It’s important to keep your clients in the loop so that they trust you. A lack of communication could cause a client to get irritated and look elsewhere, as well as even possibly leaving a bad review.
Often in this fast-paced digital age, a lack of communication can be simply down to having too much work to do. Making your communication fast and efficient can allow you to spend less time talking to your clients and more time focusing on the core tasks of your job. Here are ten ways to improve communication.
Use physical mail wisely
Posting letters to clients might seem positively medieval to some people, but in some cases it can still have its advantages.
Whilst many people over the age of 65 are now using email, they may still prefer to receive certain information via physical mail. Forcing these older people to use email could upset them.
You can also use letters as a personal touch at the end of a project as a way of saying thank you – this can leave a more lasting impression than emailing a thankyou note. Similarly, letters could be useful for dealing with difficult clients when you need to demand money and want a more official notice than a standard email.
That said, for standard communication with everyday clients email should take priority due to it’s speed and efficiency. You can link to web sources such as videos and websites in emails and you can send attachments such as photos and documents, which could save you time and money compared to postage.
Organise your email inbox
Email inboxes can often be hard to keep on top of. However, by setting up an organised system of reading and replying to emails, you can make it a lot easier.
The Five Folder method is arguably one of the best ways to organise your inbox, which you can read more about at this site. This involves separating emails by priority so that you know which emails to take action immediately and which ones can wait. You should ideally aim to read every new email by the time the day is up – this way any emails that require immediate action are responded to, whilst other emails can be responded to at a later date.
Upgrade your call service
Bad quality calls could cause you to misinterpret information or could simply slow down conference calls if you’re constantly having to ring each other back. This could involve switching to a digital call system with functions such as auto record – for information on such services you can read more here. You could even consider taking up video-calls to add a more personable touch.
Schedule lengthy calls and meetings
Phoning somebody for a quick emergency update is fine, but when it comes to lengthy calls, it’s best to schedule them for a time that suits both you and the client. This minimises interruptions allowing you to keep on top of your work schedule without having to suddenly take a surprise one hour call. It also allows you to plan for the call and rehearse what you’re going to say, which could be important if you need to go through a report or sell something to a client or even put up an argument.
Outsource a phone answering company
Whilst you may obey the rule of scheduling in calls, clients may not. You may also have sales calls to deal with and queries from suppliers. Outsourcing a phone answering company could minimise these interruptions – such a company can filter out the non-important calls and relay information to you in a faster and less interruptive manner. It could also mean that the phone is always answered if you work in an office where the phone rings so often you often miss calls.
Create written instructional guides or create video tutorials where necessary
If you need to tell clients how to use your service or product but don’t want to spending hours of your time repeating the same presentation, it could be worth summarising the information as an instructional written guide or a video tutorial. You may then be able to link them to this information and save time. Obviously, there will be some situations where going through the information in person or on the phone could be more beneficial, but for more basic information it’s worth relying on instructions.
Post important company updates on social media and your website
When it comes to general company news that your clients may be interested to know, make sure that you’re advertising this on your website and social media. You don’t ever want to be offering a service that people don’t know about.
Use email and SMS for personal updates
As for personal updates, make sure that you’re constantly keeping your clients in the loop via email. If you have customer’s mobile numbers, you can even post updates via text (known as SMS). When communicating by text and email, you may want to refrain from using your personal smartphone – having a separate work phone to this on will prevent client texting and emailing you in your free time.
Build an app to offer real time progress reports
In some trades, it may be possible to create an app that gives people real time progress reports. This could be used for tracking a delivery or checking in on the progress of a marketing campaign or for logging progress on a product’s manufacture. Having this real-time report to rely on could prevent clients from harassing you with calls and emails. It could also prevent you having to send weekly reports and constant updates. An app development company such as this one may be able to craft something to your specs.
Train your staff to communicate well
Your staff need to also be able to communicate well, which involves training them. You could give them scripts to help them or do role plays. You could also offer example emails to offer inspiration. Make sure that on top of communicating with clients well, your employees are also communicating with each other well – this itself could affect client communication if you’re not updating one another on progress.