Communicate better with your customers

By on December 2, 2014 in Marketing with 0 Comments

Today, there are more ways than ever to communicate with your customers. Whether it be through your website, email, Facebook, Twitter, traditional mail or carrier pigeon. But how do you select the best way to communicate with your customers?

The most important thing to consider is how your audience prefers to communicate. If your audience are professionals that use email all day long then communicating with them via email is going to make their lives easier and ensure that they see your message faster. Conversely, if your audience are time poor during the day and need to nominate a time suitable for them to have a succinct discussion to resolve their issue, then having the phones manned around the clock becomes far more important than effective emails.

Some ways of determining what networks your target audience use are:

–       Simply asking them or by using a survey

–       Searching for mentions of your product or brands on popular networks

–       Checking your website analytics to see where your customers are coming from

–       See how your competitors are communicating.

Now you need to consider what are your customer’s expectations? What sort of communication level is required for you to maintain a high level of service and to ensure queries are converting into sales? Are customers likely to be making a purchasing decision within minutes or weeks?

For example, if your main featured communication channel on your website is a feedback form and your audience is likely to make a purchase decision within minutes, they assume they aren’t going to get the information they need as fast as they want or need it and may go to one of your competitors.

Next you need to consider, what can you effectively resource? Implementing a communication channel that is ineffective will reflect poorly on your company. For instance, live chat on a website can be an excellent way of communicating with your customers at a time when they are very interested in what you have to offer, however, can you have someone at the keyboard 24/7 or at least during business hours?

Now, think about what kind of messages you can deliver over certain platforms. If your business requires a lot of support and receives a lot of customer queries, how can you best action these support requests? Is it possible to resolve a query by text or is it better to get them over the phone?

Telstra use Twitter for support, however, it is incredibly difficult to provide effective support over 140 characters thus many enquiries are redirected to a phone conversation. However, where this communication medium does become rather effective is during large scale faults and outages, their Twitter operators can inform people via Twitter as they query their service and avoid a large chunk of would be telephone enquiries from the service loop.

Once you’ve chosen and implemented your communication channels, you should be measuring their effectiveness. Measure how long the average support case takes to resolve, notice any increase or decrease in sales and take on board any feedback from your customers relating to communication and ensure you refine and continue to measure.

Communicating effectively with your customers can be the difference between a successful and failing business, so consider carefully how you’re currently communicating with your customers and ways to improve if necessary.

About the Author

About the Author: Luke Hodges is a digital marketing specialist that has experience spanning across large corporates, government, not-for-profits and SME's. He has a passion for applying the digital marketing techniques used in large organisations to small businesses to help them succeed and grow and has consulted for over 200 Australian small businesses. Luke comes from a strong technical background and has developed digital marketing strategies for a number of organisations, giving him a complete understanding of topics such as lead generation, conversion optimisation, web development, email, search and social. .

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