We totally get how overwhelming it can be to get a handle on effective customer communication these days. How much should you communicate? When should you send it? Where do you share messages? And what should you actually say? Phew.
It’s vital to keep communication open with customers so they’re up-to-date with the latest services and any changes to your business, especially with all of the updates required due to COVID-19.
Smart customer communication will keep your current customers happy and help you stay top-of-mind with prospects. The end game? A good communication plan can bring in more new and repeat customers, sales and reviews.
Here are a few key areas to focus on to make sure you’re sending the most effective message at the most optimal time and location.
When & How Much Is Enough?
Keep in mind that as long as we need to social distance and that has an effect on customers in your business, it’s OK to over-communicate.
If you need to change your hours, services, require masks or even temporarily close, you should let your customers know through your website, email and social media as soon as the change occurs.
Another great practice is to communicate during key customer touch points. In other words, let your customer’s interaction with your business be the guide. Send a message during any and all of these moments:
- Email a thank you when they first become a customer
- Shoot them a text to confirm an upcoming appointment
- Send an email or text to remind them to reschedule (especially if you offer routine services like haircuts, pet grooming, oil changes, housecleaning, etc.)
- Ask for a review after you’ve completed a service
- Drop an email to wish them a happy birthday
How Thryv can help: With an end-to-end client experience platform like Thryv, with marketing automation capabilities, all of these ideas can be set up to send automatically, which will save you tons of time.
Where Should Messages Go?
Pay attention to where your customers are interacting with you most, and adjust your communication style. You may prefer jumping on a phone call, but texting is quickly becoming the preferred venue for consumers of all ages. Providing them with two-way texting makes it easy to keep the dialog going.
Additionally, with small business activity increasing on social media, more customers are using comments, replies, tagging and direct messaging to ask questions, give a shout-out or list a gripe.
The key for the business owner is to respond quickly with an acknowledgement or answer for the customer on their chosen channel.
If you receive a lot of the same questions or comments over social messaging, maybe consider addressing some of them in a social media post or email that you send to all of your customers.
An up-to-date Frequently Asked Questions web page will make it easy for customers to find the answers on their own, if they’re not the out-going type.
How Thryv can help: A unique aspect of the Thryv platform is the Client Portal, which gives your client direct access to you. Plus, since Thryv’s robust CRM captures all emails and texts you share with a customer, you can find it all in one place.
What Should I Say?
A good rule of thumb is to send a handful of non-sales messages before you’ve earned the right to send a sales or promotion message. Think of ways to make your customers smile, teach them something new or inspire them.
Do you own a car detailing service? Post a picture of a beautiful car they could aspire to own. Same goes for any sort of pet-related business. Post puppy pics. Lots and lots of puppy pics!
It’s vital to remain true to yourself in any email, text or social media post. If your business is casual, drop in an emoji or two. Whatever you think your customers would expect to hear from you.
It’s a good time to reiterate: Respond to both negative or positive comments and reviews. You’ll be seen as a responsive business owner who cares. This is crucial not only to the customer who posted the original comment, but from customers who will see it in the future. As customers turn to online research more and more, this is becoming increasingly important.
How Thryv can help: Thryv makes it easy for you to preload social media posts and schedule a day, week or month at a time. Our libraries also provide email, text and social templates to streamline the process and give you plenty of thought-starters when writer’s block hits!