Communication is key – it can make or break your business. Get the tools you need to establish powerful communication that will turn budding curiosity into long-term client relationships.
In today’s competitive market, it is not enough to simply provide quality services. From your initial meeting to selling your first product or service, your communication skills will impact the way your clients perceive your business. If you want to establish strong relationships with your clients and keep them coming back, communication is key. With so many channels of communication available, it can be tricky to know where to begin.
The good news is that potential clients and current clients alike are more reachable than ever. If you can maintain contact and stay connected, you will remain at the forefront of your clients’ minds, and they will be more likely to reach back out when they need your services again. This guide will help you understand why communication is so important. Plus, we will lay out the best ways to keep in touch with your clients without feeling like you have a second job.
Section 1 - Defining Client Communication and Its Goals
The Power of Effective Communication for Your Business
Before you can begin to communicate effectively, you need to understand why consistent communication is so important and develop your goals for the process. When we talk about consistent communication, we do not mean sending a simple follow-up email and calling it a day. On the other hand, you do not want to be following up so frequently that you annoy your clients. There is a fine line between staying at the top of their minds and overwhelming them. Striking this balance will have many benefits, including the following:
Elevating trust between you and your clients
One of the best ways to improve your relationships with your customers is through the transparency that comes with frequent communication. When you are consistently available to your clients, they will feel that they can trust you. Frequent contact will take away any worries they might have that you will leave them high and dry when they need you most.
Creating new levels of empathy in your client relationship
If you have taken steps to start a business and acquire clients, then it is safe to say you have a level of expertise in what you do. Staying aware of your clients’ needs will always be beneficial for your business, and you will need to be constantly evolving to keep up with the trends of the industry. Putting yourself in your clients’ shoes will increase your empathy for them, which will automatically help you serve them even more effectively. A good rule to keep in mind is this: Ask not what effective communication can do for you, but what it can do for your clients.
Staying at the top of your clients’ minds and retaining them
Once you have established a client connection and done business with them, the battle is only halfway through. In order to truly keep a business running successfully, you need to make sure that your clients are happy and that they keep coming back. Staying top of mind should be one of your top priorities, and it can be accomplished through effective communication.
Let’s learn more about exactly how to communicate with your clients and the tools that will help you reach your goals along the way.
Types of Communication Styles
As a word, “communication” gets thrown around a lot in the business world and outside of it. Because it is so all-encompassing, and we have so many platforms we can use to communicate, it can be easy to forget what we actually mean when we say “communication.”
In your personal life, communicating might look like setting healthy boundaries with loved ones or seeing who can outsmart their relatives on Facebook. In the business world, communication is a bit more concrete, and it needs to be specific and measurable. It is important to master all four areas of communication and the platforms that you can use for them if you want to meet these goals. The four types of communication include:
As the name suggests, verbal communication includes words, language, and speech that you use to convey information to your clients. Any time you talk to a client on the phone or in person, you are communicating verbally with what is called interpersonal communication. The first phone call you have with a client, the conversations you have throughout your time with them, and the time you take to reach out and ask for feedback are all examples of verbal communication. Another form of verbal communication that may or may not be useful for your business is public communication. Traditionally, this involves speaking to a large audience about your skill sets as well as the abilities of your business. Nowadays, this form of public communication can be carried out and Zoom calls and webinars, where it can be shared to your social platforms.
Unlike verbal communication, nonverbal communication might not be conveying such a specific message, but it is important nonetheless. You never know what someone might consider rude or offensive, so it is necessary to be considerate of the feelings of those who you are working with, both internally and externally. Not only do you want to come across as polite, but you want to be perceived as confident and capable. Simple adjustments to your body language can go a long way in molding this perception. For example, strong eye contact, appropriate facial expressions, a confident handshake, and purposeful gestures.
Written communication has become more important than ever in today’s business world. There is a reason they say that content is king. Put simply, written communication with your clients encompasses any message you send to them that uses the written word. This includes the content you write on your website, the emails, memos and newsletters you send them, text messages, and web chats. Later, we will discuss how you can utilize each of these methods to specifically drive leads and serve your clients.
With so many options available on the market, particularly in the digital space, you oftentimes have just a single moment to grab your clients’ attention. Effective visual communication is one of the ways you can do this, and persuade potential clients to spend more time interacting with your content than they otherwise might have. Instagram is one of the most prevalent ways to communicate visually, as you can convert clients with a high quality image and a simple, but informative caption. Other forms of communication to utilize include videos, pie charts, and infographics. These forms can be posted on Instagram as well as platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
All of these forms of communication are important, but they will mean nothing if your clients don’t understand the mission of your business. Let’s discuss how you can establish your mission and convey it successfully. Let’s set the tone.
Section 2 - Communicate a Mission That Resonates
How to Set the Tone of Your Brand and Communicate Your Impact with a Strong Mission
It’s no secret that a mission statement is an immensely powerful tool. When your mission statement is instilled in everything you do, it will come across in the way you communicate with and serve your clients. It can also give your employees the feeling that they are a part of something special, and that kind of passion will resonate with clients and make them remember you. Your mission statement will serve as the guiding force for the way your business is run, from the bigger picture to the smaller daily tasks, but it is more than just a sentence. Authenticity is what will resonate most, so if your mission statement is a genuine reflection of the value you provide, your clients will trust you as a leader in your industry.
When thinking about your mission statement, think about the basic purpose that your company is trying to provide. In other words, take it back to the basics. Your first brainstorm of your mission statement is not the time to get fancy with your words. Those kinds of edits can be done later. First, it is important to focus on the core values of your business, what the driving force is behind why you do what you do, and what sets your business apart in terms of serving your community.
Section 2 - Communicate a Mission That Resonates
Follow Tesla’s Lead
One example of a company whose mission statement is clear, concise, informative, and powerful is Tesla.
Tesla’s mission statement is “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
Tesla’s goal is to enhance the use of sustainable energy throughout the world, so this mission statement hits the nail on the head. On top of that, the word “accelerate” is a play on words with the function of the industry, which makes for clever marketing.
Overall, this mission statement focuses on Tesla’s core purpose of providing clean energy electric vehicles to the public, and it still acknowledges the fact that it is a work in progress. A strong mission statement like this will resonate with your audience and set yourselves apart as a branding force to be reckoned with.
Section 3 - Winning Communication Tools
Earn More Clients and Keep Them for the Long Haul with Cutting-Edge Communication Tools
Now that you understand why communication is so vital to the success of your business, as well as what you should be communicating, let’s break down some of the best tools you can use along this journey. After all, you are already busy running your business. There is no reason you should have to feel alone when it comes to keeping in touch with your clients. These tools utilize the power of verbal, written, and visual communication to earn you a spot in the minds of your clients:
Communication Tools for the Beginning of Your Client’s Journey: Awareness & Consideration
- Live chat tool - This is one of the first features your client will be able to see when they visit your website, which is why it is at the beginning of your client’s journey. Installing a live chat tool on your website is one of the most powerful ways you can connect with your clients. In fact, 88% of customers utilize live chat in some form when making an online transaction, so if you are using your website to sell goods directly, this is a must-have. This form of communication is so effective because it feels noncommittal for the user. They are not required to give away any contact information. It uses pre-planned transcripts with a professional, friendly tone of voice. This allows clients to feel comfortable knowing that their needs are being met, or that they will be directed to the best place for their inquiry very shortly. This is one of the features that web customers of Scorpion love the most. It lowers your bounce rate and takes client retention and loyalty to a higher level.
- Website content - Even though website content does not tend to interact directly with your clients, you are still using it to communicate a message. It is important for that message to be coherent, consistent, informative, and enjoyable to read. Some forms of website content you should incorporate include a home page with a simple description of your business, an “about” page where clients can learn more about your team, a service page for every service you provide, and blog posts to establish yourself as an industry leader. When communicating your website content, you will want to make sure it is optimized for search engines through SEO tools. This will help your message get on the first few pages of Google and therefore, in front of more potential clients.
Email newsletters - Typically, if a client or potential client is receiving an email newsletter, they have already taken some interest in your business, such as through your call-to-action page. This is because businesses need an email contact to add to their database before they can send it out. Businesses can gather this information through their previous communications or by asking for the contact when clients take a specific action. You can use your email newsletters to communicate different information depending on the goals of your business. It can contain important news and updates about your business and can even offer special holiday promotions. There are so many powerful benefits to utilizing email newsletters. They can drive sales, allow your customers to remain connected with your business, increase web traffic, and boost your social media following. On average, the ideal frequency for newsletters is no more than twice a week, but at least once a month.
Communication Tools for the Entire Journey
Phone calls and text messages - While this practice is becoming less common, plenty of salesmen are still calling customers to persuade them in the direction of a specific product or service and are having great success with it. Even though sales calls only have a 2.5% success rate, according to a study from Kenan-Flagler Business School, if you choose to implement a business model with a full-time staff of salesmen that make 80 to 100 phone calls a day each, you can imagine the kinds of quotas this could achieve. In order for a sales call to be successful, rather than a bother, your callers must be friendly, honest, and communicate the fact that they are truly looking out for your potential clients’ best interest. The same tone needs to be set forth when your business is using the phone to communicate with potential clients or clients at any point in their journey, whether you are scheduling an initial consultation or thanking them for working with you. Keep your tone informative, friendly, professional, and compassionate, and they will be sure to hang up with a smile on their face. Text message marketing is another communication tool that is often overlooked, but it is one of the best ways to stay on the top of clients’ minds. You will have to utilize a text message service for business platforms in order to do this, such as RingCentral, ZipWhip, Scorpion, or EZTexting. Your business can use mass texting services as a way to send out important promotions and alerts to your clients. This form of communication saves time, puts you in touch with customers effectively and efficiently, and improves your overall communications.
Social media - While cell phones are still considered the most popular form of communication, social media is following quickly behind. With so many platforms, this world can feel overwhelming if you have only ever used it to connect with family and friends. Now more than ever, consumers are looking for opportunities to form a relationship with a brand, much in the same way they would with a friend. In fact, a recent study by Trendera found that 63% of consumers say they want to have a relationship with brands, so much so that they would prefer brands treat them like friends.
Determining how to best navigate these waters will all come back to your goals and your mission statement. To get started, it is wise to stick to a few platforms and solidify your communication tactics there before expanding further. For example, if you are a home services company that primarily works on roofing and massive housing renovations, you might choose to utilize the visual aspects of Instagram to showcase your amazing finished projects, which can then be easily transferable to Facebook. You might even put out a vlog on YouTube with a “how-to” tutorial that showcases the abilities of your team. If you are a law firm, you might choose to focus your energies on LinkedIn and Facebook, which you can use to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
No matter which platforms you decide to begin with, consistency is key. On average, prevalent brands post 1.5 times per day, so sticking to this rule would be a strong starting point. If you are following these other steps well, social media can also be a great place for clients to enter into the fifth and strongest stage of the customer life cycle, which is awareness.
Social media can also be a great way for you to keep in touch and interact with clients. This is where community engagement comes into play. Through community engagement tactics, you can measure the amount of people who are interacting with your brand, and you can make them feel seen and heard in the process. Your previous, satisfied clients can become your strongest advocates on review platforms like Yelp as well as their own social media pages. Posting consistently will keep them reminded of your business and excited to share it with their friends and family.
One example of a brand that is especially adept at community engagement is Starbucks. Starbucks is a prime example of a brand that knows how to get users interacting with them. Specifically, on their Twitter account, they make constant efforts to build relationships with their followers, which increases the brand’s engagement as well as the users’ loyalty to the brand. If you visit the “media and replies" section of their profile, you can see these interactions coming to life and imagine how special these simple gestures must make their paying customers feel.
Section 4 - Communication Rules to Live By
Powerful Communications = Long-term Client Relationships
Now that you have a good idea of all the possibilities that exist for you to create powerful client communications, be sure to keep these simple rules in mind when you are working with your clients. At Scorpion, we have streamlined these practices, providing technology that makes it easy for businesses to keep their fingers on the pulse of client communications. Some of the best strategies to keep in mind when navigating the vast world of client contact include:
#1 - Respond quickly and consistently. Never leave a client hanging.
#2 - Ask questions and make an effort to understand your clients’ needs. This is the way that you will be able to not only meet their expectations, but exceed them.
#3 - Allow your clients to have the floor when they need it. Be an open space for them to communicate, and the rest will follow.
#4 - Keep your mission statement in mind with every interaction. Ask yourself if this interaction aligns with the values of your business and if it does not, edit it until it does.
#5 - Educate your client on your expertise. Do not be afraid to establish yourself as a leader. They are looking to you for help, so show them that they can trust you.
#6 - Include visual cues when possible and when helpful. This will help clients understand your message and will help them remember you.
#7 - Double check your grammar and make sure to avoid spelling mistakes! Simple mistakes can mean the difference between establishing your credibility and losing it.
#8 - Be honest! Avoid making false promises and give clients a realistic outline of their expectations.
If you are focused on running your business, it can be challenging to navigate all of these communications on your own. It truly is a full time job! If you would like some help fine-tuning your communication skills, or you want access to powerful technology that can save you time and keep your clients satisfied, Scorpion has the tools you need. Talk with us today to see how we can help you take your client communications to the next level. Helping businesses thrive is our passion. We have a lot more ideas up our sleeve, and it would be our pleasure to share them with you.