There’s more to client communication than equipping the sales team with the right information and message. It goes much deeper than this. Client communication impacts each point at which you connect with your clients and potential clients. It starts at pre-sales and continues right through to delivery and beyond. Here’s how to nail each step of the funnel.
The first step is to identify all points at which you connect with your customers. This includes future customers you’re trying to attract. Think of all those points at which you communicate in some way and make a list. This includes your website, social media, email newsletters, general correspondence emails, ecommerce emails, premises, signage, ads, staff interactions, blog, forums, meetings, events, etc. It’s likely to be a long list. The key is identifying the connection points, creating a powerful and on-brand message, and then ensuring it is shared consistently at each connection point.
Get Your Team On Board
Many fledgling companies fail in one basic element. They put together a beautifully crafted message but fail to convey this to their staff. Communication includes everyone, including your team. If staff are not aware of your business objectives and your communication strategy, you won’t be able to project a consistent message.
Digital Communications Including Those Forgotten Areas
When businesses think about communication, they tend to think about spoken or written words. However, it incorporates much more than this. Branding and design make up a big part of your communication strategy. If you look at examples of great digital design, you’ll see that they project a clear and powerful message to their intended audience. This is something that all great design shares.
Often it’s those areas that we forget about that have a surprising effect on their intended audience. For example, 404 error pages. These are the web pages that are displayed if you click on a broken link. Rather than opting for a boring or standard page, use this as a creative opportunity to connect with your customers. They’ll remember you for your creativity rather than the broken link.
Another area that is often forgotten or woefully underused is in e-commerce messages. If you have an online shop, there will be many instances in which you communicate with your customer. These include receipt pages. These are the pages that tell customers that their order has been submitted, etc. Also included are the emails that you send to customers to let them know that their order has been received and dispatched. Often companies use templates for these messages, which is a wasted opportunity. Don’t revert to default text, think of ways to make the information more interesting.
Social media is an art. It’s about being sociable, emotionally intelligent, quick to spot opportunities, polite, calm, funny, etc. Your intern who has no commercial experience when it comes to social media is not the best person to manage this for you. You need someone with expertise in this area. They need to be able to sell your company and services, without appearing to do so. They need to like and get on well with people and have bags of common sense.
What does your office say about you? You may not have business premises yet and work from home, but rent meeting rooms for client contact. Or you may have taken that next step and moved into a serviced office space. Depending on your situation, you may have limited scope in terms of customising that space. However, there are simple steps you can take to create the right impression and communicate your ethos, brand, and message to customers.
- Ensure premises (both inside and out) are spotless and tidy at all times
- Display your signage prominently so that people can find you
- Choose furniture, artwork and other accessories that reflect your company ethos and values
- Ensure your dress code is consistent and portrays the company image
- Be creative and find ways to make customers smile or take note
The contact you and your staff have on customers will be vital to your success. Even the tiniest details count, such as how you answer the phone, your voicemail messages, and how the staff interacts with each other. When a customer visits, if staff members are gossiping openly about inappropriate subjects without getting on with their work, this will be noted. So too, will be the smart receptionist who greets them with a smile and arranges a coffee while they wait. How well your waiting area is arranged will also be noted. Grab their attention at the earliest possible opportunity. Make them feel welcome and comfortable.
When a customer has purchased a product or service, it doesn’t end there. Always follow up. Ask questions to find out how you did and whether you can help with anything else. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Find out what customers thought went well, and ask for suggestions for improvement. This information is invaluable and will help you to readjust and improve your offering.