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In today’s increasingly connected world, your business can communicate with customers and prospective clients in multiple ways. Although there are a variety of marketing tools and channels available, one of the most effective ways to communicate nowadays is directly with your customer.
Personalized communication helps build good customer relationships and can improve brand perception. It sounds simple, but honing in on the best ways to talk to your customers and prospects is one of the most important areas on which to focus.
Here’s how to take advantage of new marketing communication opportunities in today’s world:
1. Figure out how your customers want to be reached
Even with individualized communication strategies, there are plenty of methods for customer communication. Each client might be different, but it is worth finding out whether your customer prefers email over telephone calls, for example.
Although you might be able to discern the best method through experience, direct inquiry is efficient and certain. Simply ask your clients what they prefer. An online survey is an effective method for this kind of inquiry.
To create a survey that’s more likely to provide useful responses, follow these tips:
- Use non-leading questions that are phrased as simply and specifically as possible.
- Multiple choice or ranking questions are especially useful here. For example, you can ask customers to rank their preferred communications methods out of several provided options.
- Include a question that asks for additional input on the customer’s communication preferences and give them a text box with sufficient space to write a few sentences.
- Don’t forget to add an inducement to your survey to increase response rates. A discount code or extended trial period for your own products or services is ideal because it helps target your survey’s responses more narrowly to those who are interested in what your company does.
Testing different methods and seeing what works best is also a good way to figure out how to talk to your customers. Evaluate two methods against each other — for example, texting and email — based on their open or response rates, over an extended period. The answers will help you spend your marketing budget more effectively by focusing on improvements and optimization accordingly.
There is nothing wrong with using multiple methods, but you should choose one as your primary form of communication. Being comfortable with a primary channel will create consistency and simplify matters considerably.
2. Consider texting
Texting or SMS marketing has become one of the most popular communication methods. Many people are constantly on their phones, and sending a text to your customer can be a simple way to stand out. Texting is generally more convenient for everyone involved and is worth considering as a form of communication.
This tends to work for many businesses that benefit from communicating with a client on short notice, such as hair salons and restaurants. From updates and reminders to discount codes and questions, you can organize everything from your phone and if needed, your customer can always reach you. Texting helps preserve your time and communicate with your customers and prospects as efficiently as possible. To make the most of SMS marketing:
- Keep your messages short and succinct.
- Always include a clear call-to-action for each message.
- Don’t overdo it. Send messages when you have a clear purpose or campaign to pursue.
- Use exclusive offers when you’re texting your existing customers. It helps persuade them that allowing your company into their texts was worthwhile and encourages more brand loyalty.
3. Explore all options
Although primary forms of communication like texting, calling or emailing are effective, there might be a better way to reach your customers. That’s why it’s usually worth exploring other available options.
That might be Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, a chatbot on your website or some other channel. Finding the best option through a cost-benefit analysis is worth your time as it can help you find the right combination of methods to communicate with your clients. It’ll also help you identify the method of communication that works best in specific contexts, which might vary.
4. Be open to change
One method of communication may work best for you, but remain open to change as you work with your customers. As your business grows, you can expect the number of customers and your business priorities may change.
Take the time to periodically reevaluate the method you are using. Try alternative forms of communication to ensure that the method you’re using is still the most effective one.
It’s all about standing out
Evolving technologies and global developments present countless opportunities to market and advertise your brand. However, taking the time to reach out to your customers yourself and communicate personally can be one of the best ways to retain customers and keep you in tune with how your business is doing.
Standing out as a business can be difficult, especially in a crowded market. Although reliability and consistency remain integral in effective customer communications, the method you choose matters. Recognize that the needs of your customers and your business are constantly changing, and work to keep improving.
Related: What to Do If a Client Ghosts You