Thursday, December 5th, 2019

5 Ways to Communicate Effectively With Your Customers

By Narges Nirumvala on Jan 04 2011 • Filed under The Power Communicator

Communicate effectively with your clients

The easiest way to strengthen the relationships you have with your customers is to keep in touch with them on a regular basis with a variety of different strategies. Here are five ways to get you started:

1. Email:

Send your customers an opt-in e-newsletter or a snail-mail letter, or both. In terms of frequency you need to strike a balance, not so often that you irritate them and not so infrequently that they forget who you are. Don’t overwhelm them with information and special offers either – keep it simple, 2-3 points is enough including a personal introduction. You should sound as if you are writing to a friend, not a mass mailing list. Most businesses implement this step and stop there thinking their job is done. Actually this is just the beginning.

2. Social Media:

The next step is to use social media to keep in touch with your customers. Become their contact on LinkedIn and follow their status updates, commenting occasionally. Follow them on Twitter and actively engage them in conversation from time to time. You could also remember them on Follow Friday or retweet their content. Become their fan or friend on Facebook. Comment on their posts or share interesting content with your circle of friends. The key elements here are engagement and reciprocity.

3. In Person:

The most fundamental of all forms of communication is also the most powerful – person to person contact, such as picking up the phone to talk to someone. I did this recently with a client I hadn’t heard from in the longest time only to find that he had been in a serious car accident. He was grateful for the call and appreciated having someone to talk to. I made a note on his file to follow up with him again in a month. Reach out to one of your customers today by picking up the phone.

4. Special Occasions:

Remember your customers on their special occasions. You should be logging this information about each client in your customer database anyway, so why not act on it? This could be something as simple as sending out a birthday or anniversary card or e-card once a year. But why stop there? Life is full of milestone events. For example, if you know they’ve just had a baby you could send a stuffed toy and a gift card or if they just got promoted you could offer to take them out to lunch to celebrate. Sometimes it’s a sad milestone event such as the passing of a loved one, but don’t let that stop you – the fact that you took the time to remember will make all the difference.

5. Snail Mail:

Send them a hand written note to say thank you or even just hello. In our electronic age the fact that you made the effort to write something meaningful to them will make you stand out from the crowd. It will look even more professional if you have personalized stationary or note cards with your initials or logo on them. A small investment considering the impact it makes.

Ultimately you need to show your customers that you genuinely care about them as people first. As the famous quote by John Maxwell says, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”


3 Comments

  1. Hi John, Thank you so much for the thoughtful and detailed comment! I couldn’t agree with you more – it is so important to find time to do business face to face. You share some great ideas on how we can do that – grab a cup of coffee, meet at a business function, meet over lunch, hand deliver a proposal etc.. Also loved the reminder about customer appreciation events and showing gratitude! I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Hope to hear from you again in the future!
    Narges

  2. Many thanks for this great concise list. In my experience I have found that you should never underestimate the power of personal connection. Many of my strongest business relationships were forged by face to face meetings. Sharing a laugh at a business function, a quick cuppa jo or a noontime meal can help to bathe your relationship in a new light. It’s so easy and convenient to send someone a text or an email that we sometimes forget how much of an impact a good sit down can have. At the same time I have always avoided the ‘drop in’. I know how I feel when people drop in on me and that feeling can color my impression of the meeting. But when a reason to meet face to face presents itself…do. not. miss. Hand deliver a proposal. (Let ’em know that you are and when and don’t be late) Schedule a follow up meeting. Stop looking for reasons to avoid connecting (we’re both too busy, there are always too many distractions etc) and start finding excuses to do more business face to face. .

    While we are at it… a sub heading of special occasions…Special events. Host a customer appreciation breakfast, lunch or evening reception. Invite your best clients and some of your top prospects. Give them plenty of notice and good reason to attend. (Door prizes, first round drinks, gift baskets… all crowd pleasers) Make the focus gratitude and keep the product / service pitches in the stable… If the event goes well you’ll have plenty of opportunity for that later. Also, don’t forget to thank the attendees and send those who were unable to attend a little reminder of the great time that was had by all and that they were missed…not that they missed out.

    Great post Narges! Look forward to more.
    -J

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