Getting to know your clients: best communication advice for businesses
We all know that it is good to talk, but when you hear this phrase do you just think about friends and family? Communication is our primary tool and we should use it in all of our relationships, business as well as personal.
Talking is good
Communication helps you to know and understand your clients, and in a world that is becoming increasingly faceless because of telecommunications, this is something that your clients most assuredly want. Clients have so much choice before them that they need a good reason to choose you over your competition. If you are not talking to them and understanding their needs, they will quite likely lose interest and find someone who will communicate with them.
So how do you improve the way you communicate with your clients? The first way is to respond to any inquiry they send you, and to do this within a 24-hour period. A client is not going to want to wait longer than a day to receive an answer to their inquiry, and may reject you if do not respond within this period. Even if your response is something generic, such as an acknowledgement of their inquiry and a promise to get back to them, ensure you give that response quickly.
The more you talk to your clients, the more you find out about what their interests are. This may help you to target your products or services, and of course, your marketing, thereby increasing sales. Increased profits achieved through improved communication can be on a small or a large scale. For instance, Lord Laidlaw, whose company sold for $1.4 billion, hosted conferences and training workshops, wherein the whole point was about communicating with people. His conferences brought people together in one place where they could share information and make new contacts. Both of these could help your business grow.
But what are the best ways to keep in touch? Emails mean that you do not have to talk to another person, but this does not mean they have to be impersonal. Always write a unique greeting when you send an email, even if the bulk of the writing is a pre-written template, and add a little of your own personality with an individual touch when you sign off. You can use video calls to have a face-to-face with someone without having to leave your desk, and these are a great way for your clients to put a face to your company. Of course, there is the old-fashioned way, talking on the telephone, and this still has its place in business, perhaps even more so as computer answering services face so much criticism from clients who dislike talking to machines.
Communication is vital in any relationship and failure to talk with your clients could make the difference between growing your business and struggling to survive. Always engage with your clients to keep them happy and keep your cash flow flowing.