customers connect or relate to your brand, but it helps your business seem more personal to them.
The better they know and understand your brand and products, the more likely they are to not only purchase or use them but to promote them to others. Isn’t communication wonderful?
5. Live chat
The concept of live chat has evolved a bit since the advent of social media for businesses.
Now, most businesses are forced to have some kind of a “chat” feature merely by having a Facebook presence where customers can message them directly.
Some business owners may view this as a nuisance. On the contrary, it is a major asset.
Whether you decide to enable live messaging on your business social channels or simply add live chat to your website, instant communication in real time is vital to customer communication.
Modern clients and customers are now used to having their concerns or questions answered almost immediately. No one is writing letters to the CEO anymore, they’re just hoping on Instagram and posting a comment.
Particularly if you manage a retail website where customers may run into questions about stock, delivery dates, or customizing options, live chat is a communication tool your business shouldn’t be without.
More client communication help
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw
There are endless ways to improve your client communication, but unless it is done well all your efforts may be fruitless. Review these 5 crucial tips for more ideas on improving your business communication through quality branding.