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If you are the owner of a home-based business, communication is one of the keys to success. Poor communication costs money. Some estimates say as much as $400 billion annually. Communication comes in many forms. Read on to learn about customer communication and some key strategies for you to implement in your own business.
The concept of customer communication is not new. Customer communication refers to all of the skills you use in the business world to promote your brand, build strong relationships and address customer issues. At the most simple level, customer communication is two people talking.
Most people can quickly tell you the first time they had a great experience as a customer. Maybe a sales associate took extra time to make sure they found exactly what they were looking for in a store, or maybe a server in a restaurant went over the top to make their dining experience more memorable. Whatever the reason, it left the customer feeling warm and fuzzy inside.
Likewise, most people can also tell you about a bad experience. The difference here is that the bad experience can negatively impact your business nearly immediately, especially with the advent of social media. One viral post nearly tanked United Airlines.
Today, customer communication is more than just a verbal conversation between two people. From commercials and social media to email and text messaging, customer communication is everywhere and takes on many forms. The importance of customer communication is, without a doubt, paramount to your business’s success from the get-go.
One important aspect of customer communication is making sure that your business has well-developed customer service skills. If you can identify a customer’s problems quickly and address them accurately, you can spend more time selling and less time addressing issues. Additionally, you improve overall customer experience communication, which leads to an uptick in customer loyalty.
Of course, there are various types of communication in customer service. The telephone call, the chatbox on the website and the email inquiry are all examples of customer service communication that can be utilized by a business.
What is customer communication? Customer communication is not just an amorphous concept. Customer communication definition includes a business strategy that should be a part of everything you do as a brand.
Think about the most successful brands. Mrs. Fields and Little Debbie are instantly recognizable brands. They evoke feelings of comfort and familiarity. Their products are consistent, delivering the same thing each time they are purchased. How do these businesses communicate with their customers? Both of these businesses also employ customer communication in their marketing strategies.
With a home-based business, effective customer communication is like having a well-established brand on your side. Why? Customer communication allows you to captivate and retain customers.
Customer communication, meaning how you market your business, is important -- whether you realize it or not. When you create an ongoing dialogue between the business and the customer, you build the brand, engage customers and create customer loyalty.
With home-based businesses, customer communication is inherently important. No doubt, you will start small. When you communicate effectively and meaningfully, you boost the value of your product. We have compiled information about customer communication in this handy pdf. Put customer communication at the forefront of your business plan.
To develop a successful customer communication strategy, you should identify some important components that make business communication effective. Include some of these in your customer communication plan. Let’s look at some of the elements that make up a good customer communication strategy.
Your customer communication needs to be personal. Address people by name if possible rather than referring to them as “Sir” or “Ma’am.” You want to make the customer feel like they are doing business with a person rather than an entity. Referring to them by name will help you here. 70% of customers expect a personalized experience when it comes to business. Remembering and using a customer’s name in verbal communication in customer service is important!
When you start small as a home-based business, it is easy to have a cohesive customer service strategy. You may be the only employee of the business. As you grow, try to keep the cohesion there. It will lead to more effective communication with clients if everyone is on the same page.
Are you more likely to do repeat business with a company you can easily get in touch with? Absolutely. No matter what communication strategies you employ in your home-based business, you should make sure your business is accessible to the customer.
Getting started is easy when you have a small customer base. As your business grows, you’ll want to review customer communication management tools. One way to do this is to look at the Gartner Magic Quadrant as a customer communication management review. This is a series of market research reports that are published by an IT consulting firm. They rely on qualitative data and are updated every few years.
When you put some of the customer communication strategies found in our customer communication management ppt to work, you will be well on your way to effective communication with clients.
There are a variety of methods of communicating with customers. From customer service applications to customer service mobile apps, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. You should be prepared to communicate with customers when they are happy and when they are unhappy.
In this next section, we will discuss different methods of communicating with customers. A handful of years ago there were only a limited number of ways to communicate with the customer — in-person, on the phone or by mail. Now, there are at least eight ways of communication that are common in business:
When you think about the customer communication process in 2021, email may seem antiquated. Nowadays, everything happens nearly in an instant. Email is still a great way to communicate. It is convenient and inexpensive. Newsletters and personalized messages are a great way to keep a large group of customers in the know about what is going on. Email is a central feature of any good customer communications platform.
The global pandemic had many businesses scrambling to adapt to a touch-free workplace. As many as 50% of restaurants started using QR code technology for menus. Not only does this cut down on menu costs, but it also allows your customer to have your menu at their fingertips whenever and wherever they are located.
Even if you are just starting with customer service applications, you can utilize text messaging to communicate with clients about things like deliveries and orders. As you grow, allow customers to opt in for text messages about specials. You could even think about a dedicated number for text messages, a kind of customer communication app.
Creating a website is a necessity for any business. Nearly ⅓ of all consumers in the United States use the internet to search a local business daily. Adding e-Commerce to your website will increase usability and add another layer of communication to your business.
Sometimes it is easier for a customer to ask a quick question in a chat box, instead of going through a complicated customer communication process. Sometimes people don’t want to pick up the phone and wait for someone to answer. Providing a chatbox on your website may even allow you to automate some of the most common questions. You can anticipate the types of information needed when communicating with customers and prepare stock responses to those questions.
Social media allows you to promote your product and engage your customers at the same time. Plus, you can also have one-on-one communication with direct messages. Business accounts on social media also allow you to monitor and track engagement.
Another way to make yourself accessible is to use video messaging, using apps Skype or Zoom. During the global pandemic, video messaging took the place of many face-to-face meetings. Don’t underestimate its valuable nature.
Don’t forget the power of the pen. Think about including a handwritten note with each purchase. A little bit of personal touch goes a long way.
Which one of these methods of communication in customer service will work best for your brand? Would a customer communication app be better than any of these examples? Don’t think you have to reinvent customer communication because you have a small home-based business. The methods of communicating with customers in retail may translate well to the home-based food business.
When it comes to customer service, remember that the customer is king. A customer may come to you for advice, to give praise or to complain about an issue that left them frustrated. There are some innovative ways to communicate with customers that can be applied to each of these scenarios.
The first of our customer service communication examples is to personalize the interaction. Introduce yourself to the customer and use the customer’s name during your conversation. This is especially important if you are a small business. It reminds the customer that you are human and it brings a degree of authenticity to the table.
Another customer service example teaches business owners to use positive language. In other words, instead of saying “I’m not sure,” you can say, “I will look into it” or even “I understand.” This makes the customer feel that their opinion or issue is valued. In a situation where a customer is disgruntled, it can restore confidence in the brand.
If you are trying to learn how to communicate with customers online, remember to make the communication clear and to the point. Remember: the customer has come to you on their own time. By addressing their issues quickly and thoroughly, you again make the customer feel valued.
Hopefully, some of these communications with customers examples will help you develop good customer communications skills that you can pass on to your employees.
Some people are born with great communication skills. Others have to work at them over time. Part of owning and operating a small business is recognizing your own skillset and working on areas in which you can improve. There is always room to improve in customer communication training.
There is customer communication management software that makes customer service training easy. This software lets your employees take courses geared toward your products on their own time. The employees can take online quizzes to check their knowledge and test their skills.
You can also use video recordings to hone customer communication tools among employees. Simulated interactions with customers can be highly beneficial client communication skills training tools.
When you are building your business, don’t neglect customer service and communication. When you engage employees and teach them valuable customer communication training skills, you are doing great things for your business. You promote brand loyalty and make for happier customers. Customer communication is a secret weapon that you should use to your advantage.
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