Happy 2019! A new year brings a fresh start, and while you’re starting to roll out personal New Year’s resolutions, don’t forget that your business could use some fine tuning as well. At Zipwhip, we’re huge fans of helping businesses improve customer communication, so we’ve gathered five tips to help you refresh your strategy for the year ahead. Make a goal to adopt at least one of the following to help strengthen relationships and better meet customer needs.

Better customer communication

1. Humanize your conversations with customers

Customers want authentic experiences with brands, and one of the easiest ways to do this is by talking to them using natural, conversational language. Businesses often forget to humanize interactions with customers, instead thinking that professional communication requires overly formal or robotic language. When you make an effort to use the same language that your customers are using, you create a more relaxed environment and authentic experience, which leads to increased customer satisfaction.

Take an audit of the language used throughout your business, from website copy to scripts for phone conversations. If it doesn’t flow well or sounds too stuffy, it’s time to make a change.

2. Create content that educates and entertains

An essential component to improving customer communication is minimizing confusion over your product or service. A great way to accomplish this by providing customers with meaningful content that educates and captures their attention.

Video is the top medium your business should turn to, and its importance cannot be understated: over 50 percent of consumers want to see videos from brands. Your business can create videos that show how your product works, help your audience understand why they need your product, highlight client success stories or really anything that tells a story about what you do and who you are.

Another format that can’t be overlooked is blogging. If you want to grow this year but have yet to incorporate blogging into your communication strategy, you’re missing an easy way for customers to find you online. Maintaining a blog lets your company leverage Search Engine Optimization (SEO), not to mention helps your business increase leads by 67 percent. Just like video, blogging can be used for a number of purposes, including educating customers, providing insight on industry trends and announcing company or product updates.

3. Give customers the opportunity to provide feedback

No one can identify the flaws of your business better than your customers. Let them tell you what needs to be improved, what’s working well or what needs to go by giving them an easy opportunity to provide feedback. It’s a tried-and-true way to let your customers know that you care about them and value their opinions.

First, maintain a habit of regularly monitoring your social media pages. Acknowledge reviews and comments, even the bad ones. By engaging with customers on social media, you’re showing them that you care about conversations that are happening around your business.

Next, send out surveys or embed them into your website or social media pages. It’s key to keep them short and to define your goals so that you ask targeted questions. Survey Monkey has a great list of best practices for effective surveys.

4. Understand how customers want to communicate with you

Customers expect to be able to easily reach your business. Make sure that you are available on multiple channels and clearly identify each one on your website. Aside from email and phone calls, your business should look to text messaging as a powerful tool to improve customer communication in 2019.

Zipwhip recently surveyed customers of all ages– from baby boomers to Generation Z – to get a better look at their texting habits and how they interact with businesses. Our results showed that across every age group, customers wished more businesses would text them. Texting offers a number of benefits to both parties. When businesses use a two-way texting platform, they’re providing customers with conversational messaging on a medium that is more convenient than a phone call or email. There’s no long game of phone tag and your message has a higher chance of being seen. See a more detailed explanation of texting for business benefits here.

5. Automate information delivery

To really speed up the communication timeline between you and your customers, consider using an automation tool to answer commonly asked questions. It could save a lot of time on administrative work if your business frequently receives calls asking about business hours or directions, for example.

Zipwhip’s keyword and auto-reply features can get the job done by answering customer texts instantly. Among the many benefits, automated texting frees employees of interruptions from unnecessary phone calls and lets your business stay available to customers around the clock, even after hours. You’ll keep customers happy by giving them the information they need at lightning speed without having to involve someone from your team.

Ready to kick off your 2019 with better customer communication? Check out Zipwhip with a free 14-day trial.

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