2 July 2020
As businesses are allowed to open back up and the Prince George’s County economy is stimulated, the way in which companies have been communicating with their employees and customers will be put to the test.
Having an effective strategy to maintain contact with your customer base is crucial as Prince George’s County starts to move into different phases of reopening. Even if your business remained open throughout this time, either in modified or full service, having a direct way to speak with the community is paramount throughout this transition.
People will be wondering what your business’ hours are, if there are any changes to your service, as well as what this service will look like in the current economic and social landscape.
Here are some effective modes of communication that allow you to grow and strengthen your relationship with clientele in Prince George’s County.
Demonstrating your Value Through a Newsletter
Newsletters are probably some of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your business’ name in front of current and potential customers alike. With the constant development of the digital marketing landscape, there are now more ways than ever to utilize newsletters.
While there is still a case to be made regarding the efficacy of a print and mailed newsletter, this can be costly to self-produce. If you have a relationship with a print or marketing company in which you have the ability to mass-distribute and market through this medium, a print newsletter about your local business to the local community is extremely valuable.
If you do not have the resources to rely on a printed newsletter, there are still a plethora of options available to you. The most worthwhile being an option to directly sign up for an email newsletter through your business’ website and social media newsletter campaigns that market directly to your business page’s audience.
Facebook ads are extremely effective, simple, and cheap. You can set your price, your audience, and customize the details of your ad; spending as much or as little as you are comfortable with for a set period, marketing directly to an audience that would be responsive.
A newsletter is something that has to be relevant not only to your business but to the customer. You don’t want to spam a loyal client’s inbox with irrelevant information but you also don’t want to be so scared to drive a customer away that your correspondence
is limited to once a month, allowing the customer to forget you and confused about how you got their information.
A successful newsletter to demonstrate the value of your business to your audience would include relevant and useful information like:
- Upcoming sales and deals
- News about your industry, communicating information that relates to your customers and your business.
- Upcoming events or promotions
- Any recent blog posts or business-related things you have written.
This short list should give you just a general outline for how to best write a newsletter that would strengthen your relationship to your clientele as well as continuously place your business at the forefront of your customer’s mind.
The Importance of a Phone Call
Although this may seem a little outdated, according to a recent study, phone calls are still the primary channel for customer communications, 68 percent of people contact customer service by phone.
When you make yourself readily available to both existing and potential clients, you can build a relationship that encourages trust in the quality and expertise of your service. First impressions are everything and when clientele have the ability to interact with the humans behind the company in a positive way, they are much more likely to return.
On the flip side, a negative customer service over the phone can completely ruin trust in your business. One recent study found that 74 percent of people were more likely to choose a competitor after an unpleasant phone experience. Whether it is long hold times, not being able to reach a human, or being spoken to with excessive negative language, or a combination of the three, you diminish your value and alienate a client.
So what can you do? Customer service is just as important to small business as a large corporation, while you may not have the resources or manpower to have a representative for your company available at any given moment, there are ways to streamline and enhance your phone service.
The easiest way would be to put an automated phone attendant into place. Having one of these not only acts as an operator for your business, but streamlines the connection between the customer and the department or employee they need to get into contact with. Having an automated attendant also promises that your customers will be attended to even in off hours, ensuring that you never miss a potential sale or opportunity to expand your clientele. Some of the best automated phone attendants for small business are Nextiva, Grasshopper, and Vonage.
Don’t Fear Feedback
It is easy to become scared of feedback. Whether or not your business is providing excellent service, a negative review is inevitable. But there are ways to respond, even make yourself open to the feedback, that demonstrate amazing customer service and quality of business versus alienating a customer.
A great way to make yourself readily available for feedback is by including a form on your business’ website that directly asks for it. Whether that be a popup or located on a separate page, simply ask the audience how they feel about the quality of product or service they received and how you can improve on that the next time they require your business.
Another extremely effective way to generate feedback is by being responsive, dedicated, and available to your clientele. This can be accomplished through actively checking the messaging on your social media pages for your business and making sure to respond calmly, contextually, and warmly to whatever questions or concerns they may have. Another resource is including a live chat on your website so that you can immediately assist the customers coming directly to you with whatever they need support with.
Customer service and feedback are extremely important when it comes to communicating with your client base. By utilizing these tools described you can build a lasting relationship with your local community.
As Prince George’s County economy reopens through Governor Larry Hogan’s four phase plan it is more important than ever that you communicate with your customers, not only to inform them of your reopening or any change to hours and service; but to demonstrate to them that you are dedicated to providing your quality product or service, safely and effectively.