The way you communicate with customers has a direct impact on your company's success and creates a competitive advantage that cannot be ignored. It is therefore critical for every company to develop a good strategy for customer communication and to address the following topics. Always keep in mind: 'The customer is king'!
There are countless communication channels available to companies when communicating with customers. Not every channel is relevant and useful for every company, so it is important that you find the right channels for your company in order to improve customer communication in a targeted manner.
The quality of customer contact - and therefore the satisfaction of your customers - depends not least on the strategically correct selection of channels relevant to the brand. It is important to see the topic of customer communication as a whole: Your products and services can be perceived many times more positively by establishing certain rules and guidelines that positively influence customer communication.
LinkedIn, for example, is a frequently used channel in B2B business, while Instagram is used more in the B2C sector. However, a wide variety of products and services now find a home on both platforms (or even more), but the content communicated is often slightly adapted as the target audience has different characteristics.
Using different channels is very time-consuming. But you have to take this time to be successful in your communication. If resources are limited, it can therefore make sense to focus on just a few channels.
For example, if a Facebook channel is not properly maintained (e.g. no response to complaints in comments), this can quickly have a negative impact on the company's image and deter new customers from shopping with you.
What is the goal of my communication? Different channels are suitable for different objectives. So adapt your messages to the respective channel and the target group you are addressing in order to deliver maximum added value in your customer communication.
How do I communicate? There is no general answer to this question for every company. It very much depends on who your customers are and what life situation (private vs. professional) they are currently in. Customers usually already have an expectation of communication with companies and if this is not met, they are quickly annoyed (for example, being addressed as "you" when it was expected that they would be addressed as "you") and your company's image can suffer as a result.
Especially in unpleasant situations such as complaints, it is important to find the right tone to avoid adding fuel to the fire.
Face-to-face: You meet your customers face-to-face in your brick-and-mortar store. Every communication with staff on site is directly attributed to your company. It is therefore particularly important to train employees who are in direct contact with customers.
Telephone: In many companies, the telephone is an essential channel for good customer service. It is particularly important to take customer feedback seriously and find customer-oriented solutions. As we all know, customer conversations are often recorded for analysis and improvement purposes (with prior consent, of course).
Emails: Whether transactional emails (order confirmation, shipping confirmation, etc.) or marketing emails (newsletters) - especially in online retail, a large part of communication with customers takes place via this popular channel. Customer loyalty goes beyond the point of purchase: email marketing enables excellent post-purchase support for your customers, for example with automated feedback requests two weeks after the purchase.
Social media: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Xing, TikTok, Snapchat, BeReal, Threads, ... Depending on which social network your target group is on, you should also be present with different information about your company. Social media should not be used as a one-way communication channel, but rather as a continuous exchange between you and your customers or between customers themselves.
Chatbots, live chats and messenger services are often already integrated into social networks and can offer additional added value. It's important to establish clear rules about who is responsible for which support tasks.
SMS: The option of sending SMS messages is often forgotten by companies. Yet this channel is highly effective. Think about it yourself - do you have unread text messages that you simply ignore? Of all the tips for good customer communication and successful customer retention, this is probably the one that is most often overlooked.
Push messages: Similar to SMS, but a little less "intrusive" are push messages. Customers consciously choose to receive push messages because they expect added value, such as regular information about the company (so-called opt-in).
Push messages are also highly effective and have a direct impact on sales, as they are also consciously perceived by customers. A prerequisite for sending push notifications is an app that enables this technology - read more about this in the linked article.
The quintessence of good, consistent customer communication is that every touchpoint with customers is synergistically connected. The days when customers only used one communication channel are long gone, which is why it is all the more important to think about the customer experience across multiple channels.
Keyword: omni-channel marketing. If you use more than one channel for your customer communication, you should definitely look into the topic of omni-channel. And let's be honest: every company uses at least two channels to stay in contact with customers, even the small grocer next door (e.g. face-to-face, telephone).
There is enormous potential in customer communication that many companies are not even beginning to exploit. In any case, a good start is to focus on the channels that your customers already use and prefer.
Your target group may prefer service via chat and not want to contact you by phone. You may not reach your customers through traditional marketing channels such as TV, radio or direct mail, but rather individually and personalized via digital channels such as email, push notifications or SMS - so consider your customer communication from different angles.
However, one thing is certain: investing time in a targeted communication strategy for successful customer communication is always worthwhile.