The basics of good client communication are fairly simple. Being able to respond to a client with the right information in a timely and professional manner is essential. Just as your time is important, so is the clients. If they feel like they have to wait for a response of an inquiry too long or the information they receive isn’t beneficial, they may start seeking other options.
It’s easy to imagine the chaos caused by a misplaced sticky note or a forgotten message before the days of voice mail and instant communication. Today, client communications have gotten better, but for many, there is still much to be desired. Miscommunications and unanswered inquiries can quickly send a client to a competitor. Thankfully, there have been many technological advancements in technology that not only facilitate, but elevate your client communication.
E-mail is old hat today, but many businesses still don’t utilize it properly. Setting up flags and reminders with your e-mail system allows you to prioritize your messages while keeping on top of appointments. All too often, e-mails get buried in an inbox or wrongly placed in a spam filter. These unanswered messages can often lead to client frustrations. Be sure to check your inbox and spam filters. If the needed information isn’t on hand, a speedy confirmation and promise to follow-up can go a long way. Just make sure that follow-up actually happens.
The smart phone is a great device for client communications when used properly. Setting up reminders can make all the difference. Do you have a conference call with a client or need to return a message? Let your phone be a personal assistant, always reminding you of appointments. Syncing it with appointments through your e-mail system makes this even more optimal. Of course, it is up to you to follow through with the communication. Ignoring these reminders isn’t the same as ignoring the reminder to jog every night that was set on New Year’s Eve.
There are times when dealing with a client calls for more than a quick e-mail or phone call. Using video conferencing communication may be the way to go. The ability to share graphics and other media in real time with the conversation can make concepts more understandable. There’s also the added benefit of giving the client a real face to connect with during the conversation. Building more personal relationships with clients, putting a face on the business, is essential in many competitive markets.
The use of social media to your business can be another way to communicate with clients. Any message or information you want to get out to your followers is done with a simple post. This allows people to view and even share this information with interested parties. Satisfied clients sharing your message with other prospective clients is definitely a positive for business. Simple and direct communication with clients in a social network allows for the opportunity to show off feedback and customer service. When you take care of a client’s needs via social networking, you create a public example of how your company values clients and handles their needs in a professional manner.
With the constant introduction of new ways to communicate with your client base, it’s a good idea to keep up these trends and changes in technology and find out what works best for you and your clients.