Effective client communication: 9 keys to make it right
Do you have an effective client communication? As successful as your company may be in acquiring and converting leads, this does not always translate into the ability to build positive, lasting connections. And without them, it’s impossible to unleash your market potential fully.
This is why more and more companies are adopting measures focused on connecting with the customer and generating solid relationships. This sort of action, to work, must rely on a well-structured strategic plan, starting with the elaboration of a buyer persona.
Do you want to know more about the relevance of this process and also check how to execute it in the best possible way? Then this post is for you! In it, we will explain:
- Why is client communication important?
- How to make it right in 9 steps?
Why is client communication important?
It’s a cliché, but we have to say it: we live in the age of information. The connectivity generated by the Internet has given consumers the power to access large volumes of data in no time. Naturally, this has changed the general public’s behavior and shifted the dynamics between brands and customers.
Consumer 4.0, as Philip Kotler defines modern customers, is at the top of the market hierarchy. Unlike in the past, they can now easily compare different services and solutions before making their buying decisions.
This scenario has made them more demanding. People expect quality experiences from the companies they relate to. If they don’t get it, they move on to another alternative. And that’s where communication comes in. The way your brand communicates with the customer determines their satisfaction with their entire buying journey.
In other words, we can say that having an effective client communication is a significant competitive advantage in the current context. It generates long-lasting and profitable relationships, which can represent much more than the consumer’s return in the future.
The feedback from friends, family, and influencers is a very relevant factor for the consumer 4.0. Therefore, positive comments about your services may attract new prospects, while negative reviews may scare those opportunities away.
Besides being fundamental for marketing, communication with the customer is beneficial for all sectors of the company. Based on direct interaction with the client, it’s easy to identify improvement points in your service and take steps to optimize the whole strategy.
How to make it right in 9 steps?
Well, now that we’ve stressed the importance of the subject, let’s pass on some tips for you to optimize your company’s client communication.
Whether it’s to offer updates in a project or to show results and forecasts, your managers and teams must be trained to interpret and provide relevant information. This makes investing in data literacy a must.
More than empowering your marketing department or agency, you need to know how to deal with the complexity of different types of clients. The first of our nine tips have to do with this matter. Keep reading!
1.Get to know your client
In the introduction to this text, we mentioned the importance of building a buyer persona. Do you already know what that is? It’s a character that represents your ideal consumer, gathering not only demographic data but also their pains, needs, motivations, desires, etc..
To do this, of course, you need to gather data and constantly analyze the behavior of your customers. The more you know about them, the better.
The idea is to base your marketing and communication efforts on the characteristics of the persona, increasing efficiency. After all, there are big differences in approaching Millennials and members of generation X, for example.
By understanding the behavior and preferences of your average consumer, you will know how to develop the best strategy to relate to them.
2. Set expectations
One of the most important periods for the agency’s relationship with the client is onboarding. The company’s first contacts with the consumer should serve as the basis for their experience. During this phase, you must be careful with any promises, so as not to create false expectations.
So, be clear with the client from the beginning. Together with them, set attainable goals and define metrics to evaluate the strategy development. If you’re responsible for managing blogs and social media, for example, setting indicators to measure content performance is important.
If the process is well conducted, your client will create realistic expectations and, when they are fulfilled, will rely even more on your expertise.
3. Learn to say no
Many say you should not refuse any kind of opportunity. However, this motto does not apply to cases that could jeopardize your operations. So, instead of accepting all requests and new projects, it’s necessary to analyze whether they fit into your activities without causing problems.
Juggling too many clients, for example, can overwhelm your teams and lower the quality of your services. Similarly, accepting requests that you’re not sure you can handle will generate nothing but a bad reputation for your company.
4. Favor transparency
Remember we talked about consumer 4.0? Another characteristic of the modern public is the demand for transparency from companies. They insist that brands act under the guidance of missions, visions, and values that, in some way, reflect their own beliefs.
Thus, a good way to improve your communication is to favor transparency. Let your clients follow the different processes of the project you’re working on, making clear the good practices adopted by your teams.
This transparency also refers to the progress on the way you communicate. It’s important to be as detailed as possible on your reports, leaving no room for doubt about the results. Therefore, a good practice is to provide regular updates to clients.
5. Create reporting processes
The updates we just mentioned must be passed on in a way that is understandable to the customer. There is no point, for example, in making a presentation with the numbers and results achieved if the audience is not able to comprehend the message entirely.
For this reason, you need to structure a reporting process to optimize the way you present information to your client. Your marketing teams must be able to employ the right tone of voice and use familiar terms when communicating with customers.
To engage listeners in what is being reported, make use of elaborate narratives. Data storytelling techniques are valuable resources to increase the credibility of a presentation and ensure that the client absorbs the most relevant information.
Also, written and spoken information should be accompanied by visual elements to facilitate understanding.
Graphs, maps, and charts are some of the elements that you can use to your advantage. Creating and sharing them can be a complex task unless you seek help in technology. Tools such as data visualization software make the whole process much simpler and faster.
6. Develop “on crisis” plan beforehand
Of course, you want the relationship between you and your client to be calm as a millpond but that’s not always the case. Agencies and marketing teams have to deal with unforeseen events with a certain frequency. In cases of unexpected crises, you also have to know how to behave towards the client.
Therefore, always have at your disposal an “on crisis” plan detailing exactly how each team member should act in certain situations. Internal communication is also very important at this time, as everyone needs to be on the same page.
Remember that, in times of crisis, agility to respond is paramount. Therefore, having a pre-developed plan can make your actions much easier.
To engage listeners in what is being reported, make use of elaborate narratives. Once again, data storytelling techniques come in handy.
7. Automate and optimize as possible
Technological development doesn’t stop. We frequently hear about new tools that contemplate the process of communication with the client and it’s necessary to keep up with them.
You need to seek ways to optimize and automate your communication efforts continually.
So if you don’t use automation tools yet, it’s about time to start. With AI and machine learning features, they streamline processes and perform repetitive tasks, giving the team extra time to focus on more pressing duties.
8. Choose the appropriate channel
When we design a marketing campaign, one of the most important decisions concerns the channels of communication with the public. You need to know what social networks they are on and what their preferences are, to create targeted campaigns.
Keeping an effective client communication involves the same principle. You need to understand your client and find the most appropriate channels to communicate with them. It’s essential to customize your services for each case if you want to generate a more satisfying experience.
So, find out if your clients prefer to be contacted by email or phone. See if they’re present in social media and if they’re willing to use them to reach your company.
In this process, transparency can be vital. Be honest with your client and listen to what they have to say to know more about the best way to serve them.
To listen to someone, it takes dedication. If you are in a sales meeting, for example, it can be challenging to pay attention to what the client has to say because you’re too busy with your thoughts. Listening is something that takes practice.
So, structure a feedback culture to encourage your teams to pay attention to what the customer has to say, always. More than that, it’s important to listen to what they don’t say. You can find extremely relevant information with data analysis.
In addition to improving your overall communication, this action will generate valuable insights for your strategic planning.
Effective client communication is one of the keys to your business’ success. It’s the only way to build solid relationships, increase your results, and generate a positive reputation for your brand. Don’t waste any more time and put to practice the 9 tips listed in this post.
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