Business owners commonly look for magic bullet solutions to improve customer retention. Perhaps the best advice for these proprietors is “stick with the basics.” When customer retention lags, the problem usually centers on a missing critical element. One element never to overlook is good communication. Establishing a strong business/customer communication strategy could keep those valuable buyers consistently coming back. Here are three ways to improve communication.
Focus on Customers’ Needs
Owners should herald things that make their business special. Reports on anniversaries, engagement in the community, and other “human interest” stories weaved in with information about discounts and sales helps. Promoting such things does make a business seem special, but be mindful of limits. Don’t consistently put the business ahead of the customer, though. All forms of communication should stress customer needs first. Let customers know how a particular product benefits them. Don’t be shy about stressing how your business delivers on their wants. This way, the customers become more motivated to purchase your wares.
And always put the customer’s needs first when addressing feedback, complaints, or inquiries. Customer service isn’t about providing a half-hearted response. Customer service focuses on customers’ wants in a laser-like manner. This way, the customer sees you take him or her seriously and values the patronage.
Source: Return Customer
Ensure Employees Communicate
Are all the departments in the office communicating with each other smoothly? If not, then the poor communication will eventually affect the customers. Retention may suffer, and this can be true for both small businesses and large corporations. Communications, whether it be internal, external or communications surrounding HR all serve similar functions and need to work towards a common goal. They each are part of a single company with the same messages that just need to be tailored to different audiences and situations. How can this occur if they are separated?
Communication is wasted if departments don’t communicate with each other. You must take steps to facilitate the free flow of internal information. Set up a system where all departments can convey information with one another. Consistently sending out informational emails could help in this regard.
Source: The Employee App
Use the Right Language
Whether communicating in writing or verbally, the right approach to language is a must. Letters addressing customer complaints should be formal in tone. Otherwise, a customer might think you don’t take his or her concerns seriously. Who would blame the patron for not coming back?
There are times when lighthearted commentary is appropriate. Blog or social media entries may benefit from a casual, conversational tone. A little humor might not hurt either. When used at the right time, an informal communication style (such as on social media) could make a good impression on customers. They may feel more comfortable patronizing a particular “friendly” business.