Communicating with your customers is often the key to business success. Your insights, tactics, and strategies might be first class, but if you can’t communicate them to your audience, you will be stuck in coach.
Poor communication can negatively impact the bottom line. There is no clear way to know, but one estimate claims that 4 billion dollars are lost annually in the USA alone because of inefficient communication.
On top of that, handling these issues has become more challenging with the current global pandemic. With so many restrictions, such as a lack of in-person meetings, your business must improve communication on other channels.
However, it is not only the technical side that is important but the softer side of communication as well. In these difficult times, it is essential to be empathetic and dedicate yourself to customers at a higher level.
Follow these seven tips to improve your communication with customers and take your sales game to the next level.
Make your sales team tech-savvy
While some salespeople can’t meet with clients face-to-face, there are still ways to maintain a high level of communication. Although phone calls are still a great channel for communication, video calls have become more prominent.
Investing in your sales team to go fully digital can help your business substantially. Being familiar with the latest video-conferencing toolswill allow communication with clients to be efficient and productive.
Making sure your sales team knows its way around apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams is crucial today. Imagine how embarrassing it looks if your representative stumbles through figuring out how to share their screen or, even worse, accidentally turns themself into a cat!
Personalize your message
When representatives are talking to customers, the conversation should always feel highly personalized. Your sales team should research the client before the meeting, ensuring they have accurate information.
Through a few simple LinkedIn and Google searches, your team can also know which key events are impacting the company now. Be attentive to your customer’s needs so you can try solving their problems.
There were times when spammy emails and messages were supposedly a great trick for making more sales or generating leads. Today, this type of email has a counter effect. Nobody wants to read an automated email sent to the masses.
That’s why we suggest you start personalizing any form of communication. For example, including the name of the receiver in your subject line increases the open rate by 20%.
A card written by hand feels ultimately personal, considering the time someone took to write it down and how rare it is. Therefore, handwritten thank you notes have been shown to double client retention rates.
However, as a large organization with many clients, sending even one thank you note can seem like a daunting task. Luckily, there are tools like Handwrytten that can fully automate your handwritten notes.
Be patient and friendly
A customer reaches out when they are uncertain or have a grievance. It is critical that your team is patient and willing to understand their pain points and concerns.
McKinsey reports that 70% of the buying experience is impacted by the way customers feel they are being treated.
Let them vent if they’re unhappy. Try to pick up as much insightful information as you can and work together on a solution. Some of the best client bonds can be forged during these times.
Be friendly and empathetic. If they feel like you are on their side, they’ll likely communicate better.
Accuracy builds credibility. Before any meeting, make sure you have your facts straight and your data calculated correctly. While inaccurate data will certainly lead to unhappy clients, it will also erode trust and could lead to cancellation of the account or lost follow-on opportunities.
There are tools specifically designed for salespeople to keep track of their customers’ information. Badger Maps is a great example of it. The app helps field salespeople by optimizing their daily routes and streamlining every aspect of their jobs. Including individual accounts’ information, follow-ups, and details of meetings with customers.
Being accurate turns you into a thought leader and a resource for your client. They will trust you with their business and lean on you to grow it.
This means that even when you don’t know the answer, you should be upfront with them and say that you need to check thoroughly, which brings us to our next point.
It’s important to train your sales team on how to handle situations such as when they don’t have an answer. Learning to handle a situation with honesty might do wonders for your business.
With so many uncertainties, people value truth, and they will appreciate your candor.
You don’t want clients doubting your honesty. Always be honest, and when in doubt, you can tell them that you need to check again just to make sure you’re giving them an exact answer. They’ll feel valued and respected.
On occasions where your brand is at fault and the customer is unsatisfied, admitting your mistake might seem honest and humane, giving you an opportunity to improve your relationship. You might even get a loyal follower!
Use an omnichannel approach
Having an omnichannel presence is a requirement more than a commodity. Clients can view your ad on a mobile app, click on the link, and land on your website, bouncing after a few seconds.
You’ll acquire them as a lead and retarget them on social media. They might end up on your website again, this time filling up a contact form. As an end result, your sales rep might call them on the phone and bring them in.
That’s how a sales funnel should look ideally, but it can go wrong in many ways. Therefore, it is important that you have an omnichannel strategy to approach every channel in the same way. Leveraging all these channels covered will help your communication be more effective.
Consider using chatbots
People want information “on-demand.” When they visit your website in the middle of the night, they expect to be able to ask questions. Consider adding a chatbot to your site to provide immediate gratification to your clients.
Chatbots have been a part of the sales funnels for a while, and they’re becoming more powerful. The best ones leverage artificial intelligence software to simulate a human conversation and enable your team to be more efficient, filtering, routing leads, and supporting requests to the right people.
Chatbots are completely changing the customer experience. They can help your sales team save time by handling less complex conversations. They’re programmed to recognize what information a customer asks, dig out a relevant and predefined answer, and send it back to a client.
This is very useful, as your sales team can focus on getting conversions instead of answering less important questions.
51% of customers say that they expect businesses to be available 24 hours a day. Chatbots make sure you are always present.
The success of your business depends in a big part on how you communicate and interact with your clients and prospects.
Poor communication affects the efficiency of your salespeople, leads to bad morale, and hurts the bottom line. With a few simple changes, however, your company can stand out as a communication leader.
Customer habits and behaviors are changing rapidly, so it is important that companies and their sales team adapt accordingly. Leverage tools that facilitate the preferred communication channel used by your clients. Continually review and revise your communication strategy to ensure that you don’t leave your customers with unasked questions or unplaced orders.
Author Bio: David Wachs is a serial entrepreneur. David’s latest venture, Handwrytten, is bringing back the lost art of letter writing through scalable, robot-based solutions that write your notes in pen.
Full Guide to Sales Metrics: Why to Track, What to Track & How to Track It