How do You Communicate with Your Customers Today?
It is no surprise that today’s buyers are overexposed and tough to reach. There are more media options available to consumers and more businesses competing for limited attention spans. Social platforms are a great place for brands to communicate with their customers and vice versa but what about phone calls or visiting in person? Interacting with your customers can go a long way in not only helping your brand but also bringing in additional customers. Selecting the correct medium can have a drastic impact on both the efficiency of your communication and the interpretation of your message. So here is the question: how do you best interact with your customers?
In-person communication has been the standard business practice for decades. The good news is those meetings are still effective – provided that you have the ability to meet! The advantages are pretty obvious: it is easier to build a relationship, no interruptions due to a dropped call or bad connection, fluid conversations, and you can read body language. There is one major disadvantage – we live in an age where it is extremely hard to get everyone gathered in one location at the same time.
Phone calls give you the freedom to be on a conference call while possibly multi-tasking or feverishly writing down notes without anybody watching. Another benefit is that several people can connect simultaneously and remotely. However there are a few downfalls to this method – sometimes people speak over each other, there is not a always record of the meeting, and there can be some technology hiccups – a dropped call or bad connection.
Email exchanges are fast and efficient. They allow you to have a message on the record, but they can be impersonal and subject to interpretation.
It is extremely important to keep your website up to date. When you hear of a new company what is the first thing you do? Google the company and figure out who they are through their website. Another good tip is to give your fans a reason to come back! You can do this by posting meaningful content and understanding your target audience.
Important tip: In the age where 80.8% of users read email on mobile devices (hubspot) it is important to have responsive design in both your emails and website.
Knowing your target audience is key. Not every social media platform will be a great fit for your company. It is important to focus on where you can reach your customer base. Marketing teams can then gain insight on their audience through social media networks. Social media networks like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are great for direct engagement with the customer. Twitter is where your customer service can shine – customers can directly mention a brand with a question, comment, or complaint. Facebook is a lot like Twitter, however there is a huge benefit that you are not limited to the 140 characters. LinkedIn is a great business network for one-to-one conversations with relevant group members. YouTube is one of the most frequently used social media – if you have relevant content to put on there, do it!
Not every place on the internet is made for brand interaction with customers. A good example of this is Pinterest – it’s more sharing between users and customers and it’s not really set up for brand interaction. Another good example is Google+ which is not widely used by consumers.
Every situation is unique. It is impossible to select one medium of communication that will best support all business needs. It isn’t important that you are on EVERY social media site as well as communicating through newsletters and having an online presence. What matters is that you are communicating effectively and most times that requires more than just one method of communication.