For a startup, effectively communicating with your clients isn’t just another business obligation. It’s at the core of customer engagement, satisfaction, experience, and retention. These are all things you need to establish your brand, stay competitive, and keep generating sales. The secret to effectively communicate to your customers lies in your capacity to gauge customer expectations and respond appropriately.
That ability is contained in the strategies you have in place to enable and improve customer communication. These strategies should form part of your business culture and values.
Here are five practical strategies to help you build and enhance customer communication in your business:
1. Customer Communication Channels
When choosing the communication channels for your startup, the right ones may not always be convenient for you. Instead, they’re what your customers prefer. In today’s tech age, most customers prefer digital channels. Incorporating tech tools can help you manage communications and other business processes more effectively.
There are tools available for all industries and business sectors, such as Jobber’s software for landscapers. The software helps to communicate with customers, organize teams, create and track quotes, and much more. Whether you’re using a single or omnichannel approach to customer communication, knowing where to engage your customers is crucial.
The bottom line is that your customers should be able to engage and receive timely responses from your business conveniently and seamlessly. You need to figure out the proper channels per your customers’ needs and aim to give them a unique experience each time.
2. Personalized Customer Communications
Personalization plays a huge role in developing customer relationships. Since you’re seeking to build solid and lasting customer relationships, your strategy must aim to personalize engagement and interaction. At the basic level, this calls for referring to your customers by their name each time. (1)
However, to offer a truly personalized experience, you need to collect and keep customer information at every touchpoint and buyer’s stage. Use this information to show them that you have a deep knowledge of their needs and preferences. A customer relationship management tool is the best way to create a customer information and interaction history database. It also helps to create a central and updated source of customer information.
3. A Customer Follow-Up Process
There are customers you need to spark into action. To keep customer engagement levels high, you need to have a customer follow-up strategy and process. Naturally, your job is to ensure that customers get prompt responses each time they reach out to your business. However, you can also take up the job of keeping the conversation going to boost loyalty.
You want to avoid customer interest or satisfaction diminishing after one time of good service because you didn’t follow up. Some of the things you can do to keep the conversation going include the following:
- Ask for feedback after services or a purchase.
- Ask for honest reviews.
- Remind them of a service they enquired about or items left in an online cart.
- Send coupons, offers, and birthday messages.
Keeping the conversation going should be a part of your communication process. This is what helps first-time customers to transition into loyal customers. It also solidifies the relationship with your existing customers. (2)
4. Optimize Response Times
Communication technology has advanced considerably. People are having real-time conversations with each other across the globe. Because this technology is part of your customers’ daily lives, they expect your business to respond instantly. It would be best to aim at reducing response times significantly.
You may not be able to offer 24/7 customer support, particularly if you’re a startup. However, you can include automation tools in your customer response strategy. Automate responses to queries sent through contact forms to confirm receipt of the form. You can also implement a chatbot or other automated communication tool on your website or social media pages.
Another effective communication method is having an elaborate Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section that answers common questions when you’re not available. Having a self-service option can also help reduce the number of messages you get, especially those on common queries, enabling you to lower the message backlog and improve response times.
5. Keep It Human
No customer wants to receive robotic responses each time they reach out to your business, even when you’re using automated tools such as chatbots. Your customer support team can stay professional but also adopt a more casual tone. You need to make your customers feel like they’re having a normal conversation with a friend or colleague. (3)
This means keeping the language simple and jargon-free and eliminating the formal opening greetings and closing remarks. Be straightforward, honest, and transparent when communicating with customers, as it helps you connect with customers better. It helps to build trust.
Creating compelling customer communication strategies is crucial to the growth of your business and is an ongoing process. As communication technologies change, you can adjust your communication channels and strategies accordingly to match customer preferences. This will result in better customer engagement, experience, satisfaction, and retention.
Chandler Faulkner has had decades worth of experience in the sales and marketing industry. Now, he shares the knowledge that he’s accumulated over the years as a consultant to startups and small businesses.
- “What Is Personalized Communication and Why Does It Matter?” https://online.uhv.edu/articles/undergraduate-studies/personalized-communication.aspx
- “A Complete Guide to Customer Communication” https://front.com/blog/a-complete-guide-to-customer-communication
- “Keeping the human touch for customer experience in the digital age” https://www.orange-business.com/en/blogs/keeping-human-touch-customer-experience-digital-age