Thursday, June 8, 2017

You're communicating with your customers, but are you doing it well? 

How do you talk with your customers? Today's customers rely on multiple communication tools to connect with businesses. However your customers connect with your business, you need to be ready to respond to their questions and concerns. Set up these communication processes, and you'll be well on your way to a stronger customer connection through effective communication. 

1. Know How Your Customers Want to Communicate  

Before you lay out a plan for effective communication, you need to understand what effective communication looks like to your customers. How do your customers want to communicate with you? List the tools and methods that you currently use to communicate with your customers, and evaluate their past results. Examine surveys and feedback you've received in person and online. As you use your tools more efficiently and collect more data about your customers' communication preferences, you can begin to sort your customers not just into interest groups but into groups that prefer certain methods of communication, such as voice or text.

2. Develop a Communications Plan 

Are you winging it when it comes to customer communication, trying a little bit of this and a little bit of that to see if you'll succeed? To achieve better communication, be targeted, and make a plan. According to the Business Development Bank's Normand Columbe, "The best results come from investing for the long term in good communications planning and expertise.” Create a communications plan that: 

  • Reflects your business message. How is your business different? 
  • Defines your target audiences and their attributes 
  • Identifies ways to communicate to these audiences 
  • Sets goals for communication
  • Evaluates and learns from the results of each communication campaign

3. Create Strong Internal Communication 

Do you want to talk with your customers? Talk with your employees first? All of your employees need to know about your leads, and they need to know who's contacted whom and how. According to CIO, this could mean centralizing your communication: "having a project management/social collaboration system, that works for communications, setting up workflows, organizing contacts and everything else." Track your conversations with customers and communicate with other employees to be sure that your customers' needs are met.

Understand how different groups of customers want to communicate with your business.

4. Use the Right Tech Tools 

Hundreds of years ago, our only method of communication was a face-to-face discussion. Today, you can talk with and see customers around the world using video communication, or you can send out locally-connected text messages to customers who walk by your store. Communication has increased in its intensity and its variety.

As you communicate with customers, use this diversity to your advantage. Consider your tech tools as your communications toolbox, and choose the right tool for the job. 

Do you want to survey your customers? Connect with them using interactive voice response, so that they can give you their opinions on current and future products. IVR is an excellent tool for contacting many customers with appointment reminders, polls and surveys, and payment notifications.

Do you want to connect with your customers in the moment, using text messages? Over 96 percent of text messages get read. Contact specific, targeted groups with timely offers and reminders that are locally relevant. For example, if it's the last day of school, you can send out a "happy summer" text to parents and teens, encouraging them to purchase summer clothes on sale. 

At CallFire, our focus is on developing calling solutions that help you connect with your customers. If you want to increase your customer contact, take a look at our text message and IVR solutions. Engage with your customers quickly and easily: sign up for free today.

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