We have created cities, computers, and have launched ourselves into outer space, and it was all thanks to communication. Our ability to work creatively with one another and share ideas, is what sets us apart as a species. It is also how you can set yourself apart as a business. Customers want to feel engaged with, even if how they engage differs from person to person.
Some prefer getting in touch directly with a customer service representative. They feel that when a person is on the job, the job gets done faster and their complaints are taken more seriously. Others want nothing more than to just send a few text messages to get their issue sorted once and for all.
There are many different communication channels available for businesses but adding them is not enough. You need this guide to improve your entire digital communication strategy and improve your customer service as a result.
Create a Great Brand Persona
When people talk to a representative or to your business’ social media accounts, they expect a singular response. They do not want conflicting information and, in many ways, they do not want different personas or tones of voice. Your business needs to appear uniform and ready to go, and if it is not then your business will suffer.
That is why when it comes to improving your communication strategy the first thing that you need to do is create a strong and easy to use brand persona.
You can even add character elements, like slogans or turns of phrase, that everyone on your communication team can use to appear more uniform to customers and visitors.
Customers are aware there is someone behind the curtain, of course, but if you can convince them that there is just one person, rather than a whole team, then you will build your business’ communication credibility.
Train Your Employees
Having a brand persona is just the mask that everyone on your communication or marketing team puts on. That does not mean they will always know what to say or even how to handle difficult customers. People can be mean, they can be even worse when they feel that there is a level of anonymity to the interaction.
Though it is easy to just tell your employees to suck it up and not allow it to bother them, you must go in with the assumption that there will eventually be a customer that cuts deep. By having contingency plans, for example a supervisor for your employees to go to when the complaint has turned to harassment, you can protect and safeguard your employees.
In most situations, however, training your employees in how to handle upset customers and training them in what to say in a variety of situations is more than enough to keep customers happy, and to make things easier for your employees.
Having a manual or other easy-to-search solution for problems is a great way to ensure that all of your employees offer the same solution, and having a wellness system in place for when that is not enough can put a healthy buffer that allows your employees to always give it their all.
Make it Easy to Manage Conversations
Having multiple communication channels is great when it comes to giving your customers options, but it can become a nightmare sooner than you are prepared for if you do not have an omnichannel sales and support tool on your side. With the right tool you should be able to connect all of your conversations and access them all from one access point.
This way you can chat with visitors on the go, you can open up complaints and job tickets no matter where you are, and with the right tool can do all of this from your iPhone or Android.
When choosing an omnichannel chat support tool, you do want to make sure that it integrates into your CRM. If it does not, then there is a lot of essential information that will either need to be manually inputted or lost.
Communication Does not Always Have to Be Serious
If the only time you communicate to customers is when they have a problem, then you have failed. There are so many great ways to communicate and keep in touch that do not involve fixing problems.
Your Emails and Newsletters
Emails and newsletters are excellent ways to keep in touch with your customers. To really wow them, however, you will need to have a few different offerings. Some customers may prefer more business news, others may prefer style guides or notices of sales. By allowing them to pick and choose what newsletters they subscribe to, you can foster a better relationship while also putting them in charge.
On Social Media
There are many ways to communicate with your customers on social media. From quizzes and other fun games, to talking to them directly. There are many great ways to improve the overall impression of your brand to your customers (and to everyone who sees them).
When using social media think of it as reaching out, rather than responding. Social media is your opportunity to direct the conversation and is a great way at improving your own brand image.
Collaborating with others is another great way to improve your communication strategy. Being interviewed by news outlets or podcasters is a great choice, for example. Alternatively, you can work or partner with another brand and advertise that.
The fact is your communication strategy will always be a mix between a marketing and sales strategy, and just good old talking. From problem solving to having conversations about your brand with customers or visitors, communication is key.
Your digital communication needs to improve. You need better tools, you need better training, and you need to expand the strategy you have in place. You need to direct where the conversation goes, so do not just leave your communication strategy to be reactive. Be proactive! It is great to foster strong relationships with your customers and can help you stand out as a great brand.