Stats don’t lie – with better communication, you can prevent as much as 2/3 of customer churn! But, for this to happen, you will probably need to revamp your customer communication approach.
This actionable guide will help you exactly with that – our 5 step process will help you polish your customer communication, making sure your messaging remains on point, no matter where the customer is in the life cycle.
Step #1: Zero-in on your audience
Before communicating anything, you first need to have a clear and detailed picture of the person you want to speak to. In other words, you need to define your buyer persona.
Understanding your buyer persona – their age, occupation, education, goals, motivation for buying, and problems they want to solve with their purchase – will help you pinpoint your marketing efforts. If you know exactly who you want to speak to, it will become so much easier to streamline your messages on all platforms. It will help you pick a tone for your articles, social media posts and even help you make better design choices.
Only after you spend time defining buyer persona(s) and figuring out how your products and services help that person can you communicate your messages to them. As you are about to see, if you do a good job defining the buyer persona in detail, the communication steps that are about to follow will not be complicated.
Step #2: Be transparent
Avoid meaningless phrases
When communicating with your audience and potential customers, you want to remain open from the get-go. Don’t pretend to be something you are not – if you are new on the market, use it to your advantage, and communicate how your new take will be a breath of fresh air. Putting “experience” as your go-to message just because it sounds good and others use it will not be the best idea.
Also, avoid cliches. Using the same phrases you see all over the internet will make people think your company is just another cookie-cutter solution reseller. There’s God knows how many bespoke solutions coming from companies that wanted to do something impactful and provide value while disrupting.
Using cheap phrases and copying your competitors (who also copied their competitors) will make you all look like clones. Instead, directly tell your buyer personas how you can help them and do the same across all of the communication platforms you use.
Transparency attracts the right audience
Don’t pretend you are perfect, but share the genuine story behind the brand and how you started it to help people who fit your ideal buyer description. If you are direct, consistent, and transparent, some of the audience will relate. Then, they will be more likely to choose your brand over the competition, even if the competitors are in the business for longer and have cheaper products.
Admit when you are wrong
Even though you want your products and services to be the best, things sometimes don’t go as planned, which is entirely normal. When that happens, it’s important to accept the problem and openly work on the solution. This is where many business owners make a mistake, trying to hide the weakness, pretending they are perfect, which can annoy customers.
Therefore, if your store has a bug that led to lost purchases and customer complaints, openly write about it on Twitter. Tell everyone how the problem is fixed and how their orders will now go through.
You can even create handwritten notes telling customers how you appreciate their feedback and patience and offer them a discount on their next purchase. They will appreciate seeing that you care about their opinion and will be glad to return to your store again.
Limit false expectations
Transparent communication will also improve your customer satisfaction. If you don’t promise something you can’t deliver, customers will know exactly what to expect. And, what’s even more important, they will get what they pay for.
This means your open messaging will only attract customers who genuinely need your product and want to buy it from you, which will show later in great feedback and customer testimonials.
Step #3: Be prompt
While the quality of your messages is important, when it comes to customer communication, speed is crucial. This is especially important when you are providing customer support but it’s true for your marketing efforts as well. As an efficient method, most business acquire toll-free numbers and keep in touch with customers more effectively by cutting time on sending text messages.
Ideally, you want to have someone around 24/7, especially if you have an international customer base. However, if that’s impossible or too expensive for you, there are a few steps you can take to make sure your customer communication remains prompt:
- ALWAYS respond within 24h – this is an absolute must. If you can, you should reply in less than 8-12 hours. Not replying to tickets, comments, or emails within a day is one of the best ways to lose customers directly to your competition. If you don’t respond in time, they will.
- Work on your chatbots – everyone has a chatbot, but most companies only use it to collect emails, which can annoy and chase away a potential customer. Therefore, spend some time working on the chatbot. It should contain answers to the most common questions but also have several paths based on visitor feedback – not everyone wants to jump straight to your pricing page.
- Add FAQ, tutorials, free resources – while your chatbot should answer some basic questions, having a detailed FAQ section will not only help customer communication but will cut hours off your support time. The same goes for having tutorials, how-to blog articles, and YouTube videos demonstrating your products in detail. While these serve primarily for support, they will also help your potential customers see how your products and services can help them.
Step #4: Ask customers what they want to see
First, let us answer the question – “what is customer feedback“? This may be one of the most important questions you can ask. Customer reviews, both positive and negative, are an integral part of any company’s marketing strategy. While it may seem that marketing is a lot about guessing what your ideal customer wants and needs, asking them directly what they think about your products is the shortest method of removing that guesswork.
With proper customer feedback software, you’ll be able to collect opinions unobtrusively. Because your customers can simply click on an answer without leaving the page, they will be more likely to do it, which means you will get feedback from more users, more often.
You can also create surveys and social media polls. These are not only excellent for engagement, but a great way to get ideas from the comments and the discussions, too, as these can lead you to find weak points in your product that you didn’t know about.
Step #5: Follow up
Focusing only on a customer acquisition strategy is a common mistake, and smaller businesses and those just starting are especially prone to this. Yes, it’s hard when you are new and are operating on razor-thin margins. But you still need to focus on delivering to the customers you converted, not just on trying to get new ones in.
To make sure everything went as planned, send a follow-up email to your new customer a week after they made the purchase. In it, you should list some of the frequently asked questions new customers might have and links to helpful tutorials and use cases that can help them get familiar with the product.
You can also send them a survey, and if they are really satisfied, ask them to leave a testimonial or an opinion on popular review websites. This is one of the best ways to earn social proof, helping you win more customers in the future.
Besides following up with new customers, you should also reach out to the old ones, from time to time, or even those who are no longer your customers. Do this whenever you have something new to share – product upgrades, sales, and special promotions are always an excellent opportunity to reach out to your email list.
It’s essential to nurture your relationships, which will not only help you keep existing customers for longer but might even convince former ones to come back and subscribe to your products and services again.
Over to you
Maintaining a good relationship with your customers isn’t complicated, but it does require a consistent effort. For that reason, establishing customer communication standards across the whole lifecycle is very important.
It will help you establish your brand identity and make sure you are communicating to (potential) customers in a clear and transparent way.
Improving conversions, customer satisfaction, and retention, cutting support time, increasing social media engagement, earning social proof – are just some of the potential benefits of better communication with your customers.
Therefore, implement what you’ve learned from our guide, as it has the potential to pay off big time, sooner rather than later. Thanks for reading!
About the author:
David Wachs – A serial entrepreneur, David’s latest venture, Handwrytten, is bringing back the lost art of letter writing through scalable, robot-based solutions that write your notes in pen. Developed as a platform, Handwrytten lets you send notes from your CRM system, such as Salesforce, the website, apps, or through custom integration. Used by major meal boxes, eCommerce giants, nonprofits, and professionals, Handwrytten is changing the way brands and people connect.