How to Improve Communication with Customers in Business
Taylor Pettis March 24th, 2021
As business continues to grow and adapt to the challenges of a post-2020 world, so too does the landscape of how to reach your customers effectively. There are a lot of ways to improve communication with customers in business to be sure you are attracting new clients, all while retaining existing ones, by relating to them in a way that is meaningful for them and productive for your company.
Your customers have high expectations of your business. Meeting those expectations is doing great business. Customers are willing to spend 17% more money on a product or service if they know that they will have a better experience. Constantly improving your customer communication skills plays a major role in meeting those customer expectations.
This is the foundation on which your business is built, so you can never learn too much. Read on to discover why customer communication is so important for your business and what you can do to improve your communication skills and achieve a better performance for your clients.
Why Is Communicating With Customers Important?
Communicating with your customers on a regular basis and working on driving engagement can help your business be more profitable. Discover the key reasons why customer communication is important for your business.
1. Customers Have High Expectations
Your company’s customer service is one area where your customers will always have high expectations. They’re also willing to pay more to receive better service which meets their expectations.
Customers have different wants and needs than they did just a few years ago. These days, they want speed and convenience. They want to be able to log onto an app or web portal and handle the issue themselves.
This cuts out the time needed to try to reach someone and wait for an answer. They want to be able to find the relevant information they need when they need it.
2. Customers Will Talk About Negative Experiences
No matter what you do, people will talk about your business.
After a bad experience, 40% of customers will recommend their friends and family not to interact with that brand. It takes only one bad experience with customer communication for 33% of clients to leave your brand. Some of these dissatisfied customers will also share their experience in a negative review.
When people post reviews online, others will use those reviews as part of their buying decision. About 90% of customers will be influenced by an online review prior to making a purchase. Poor reviews can have a huge impact on your ability to close customers.
3. Higher Brand Loyalty
Consumers who are satisfied with your customer service and overall communications are more likely to become brand ambassadors than ones who aren’t.
They’re likely to become loyal to your brand, which will lead to improved retention. With a higher customer retention rate, your sales team is under less pressure to replace lost customers with new ones.
That is why so many companies are on a churn and burn cycle, where they can never get enough business. They can stem the bleeding by providing better service all the way through the customer journey.
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Why You Need to Eliminate a Weak Communication
Placing a clear focus on constantly improving customer communication in your business will drive your company to success. Not only is this important for meeting your customers’ needs and expectations, but it is essential for your employees as well.
Eighty-six percent of staff members percent of staff at U.S. companies experience communication issues. These problems lead to missed deadlines, a drop in productivity, and sales deals that fall through. Don’t let communication issues cause your business growth to falter. Here are five reasons effective communication is important to your business and future growth.
TO SEAL THE DEAL
For successful business growth, your sales team needs to clearly communicate your business, company values, and goals to potential clients. Business owners and executives also need to know how to communicate with potential investors.
When you focus on improving customer communication in your business, any member of your team can seal the deal without faltering. That way, your company doesn’t miss out on opportunities for business growth.
It’s also important for your sales team to get to the point quickly to close these deals. This will ensure that every member of your team is capable of clearly describing your business at its core. That way, people don’t begin to hear a mixed message about what your company is and what you do.
TO HAVE CLARITY IN YOUR BUSINESS
From customers to employees, everyone’s bound to have questions about your business. Knowing how to answer these questions in a clear, concise manner is essential for business growth.
This includes knowing how to explain company policies to both customers and employees. That way you can develop a clear picture of your company.
Effective communication is also key when answering questions about your product, service, or company culture.
Your sales team will need to know how to effectively and efficiently answer questions as well. They can communicate their knowledge during negotiations to achieve business goals.
TO MAINTAIN WORK RELATIONSHIPS
According to Forbes, 79 percent of employees will leave their job due to a lack of appreciation in the workplace.
Fostering positive work relationships with your staff is essential for optimal business growth. Learn how to show your appreciation and speak with your staff professionally but warmly.
If you neglect work relationships at your company, your employees will leave. This will cause a high employee turnaround, which makes it difficult for your company to maintain consistency and efficiency.
By working on improving your internal communications as well as your external ones, you can improve morale and culture throughout the company.
This will also help you drive productivity. As a result, your company can work at its best and boost overall business growth.
TO CONNECT WITH CUSTOMERS
Connecting with your customers is just as important as connecting with your company’s employees.
Business communication trends prioritize customer engagement. Companies can get customers excited about the business, products, or service using these trends.
For example, more companies are now turning tos social media. Using Facebook and Instagram, you can get customers abuzz about your business to drive interest and engagement.
Here are six customer communication examples to help you develop an edge when communicating with customers. Mmake your customers happier and improve their loyalty to your business.
TO BUILD YOUR BRAND
Communication in business is also important when you’re trying to build your brand.
You can make it easier for customers to emotionally connect with your company, product, or service. Find out more about building your brand’s voice and tone.
13 Ways to Improve Customer Communication in Business
Now that you recognize why communication with customers and employees is important to your business success, it’s time to put it into practice. Here are 13 ways to improve customer communication across your company.
1. Create a System
The first step to improving customer communications in your business is to map out the entire customer experience. This will transcend departments as customers move through marketing channels, to sales channels, to customer service, and operations.
With your map of the customer journey and experience, you’ll want to point out the various forms of communication that they will come into contact with.
For example, early in the customer experience, a customer will interact with your company’s website and social media channels. After they’ve made a purchase, you may ask them for a review or testimonial or they may need to hear from your customer service team.
You’ll need to map out each touch point along with the team responsible for that touchpoint. By assigning roles and responsibilities, you’re empowering your staff to do their part to improve customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
2. Automate as Much as Possible
Managers want to increase productivity while maintaining a high level of communication with their customers. As you look at your customer experience map, you can decide which items can be automated and which ones require a personalized interaction.
You may find that marketing interactions such as email responses can be automated, while customer service calls require hands-on interaction from the staff. When you find ways to automate your communications, you ensure that they’re effective because they’re consistent. You’re making sure that customer communications occur regularly instead of falling through the cracks.
3. Find Your Audience
It’s very easy to assume that all of your customers are looking at their phones all the time. While it may seem true just by looking around a room at any given time, your audience may be reached more effectively through other channels.
Companies that target millennials will find that quick touchpoints like text messages will be enough to reach them. Baby boomers or Gen Xers, meanwhile, may need more information to make a decision. Case studies are a great example of providing reinforcement about your company’s products and services to a prospective baby boomer or Gen X customer.
Your job is to understand how your customers prefer to communicate and reach out to them through those channels.
Find out more about Personalizing Communications with CCM
4. Welcome Feedback and Use It to Your Advantage
To improve customer communications in your business, you need to pay attention to what your clients need from you. You communicate with your customers, you listen when they provide feedback, and you adjust.
Not all customers are going to provide feedback, which is why data is important. You want to be able to see reports that show what forms of communication are working, which ones aren’t, and make decisions accordingly.
5. Make Authenticity Your Company’s North Star
Technology has made it so that a lot of everyday business we conduct veers toward impersonal and often not involving a human being. Because of this, it’s easy to become habitually transactional about the way you conduct business.
Scratch that thought process and make authenticity your company’s biggest customer service goal. This immediately makes you stand out from companies that are only focused on analytics and hitting their numbers.
In the spirit of authenticity, don’t just stop communicating with a customer after you’ve gotten the sale. Instead, follow up with them and provide post-sale customer service when necessary — even if you don’t get paid a dime.
Customers need to know for a fact that when they do business with you, their purchase buys them satisfaction at every phase and throughout the job getting done correctly and completely.
Treat each customer interaction as a case-by-case matter, and always do what you can to create a personal connection.
6. Have a Consistent Online Presence
Today’s customer is constantly bombarded with information, so you’ll need to make sure that yours stands out. To significantly improve customer communication in your business, you have to put information out consistently and across several outlets, but make sure that the quality of this content is top notch.
Putting out guest blogs and interviews not only helps you to cross-promote but also gets your voice out among new and different platforms. You would also do well to put out video content or to even helm a YouTube channel. Embrace every form of social media that makes sense for your company and grow your online presence one piece of content at a time.
7. Respond to Customer Problems and Concerns Head-on to Solve the Issue
Since transparency builds long-term relationships with your customers, make sure to address each and every customer problem with your full attention and consideration. Not only will that improve your business’ customer communications, but it will have a far-reaching effect on the customer relationship.
Your clients don’t expect you to be perfect; they just need you to own mistakes and fix issues if they come along. As such, address every issue quickly and head-on so your customers know that you are taking the matter seriously, that you plan to resolve it, and that you will keep them updated every step of the way.
8. Play the Infinite Game
The best way to do right by your customers is to play what author Simon Sinek calls an Infinite game. What this means is that your company lives by its own personal mission statement of providing a service or fulfilling a need in a way that impacts lives for the foreseeable future.
When your company thinks in these terms, ebbs, and flows of business are to be expected. This long-term approach keeps you from panicking or making short-sighted decisions and will help you instead make choices that always have the good of the customer base in mind.
This quality-first approach sharpens your company’s ethics, which inspires customer loyalty and makes them gladly spend more money with you as opposed to another company out of a sense of principle.
9. Make Use of Analytics
Though your customer approach should always be rooted in qualitative relationship-building, don’t write science off either. Using analytics and customer experience software shows you raw data on your customer’s demographics, needs, and trends, while also giving undeniable evidence about what is working and what isn’t working.
Once you have access to the data, you can then begin creating communication strategies that are more effective, and with far less time and effort wasted.
10. Actively Listen to Customers
Active listening is important when developing communication with your customers in business. Show that you’re paying attention to whoever is speaking by using verbal and nonverbal cues. This will help the speaker recognize you’re giving them your undivided attention and care about what they have to say.
11. Learn to Read Non-Verbal Siganals
In addition to active listening, knowing how to read and use non-verbal signals can improve your communication. Non-verbal signals include your posture and gestures. Show people you’re open and listening by leaning forward with interest. Make sure not to turn your head away when they speak. This applies to face-to-face meetings as well as Zoom calls.
Maintaining eye contact can show the speaker you’re listening and attentive. That way, they know your interest isn’t divided between them and something or someone else in the room.
Gestures can show you’re listening as well. For communication in business, nod your head to show you’re paying attention. A few negative non-verbals signals include: closing your fists, folding your arms, rolling your eyes, shrugging, or imitating someone. These negative signals can hinder business growth and end the conversation with your customers.
12. Mind Different Points of View
Everyone’s opinion is a little different. Instead of arguing or telling someone they’re wrong, give them a chance and it will improve your company’s customer communications.
Different points of view are actually good for your business. You can develop new ideas you wouldn’t have considered before. This will help keep your company creative and constantly producing a competitive advantage within your industry.
13. Assertiveness & Self-Confidence
Assertiveness is an essential skill to master for improving customer communications. Being assertive doesn’t mean being aggressive. Rather, it allows you to form a statement using “I” language to describe what you feel or perceive.
Assertiveness can help boost your self-confidence. This will also alter how quickly you speak, as well as your tone, pitch, and accent. With self-confidence, you can capture the attention of everyone in the room while showing people you aren’t to be taken advantage of.
Create Lasting Impressions With Your Customers
As you can see, the customer connection that you create and sustain is always your company’s most valuable asset, so learning how to improve customer communications in your business means reaching for success.
When you have a strong relationship with your customers, your company stands a better chance of thriving for years to come. This is a constant conversation, and the tips above will help you hone it.
To get help with any sort of customer communication, look no further than the solutions that we’ve been providing companies for years. If your company needs help with its customer engagement, contact us to learn about the products we offer or request a demo to try them out for yourself!