When it comes to making a success of your small business, you really do need to bear in mind that effective communication with customers should be prioritised at all times. After all, these are the individuals who will be supplying you sales and a consequent profit! Here are a few different ways to make a success of this essential business practice!
The classic way to keep in touch with customers is by phone. Every small business should have a phone number listed on its website and storefront sign that customers can use to contact you with queries. However, it’s important to bear in mind that you should have Business Telephones and numbers that are for your business and for your business alone. So many business owners make the mistake of simply using their personal line for business. They think that they have this device on them all the time and consequently won’t miss notifications, messages, or calls. But this isn’t the case. Draw a line between your personal and professional life. This means you can turn your business phone off outside of hours, releasing you from the burden of constant calls. It also means that you won’t be distracted by personal conversations while you should be working!
One of the most effective ways of keeping in touch with your customers is via email, and this is why every small business should actively curate a mailing list. A mailing list is simply a list of customers who have given you their email address as well as permission to contact them. This can allow you to advertise to them and communicate messages to them on a casual basis, keeping them updated with offers, events, and more. Now, people are generally unlikely to hand over their email address for no reason – after all, who wants an inbox full of junk and spam? So, you may want to offer some sort of incentive for people signing up, as they’re u This incentive could be 10% off their first purchase or free delivery on their first purchase. This encourages people to spend as well as stay in touch! The easiest way to curate and keep on top of a mailing list is to install a signup form on your website and link the information to a company such as Mailchimp. They will then automatically collect all of the data submitted by people through sign up form and send out your custom designed newsletters and emails on an automated basis.
While mailing lists are great for directing information directly to customers, instant messaging is better suited for back and forth messages. So many sales are lost because a customer wants to find out further information about a product, but their email is directed to the wrong address or they have simply lost interest before they get their reply. Instant messaging gives a more immediate response rate – as long as you’re on the other end of the line, ready to answer, you won’t have to worry about missing sales. Generally speaking, it’s best to incorporate this as a pop up box at the bottom right hand corner of your website. It can be easily accessed here, but doesn’t interfere with the rest of your web design. Features that allow the potential customer to see when you are online and when you are typing a reply are beneficial, as it encourages them to stay online and on your website, rather than exiting the tab and taking their business to a competitor. Alternatively, you can communicate on an instant basis through your business Facebook page or Instagram page – just make sure your notifications are turned on!
There are people out there who will say business cards have had their day and are now outdated. But this is a huge mistake to make! You never know when you might meet your next big client. Sometimes the most casual of chats with a stranger can open up all sorts of new opportunities for you. So, it’s great to have something on hand to ensure that they can keep in touch with you. Sure, simply exchanging numbers, emails or social media addresses may seem like a cheap and equivalent alternative. But these details are easily lost amongst the mass of contact information that we tend to have stored on our devices. A business card gives them something tangible that they can keep in their wallet and access quickly and easily whenever they need.
Communication really is key when it comes to offering high-class customer service and maintaining a positive brand image in customers and potential customers’ minds. So, you really are best off investing in these areas which allow you to effectively keep in touch with the consumer market!
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