Being Open/Available to Communication
We all know the importance of communicating with our customers…but do you give equal credence to being available for your customers to communicate with YOU?!
In the age of technology, consumers expect instant access to information. Be it good/bad thing (we’ll let you decide), we’re seeing a growing culture of impatience and the desire for instant gratification.
So, for competitive advantage and to earn a reputation for excellent customer service, being available has never been more important.
Thankfully, we have a few nifty tricks to help conquer the demand for convenience!
When it comes to being available, technology is your ally. There are so many ways to invite your customers to get in touch (some of which can save you a lot of investment – in terms of time and money).
Here are some ideas to get those cogs whirring…
1 Add a ‘live chat’ to your website
Adding a live chat function to your website is much simpler than you might imagine and there are several free or very affordable options on the market.
2. Offer video conferencing/remote meetings
Using services such as Skype or Zoom are a great way to make face to face ‘meetings’ easier, faster and more accessible.
3. Invite your customers to contact you via social media
With so many users, being available to communicate with your customers on social media makes absolute sense. Plus…it’s free.
4. Redirect calls to your mobile
If there’s no one available to take your office calls, redirect your line to a mobile. If a customer doesn’t get through by phone, they’re likely to move on to a competitor.
5. Use an answering service
Similarly, if you can’t take your office calls, and it’s not practical to redirect to a mobile, consider using an answering service so that you never miss an opportunity.
6. Access emails on your phone
Having access to emails whilst away from your desk means you’re always equipped to respond to urgent queries.
7. Have a contact form on your website
Your website is likely to be the first thing your potential customers look at. Having a simple, clear contact form enables them to get in touch when you’re on their mind!
8. Use WhatsApp or text messaging
For a whole variety of reasons (including preference or disability), many people prefer to contact businesses via text message (or WhatsApp). Offering this form of communication removes barriers.
We hope you’ve found these ideas useful/thought-provoking but if you have any questions or would like our advice or help with any of the points mentioned, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
And finally, before we wrap things up, we have a few caveats/extra pointers…
- We’re not suggesting that you should be available 24 hours a day. Boundaries (such as opening hours) are perfectly fine…if they are clearly communicated!
- If you’re inviting a certain type of communication, please ensure you have the resources to deal with it. We wouldn’t recommend something like live chat unless you have someone to man it (it’s more frustrating for customers to be offered a communication method that doesn’t work).
- Some methods of communication lend themselves to certain types of business. Consider what YOUR customers might expect/want.
- Asking your customers for their communication preferences is a great idea. You may find that some prefer text communication, whilst others prefer a telephone conversation.
Until next time!