Published on 16th September 2019
Communication is an essential part of business. You need to be there to answer your customer’s queries, respond to feedback, confirm orders and advise when items will be arriving. There are many reasons why businesses should maintain a good line of communication with customers and potential clients. Luckily, the technology available nowadays means that there’s no reason you can’t communicate well with your consumers.
Conversing regularly with your customers in a variety of ways will enable your business to run smoothly. There are so many channels you can use to stay in touch with them on a regular basis. Below, we’ve explored some ways your business can communicate with your consumers and, in particular, how you can use social media for this purpose.
Ways to communicate with customers
The telephone has been used for communication in UK homes and businesses since the early 20th century. Because of its longevity, it’s still the most popular way for businesses to speak directly to their customers. It’s also such a versatile form of communication for a business. You may be able to use the phone to get in touch with a customer about their order or about a problem, or you may be able to fill them in on a new product using an outbound service. Most customers are able to provide both a mobile and landline number, so you should be able to reach them even if they’re not at home.
However you choose to make use of a phone, it’s likely to remain a popular way of communicating for some time to come.
Not everyone likes to talk over the phone, making email the second most popular way for a business to contact its consumers. It is also a much more cost and time effective solution. For example, you could spend hours calling clients to tell them about a new sale, or instead, you could produce an email newsletter and automatically send it out to all of your subscribers. Everyone who has signed up to receive the newsletter will receive the information quickly and can even refer back to it as needed, saving you the time and effort of picking up the phone.
In addition, an email is a form of instant messaging, so the message can be received by your consumers within seconds.
Some companies still might not view social media as a form of communication, however, to the younger generation, it’s one of the most important. It isn’t just a way for them to get in touch with you, but it’s also a way for you to communicate easily with them. You may be able to share industry news, new products, a sale launch, inspiration and ideas, and much more.
It may be one of the easiest ways you can alert your customers to any changes to your company or your products. For example, if you run a small bakery and want to close for one day, social media is the best way to alert your customers that you won’t be open. Just write a simple status and ask your consumers to share it so other people are aware too.
Texting is being used more and more as a way to directly reach customers. Instead of sending a consumer an email with an offer code in, you can send them a text message instead. Some people may not check their emails regularly and might miss your flash sale. Instead, a text is more likely to be received. You could even encourage your consumers to get involved by responding to your text. For example, if you’re running a competition to win some money to spend in your store, the customer may be able to enter by simply responding ‘YES’ to your text message.
How has technology improved business communication?
Technology has greatly improved the way businesses can communicate with clients and vice versa. Before, everything was done via post or the telephone, but now, email, instant messaging and social media allow immediate communication.
Even technology such as Google Drive or Dropbox has improved the way your staff and employees can connect with each other. This software allows documents to be shared instantly with other members of staff, which allows work to be done faster and in a more efficient way.
How businesses use social media to communicate with customers
Social media has become a huge part of business. Ideally, every single company should have a Facebook and a Twitter account. For some companies, Instagram is a must-have too.
Social media enables you to share information and engage with your customers, but without necessarily selling your products all the time. Social media should be seen as a way to develop your company’s personality. A great example of this is Innocent, the company behind Innocent Smoothies. Their account is very humorous and tongue-in-cheek, but with nearly 300k followers, it’s evident that this approach works.
Social channels are also a way for you to share any flash sales, interesting industry news, product ideas or inspiration, blog posts, and much more. It provides you with a creative channel that should be used in such a way to gain your following and enable more people to see your posts and products.
You should try to be as active as you can on your channels. Try to post regularly to Facebook and Twitter. You should also make sure that your posts are easy to share and that you always respond to comments, questions and complaints in a professional manner.