As an entrepreneur, if you do not communicate properly with customers you will lose them in no time. Businesses use many different ways and tools to communicate with customers. No matter which is your favourite tool for communication, you have to comply with the corporate standards and branding.
An effective communication system is also necessary to attain your business goals. No matter if you are a big multinational corporation or just a new start-up, it is important to set realistic and measurable goals to evaluate your achievements. Below are a few tools that can be used to enhance the effectiveness of a communication system:
Face to face
This is perhaps the most effective way of communicating. As more new electronic communication systems are springing up every day, face to face communication can easily fall by the wayside. Though emails, instant messages and voicemails communicate faster, none of them have the personal touch of a face to face meeting.
Smile and shake hands when you first meet a client and then ask the all important question: “How may I help you?” The rule of thumb is to listen very carefully and then answer accordingly. Then only you can expect communications to be more effective.
This is the most popular and powerful form of communication of this time. Though a customer cannot see your smile, smiling can change the tone of your voice. Make sure to smile and answer all your customer’s calls. When you speak over the phone, it is equally important to speak slowly and clearly. Businesses are now using virtual phones instead of a conventional phone system, where an auto attendant usually answers a call first. Make sure to record the messages of an auto attendant clearly and of course with a smile.
Though emails are more popular now, there are still times when you have to write a business letter to your client. Make sure that the letter clearly states its purpose. Also check the grammar and spelling of the letter. Ensure that the letter maintains a professional tone throughout. You can also hire a professional, if you feel you do not have great letter writing skills.
Using marketing collateral
Corporate flyers, brochures and presentations are other important tools for communicating with existing as well as prospective customers. You put all the important information about your product/service here and also add contact information. The marketing collateral actually works for you – communicating the features of your products and services and also talking about your business. It is also wise to share a few recommendations through the collateral.
Communicating on social networking sites
When you are on a social networking site, you usually have only few seconds to capture the attention of a visitor. Make sure that the groups you are targeting include potential customers; otherwise this is just a waste of time. Networking groups can be a wonderful way of expanding your customer base. Follow carefully the discussions in the groups and try to participate in them.
Carol Wasserman is an Online Marketing Executive at iTeleCenter, a company that provides local, 800 and toll free numbers in conjunction with their virtual phone system. Call forwarding, Virtual PBX extensions, an automated attendant and voicemail are just a few of the included features that are perfect for small and home-based businesses. Visit www.itelecenter.com to learn more.