How to Effectively Communicate With Your Customers
The advantage that small businesses have over large-scale conglomerates is a personal connection with their customers. This connection needs to be strong if it is to outweigh the lower cost provided by the big box stores. There are ways to effectively communicate with customers to build a stronger connection and maintain that personal touch that is expected. Follow along with our advice to ensure that you are working towards establishing that much-needed connection with your customer base.
On social media, the primary way that customers are going to reach out to you is through direct messages. The beauty of social media is that it allows you to speak with your clientele on a more personal level. Emails have an air of formality to them and should typically be used to exchange pertinent information. Direct messages can be for questions, comments, and outreach. You need to monitor your direct messages closely and respond to them promptly.
Automated responses are a tool you can utilize on Facebook and marketplaces like Etsy. While this can be an efficient way to answer commonly asked questions, some customers can detect when they are given automated answers. Sometimes automated replies are good to ensure quick responses. However, adding personal elements like “Hello (Customer’s Name)” are ways that you can spice up the messages.
With products, there is an internal and external way of describing them. Our SlickSeal™ series for example is referred to internally as the 100 series based on the model's SKU number. However, this is not the name customers will use. They will use a name they are comfortable with, such as “mylar bag” or “flat open top”. It is then our job to translate that into our internal naming scheme. We then use the phrasing the customer is comfortable with to respond. Balancing internal naming with external naming is key to effective communication with your customers.
Get to Know Them
While you should not treat interactions with your customers as if they are first dates, you should try to learn about them. If you are to build a relationship, understanding their industry, their needs, and their expectations will save time in the future. Customers also appreciate when you remember them, as it shows their business is important to you. Get to know your customers so that you can more efficiently help them in future interactions.
Giving the necessary information
Oftentimes, the customer will want as much information as you can give them. However, it is important to give them the necessary information only. Sometimes, disclosing too much can be a dangerous thing. Customers can be trying to extract the inner workings of your business in an attempt to copy you or gain an advantage. You should not keep secrets from your customers, but you should try to only let them know what they need to know.
Questioners and Polls
The best way to learn about your customers is to outright ask them. This can be done via surveys, questionnaires, or polls. In each case, the goal is to figure out your customer base, so that you can create content that is relevant to them. It will also allow you to better answer their questions in the future. In our case, knowing what type of items our customers are using our bags for, then comparing that to the bag choices of similar customers, we can give better recommendations for sizer or product types.
Not every interaction is going to be perfect. Sometimes there will be conflicts and disputes. From these less positive interactions, you can still learn something. Learn what the shortcomings are in your business, what is going to upset people, and learn how you can improve. Use this information in future instances to improve your service. You can gain something from every interaction you have with your customers, especially the negative interactions. It also important to never argue with your customers. If they hurl unkindness at you, just fire back with positivity. Assur them you are trying your hardest to resolve the issue, and move on from there.
Continue the Conversation
Developing an open and fruitful relationship with your customer is not a simple task, but it is a necessary one. The more you exercise the skill, the stronger it will get. If you want to speak with us further on how you can positively interact with your customers, leave a comment or reach out to us on Facebook or Instagram. If you would like to learn more about spreading your brand and building your customer base, read our blog on how to gain an engaged audience.
QQ Tip- Send pictures and videos in direct messages when discussing products, so that the customer has a better understanding of what you are discussing.