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7 Tips for Effective Communication with Customers

By Art Fresh | Building a Brand
Do you have a branding and communication strategy in place? How effective is it in bridging the gap between you and your target audience, increasing customer satisfaction, and improving your brand name?
 
“Treat others how you want to be treated.”

 
Growing up with The Golden Rule as a kid, I thought it just meant sharing my red crayon so my friend would give up her purple when she was done with it. The older I got, I realized that it went beyond just doing one thing to get something else in return; but it was a lesson in kindness. And if we all talked to one another the way we wanted to be spoken to, then maybe we’d all understand each other a little better.
 
The secret to connecting and communicating is treating people the way you want to be treated. This is a universal truth that trickles all the way into the way we do business.
 
How do you feel when you are ignored, interrupted, or talked down to? Doesn’t feel very good, does it? If you want to connect with your customers to develop stronger relationships that will ultimately result in repeat purchases and increased sales, you need to recognize their needs as your own.
 
Effective communication with customers is at the heart of customer satisfaction. Customers are satisfied when they feel understood and appreciated. And when customers feel valued, they are more likely to become advocates for your brand. Because we all know that word-of-mouth marketing is an incredibly powerful brand marketing tool, steps to improving customer satisfaction should be the focus of your marketing and branding efforts. 



 

Here are 7 tips to guide you to communicating more effectively with your customers:
 
1. Don’t Interrupt. Listen.  
It’s understandable to assume that some customers point out flaws in a product or bring a bad experience to your attention because they want something in return. However, what most customers want is to be heard so that the incident is not repeated. It’s easy to get defensive, but if you shut down and refuse to listen to criticism, you lose out on the opportunity to improve your product or service, remedy the situation, and win back the customer. 
 
2. Be Genuine. 
Effective communication means that you need to be genuine and actively listen. Be ready to hear what the customer has to say, no matter how uncomfortable. Be sympathetic to their needs so that you can offer a solution. Show sincerity that you want to fix things and you just might gain an advocate who may not have been satisfied by your product or service at first but was ultimately won over by your positivity and authenticity towards improving.
 
3. Provide Updates.  
Never ignore your customers’ queries. Nothing makes a customer feel more undervalued than feeling like they’ve been forgotten. Provide progress updates when they’ve made a purchase. If they’ve filed a complaint, keep them informed on how their issue is being handled. When they ask a question, be quick to answer.
 
4. Speak Their Language.  
Make your brand more approachable. You risk alienating your customers when you use technical language that they simply cannot understand. Don’t assume that all your customers speak the specific industry jargon. Instead, train your team who communicates with customers to use terms most people will comprehend.
 
5. Communicate via Multiple Channels.  
While it may seem like just about everyone is on social media these days, it doesn’t mean you should abandon traditional communication mediums. To provide the best service to your customers, provide them with multiple channels where they can direct their inquiries. Be ready to communicate and respond promptly via text, telephone, email, snail mail, social media, or messenger app.
 
6. Keep Messaging Professional.  
Texting has taught people how to abbreviate extensively to send messages quicker. However tempting it is to keep things short, it’s important that all your messaging stays professional and consistent across all channels. Whether it’s an email, a reply on social media, or a text, your messages should be proofed for spelling and grammar mistakes.
 
7. Improve and Implement New Strategies.   
By regularly evaluating your current strategy, you can recognize any gaps or ways to improve your process. New approaches to ensuring customer satisfaction are always being developed, and you should be open to implementing them particularly if it is a good match with the brand identity you are creating.
 
Ultimately, communicate clearly and effectively with customers is a crucial marketing skill that helps define who you are. By creating a brand identity that is centered on the customers and developing a communication strategy that gives your team the tools and training to communicate productively, you will be equipped to boost customer satisfaction while also improving your brand image. 

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