We see your struggles every day. Building a solid customer base that’ll remain loyal to your brand through thick and thin is one of the most challenging tasks for any small business owner.
Yet, it’s the best way to keep your business afloat.
Every effort you put in is worth it since customers are the core of any business. Well, there’s still one last straw to break the camel’s back – efficient customer communication.
Yes, efficient communication with your customer is everything for your business. It is how you form connections and strengthen relationships. ‘
Happy customers will become advocates for your business. They’ll promote and recommend your business to everyone they know.
But there’s a thin line between efficient customer communication and poor communication. So you must always be creative with your communications to get the best from your customer engagement efforts.
You want to hear from them as much as they hear from you. Here are helpful tips to help you communicate with your customers productively.
|Want to streamline the customer engagement process?|
The best way to do this is to get a help desk software. How to find the best one? Check out the list of best help desk software and also what all features to consider when you are in the process of buying one.
How to Communicate With Customers Productively
Leverage visual engagement tools to provide assistance in real-time
The stats are there. Several studies show that people remember what they see better than what they read or hear. So when looking to communicate more efficiently with customers, there’s probably no better way to start than with visual engagement.
Visual engagement simply means delivering personalized one-on-one conversations with customers in real-time, using advanced tools like screen sharing, co-browsing, voice, and video chat.
These engagement tools will help you identify the errors in the first touch point so that you can offer the right solutions without creating many interaction points.
The concept of real-time engagement, based on the common saying, “seeing is believing,” has been adopted across different industries, such as banking, retail, healthcare, and contact center.
The most significant advantage is allowing you to see the problem as it is and providing solutions that suit the particular problem.
Our best pick for visual engagement tools is:
An obvious choice for video conferencing because of the free option it offers. Intercom is a complete live chat and video conferencing tool because of its advanced features.
Its advanced sound-canceling features allow you to suppress background noise. It also has an option to share your screen and a recording function that allows you to record video sessions for future reference purposes.
Other options you can try include Google Meet, Bluejeans, and Go-to Meeting.
Nail the First Impression
We’ve always heard that first impressions matter in everything, including customer relationships. First impressions are even more important to businesses because prospects can easily turn to your competitors if they are unsatisfied with how you interact with them.
Unfortunately, this is a challenging hill to climb for small business owners, considering the difference in the personalities of customers. One of the easiest ways to register a wrong first impression with your customer is to answer the phone wrongly.
Whether you’re a starter or an established business, chances exist that you’ll get a decent number of calls daily. Not having an automated system that can handle all the calls and effectively communicate with customers will hurt your business.
One study found that more than 83% of consumers will stop doing business with a company after a poor first experience with an automated phone system.
The truth is that your first point of customer communication will likely be through phone calls. So, the best way to keep up with all the calls that come in daily and still maintain a good first impression is by putting in place a professional automated answering service.
Fortunately, there is software available today that can answer your customer’s calls quickly, with a professional and friendly voice.
Our best pick for automated answering software is:
Grasshopper is a top-level auto-attendant system that offers top-level features for business communication. Its settings are easy to configure, and it allows you to add custom messages to greet your callers when it receives their call.
Other notable mentions include phone.com and Ooma.
Personalize all Interaction With Customers
We know we’ve talked about automating interactions so you don’t keep customers waiting too long. But still, customers do not want to feel like they are talking to a robot. It’s essential to make customers feel like they matter to your business. Hence, do not use scripted responses when sending messages to them.
Pay attention to what they are saying and offer detailed personalized solutions where possible. Be empathic about their problems and offer responses where needed. This way, you’ll give them a positive impression and encourage them to come back again.
Sometimes, when customers bring their problems to you, they expect resolving them to take some time. Yet, they want you to hear their voice and listen to their complaints. We recommend listening to them, expressing your understanding of their problems, and politely suggesting solutions that will work.
One great way to meet the constant demand for personalized interaction as a small business owner is to integrate personalization software into the customer experience. In addition to increasing customer satisfaction, personalization software reduces wait time and ensures customers get solutions when they need them.
Our best pick for personalization software is:
Ringblaze lets you personalize all your communication channels, including phone calls, websites, emails, and social media. This modern business phone system manages calls and allows your customer service agents to address issues.
An innovative collaboration dashboard helps to ensure that every call gets personal attention from you or your agents.
Engage Customers Better Across Social Media Platforms
Do we need to emphasize this one?
Social media’s popularity has made it an indispensable tool in the hands of business owners. 63% of millennials use social media to keep up with brand information. So, if you want to reach your customer base in this age distribution, you’ve got to be using social effectively.
Social media platforms have grown beyond being tools for broadcasting news and advertisement. It has become a fundamental tool for real communication with customers – providing the opportunity for two-way conversations. No wonder businesses are leveraging social media to build communities. And, it’s not as difficult as you think.
You can start by creating exciting content that fits customers to comment on and talk about. This way, you can build a rapport with your audience by putting actual faces to names. Advertise deals and promotions via social media. Customers will be proud that you consider them valuable enough to tell the background stories of these promotions on social media before they go live.
We understand that as an entrepreneur, you won’t have all the time to constantly engage your followers on social media. But there are tools and software that can help you do it.
Our best pick for social media engagement tools is:
This is an obvious choice because it is easy to get on board. Beyond providing efficient and personalized customer relationships on social media, Influencer DB profiles followers to know which content suits them best. It also allows for content scheduling, so your social media platforms can stay active while you’re busy with other things.
Use Customer Messaging for Instant Sales and Support
One of the most important business objectives is noting customers’ preferred messaging channels and engaging them through these channels. Whether it is a Facebook messenger, live chat, or WhatsApp, ensure they are comfortable with where you’re reaching out to them.
We also can’t deny the role of websites in helping you develop the right customer engagement strategies. Live chat is particularly a great messaging channel.
One significant reason many customers prefer live chat when trying to reach out to you is the speed with which it typically gets their questions answered. 63% of consumers say that they’ll likely come back to a website with the live chat feature.
Beyond the instant response that live chat facilitates, it is also convenient and easy to use. Customers can easily click on the live chat icon on your website while scrolling through your product page.
However, you also need to be available to ensure they don’t stay waiting for long when they need instant resolution to some problems. You can also leverage available software to ensure that they get quick and personalized responses when they live chat.
Our best pick for live chat tools is:
LiveChat’s relative ease of use and setup makes it a top choice. It offers a beautifully designed interface that your customer support team can use on their phones, tablets, and laptops. This means an easy connection with customers on the go without needing to use your WordPress dashboard.
Click here to see other reviews of Live chat apps and software, including how they can fit your needs.
Personalize Email Communications
Despite looking seemingly old-fashioned, email is still one of the best ways to connect and communicate with your customers. It is cheap, convenient, and smooth. Whether it’s informing them about a new product, following up on complaints, or wishing the compliments of the season, email works well.
Additionally, customers can use email to reach you for anything. It is an essential component of any business communications platform.
But, you can’t continually send out automated messages and expect results. For email communications to be effective, you need to add a personal touch to them. Fortunately, we live at a time when we have access to abundant data, although we hardly make the most out of the opportunity it provides.
So, why do we fail to use personalization in our communication strategies, despite knowing its numerous benefits? The problem is that most people don’t know how to personalize, especially when it comes to email communication. But you don’t have to struggle.
There is available software today that takes care of delivering personalized email communications. You just have to find one that suits your business model.
Our best pick for email personalization software is:
Whether it’s for automating email communications or personalizing messages, Omnisend ranks high for business communication. Its seamless integration with all popular e-commerce platforms and the unique features of its email editor gives it the edge. It also has a free version that lets you test the features and functionalities to be sure it’s the right fit for you.
Create Custom Content That Addresses Pressing Customer Questions
While it’s important to talk about the importance of personalized messaging, we can’t overlook content marketing. Overall, content marketing works for driving leads and acquiring new customers.
But, beyond these primary uses, custom content helps you stay engaged with existing customers. It’s one thing to win new customers and another thing to maintain existing ones. Staying top of your competition requires that you build customer loyalty.
There’s no better way to create customer loyalty than proving to your customers that you want to provide value beyond their purchases. This is where creating valuable content comes into play.
You want to maintain a communication channel by providing valuable articles that resonate with customers’ problems. This engagement strategy didn’t just start today. It’s been there for a long time and still works for effective customer communication.
Here’s how to go about it – your customers have questions bugging their minds. Think about these questions and provide contents that provide relevant answers to the questions.
Custom content creation has become easier with available software that helps you understand what customers think. Some of these software can also be automated to provide content at specific times of the day when customers are more likely to search for information.
Our best pick for custom content creation tools is:
Mozcon stands out in the way it engages existing customers and gives them a reason to stick around. It also gives you an idea of top-ranking content and provides templates you can use to customize content to suit your customers’ needs.
Just as you use multiple channels to communicate your message to your customers, consider feedback through multiple channels. It’s important that your customers feel confident sharing their concerns and questions about your product.
So your business communication flow should be a two-way thing. Prioritize dialogues over monologues. By listening to your customers and encouraging feedback, you’ll send them a message that their opinion matters.
Bear in mind that many customers are not motivated to leave feedback because they think it’s a boring process. The thought of filling out a comment card can seem very boring for anybody. Plus, customers can lose confidence in the process and assume you won’t do anything about it if it becomes too routine.
So, spice it up.
Open engaging channels where you can directly attend to customer feedback. Let them know that you feel their pain and are willing to implement changes to solve their problems. This way, they’ll be motivated to leave more feedback and initiate conversations in the future. Leverage software that facilitates feedback screening and direct communication with customers.
Our best pick for feedback engagement tools is:
This customer feedback tool is based on two main widgets – a feedback widget and a survey widget. It runs as an integral part of your website and allows you to communicate directly with customers, capture insights from website users in real-time, and find out customers’ suggestions on how you can improve.
Start Valuable Conversations by Showing Appreciation
Just as you would do with a supportive family and friend, make sure your customers feel recognized and loved. Customers want to feel like family, too; thus, they want you to recognize their efforts and appreciate them.
Did they subscribe to your channel? Send an appreciation video. Did they make their first purchase? Send them a detailed bulletin of how happy you’re to welcome them on board.
Apart from showing that they matter, it is also an exciting conversation starter. You can handwrite appreciation letters or send personalized videos to them. When customers feel valued, they can offer advice and recommendations on things you can do better. This way, a conversation channel has been created, and customer loyalty birthed.
But how do you keep track of customers that deserve appreciation? This is where appreciation software comes into play. There are many of them out there, but you have to choose one that can be tailored to suit your business model.
Our best pick for customer appreciation software is:
Zapier is a one-stop platform for researching who needs appreciation and offering appreciation in the right words. The software has available templates to give you an idea of what to say. You can also leverage the video editing feature to send personalized welcome videos to your new customers.
Customer Surveys are A Great Way to Know How To Engage Customers
Surveys allow you to know what customers think about you and your products. This is useful on two levels. Firstly, it creates the impression that you listen to and value your customers’ opinions. Secondly, it provides you with actual information on what your customers expect from you.
One of the worst ways to communicate is to randomly start talking about a topic. What if the other party is not interested in the topic? Survey cuts down the probability of that.
With surveys, you can know your customers’ experiences and what they feel about particular topics. So, whether you’re sending newsletters or initiating other means of communication, you can have a broad idea of what your customers consider engaging.
In addition to telling how your customers feel about your products, a well-thought-out survey also tells how they feel about different touch points within their customer journey.
Did a customer just have a chat with your customer representative? Send them a survey. Did they just subscribe to your email list? Send them a survey. This way, you can have detailed insights into the areas that are working and those that are not.
Therefore, you can go into conversations equipped with the necessary information needed to engage them.
Our best pick for customer survey tools is:
SurveyMonkey makes the process more manageable. The ready-made software helps you gather all the data you’ll need in the most accurate and efficient ways possible, taking away the hassle of needing to build a communication process from the start.
Leverage Website Analytics
Your website is your first and most important digital platform, so you can tell how important it is to customer experience. You must ensure complete optimization to provide customers with what they need and enhance engagement. Website analytics is a significant part of the job for you – telling you how people interact with your site. It has all the right tools to help you track a host of metrics, including average session duration, on-page time, bounce rate, and more.
Imagine how it feels, knowing what captures your visitors’ attention and what doesn’t? This knowledge is all the ingredients you’ll need to make the right changes to your website and content. It also helps you know the best channels to engage potential clients with what they want to hear.
The ubiquitous nature of Google Analytics these days makes it one of the most common analytic tools these days. But that doesn’t stop the presence of other tools that play similar functions. Browse our analytic software review to find detailed information about different analytic tools you can use to improve communication and drive engagement.
What’s the most important thing to remember when dealing with customers? No, it’s not that customers are always right. It is that customers always want to be heard. So, the best place to start your marketing efforts is by creating an efficient communication line with existing customers.
The process may seem complicated for small business owners, but it is doable. All the customer engagement strategies in this article will help you communicate better with potential and existing clients.