If providing excellent communication isn’t always in the forefront of your mind, as a small business owner, it should be. Strong customer communication builds strong relationships, and that’s one key to success for every business.
Make it a point to devote some time and energy to customer communications; the time and energy spent are a smart investment and critical to future business growth. Take a look at these five strategies you can implement to improve your communication with customers today.
Make communication a priority
The first step to providing high quality communication with your customers is to make it a priority and get your entire team on board. Customer communication happens daily at every touch point, from conversations on the phone to emails to social media.
Think about making guidelines for your business to ensure your team is on the same page. Easy and effective guidelines to implement include returning every call and email within 24 hours and following up with customers who express interest or make a purchase to see if they have any questions or concerns.
Seek involvement from your employees and let them help shape the guidelines. By empowering your employees, they will be more vested in helping the customers and likely go above and beyond. When you focus on communication, you are honing in on one of many ways to become an industry leader – and every business wants to develop that reputation.
Improve your website
Your business’s website is the welcome mat to your business, acting as a public face and voice. It plays an integral role in the sales process as long as it engages your potential customers in the right way.
The biggest mistake business owners make when they compose web copy is focusing on what they want to tell the customer instead of what customer needs to know and hear – that’s not the best way to use your website to grow your business.
Take a moment to think about who will visit your site and why. If you’re a jet charter business, visitors may want to know the cost of a private jet charter. Think about what their needs are and how you can help solve their problems. Your web copy should shine a spotlight on the benefits of your products and services and how they’ll help your potential customers.
Once you draft your web copy, reach out to others to read it. Let them look at it from their point of view and have them offer feedback so you can revise your web copy as needed.
Become more social media savvy
Having a small business social media presence can be cumbersome, but it’s actually not hard to use social media to give your business the one up if you’re willing to put in the time on the front end.
If you’re just starting out, the good news is it isn’t hard to learn how to use social media effectively. Facebook and Twitter are two powerhouses that allow you to serve your community of online customers. Social media is an effective way to spread the word about sales or new products or services you’re offering.
Remember though, your social media activity shouldn’t solely promote your business. Instead, offer information, images and links that are of value to your prospective customers. Think about what your target audience may be interested in or find helpful. Create an online presence that will provide joy and value to your customers, and they will keep coming back for more.
Once you get going on social media, don’t stop. Commit to keeping up with it. If you abandon your Twitter account or Facebook page, you give off the impression that you don’t care to communicate with customers, or maybe give the vibe that your business is dwindling. That’s not a message you ever want to send.
Fine-tune your email marketing skills
Many customers appreciate small businesses due to the human contact it involves. Ensure the emails you compose sound like they were written in a way that proves you care about the customers and their experience and not like a machine.
While it’s natural to want to rush through emails to get them sent, don’t forget that being genuine will take you far. Pay attention to accuracy, start the email with a salutation and end with a proper closing. Use your manners – customers appreciate the words “please” and “thank you.”
Another option is to use third-party software for timely responses. Customers expect their questions to be answered promptly, and third-party software is one way your business can consistently achieve this.
It’s likely your business creates the same type of writing often. Save time and improve quality through templates – they’ll help you with product descriptions or sales listings or any of the other tasks you complete on a regular basis.
Thoughtfully ponder what you would like to include and how you want to format the information to save time in the future. Templates speed up your work and guarantee that your customers receive all information necessary and that you provide a uniform experience of your business and brand. Your customers appreciate familiarity and continuity across all channels.
Striving to offer excellent communication with your employees is an investment, but one worth making. Remember that building strong relationships with your customers can give you an edge over bigger businesses. Put customer communication at the top of your to-do list and it will pay off in increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.