What Is Customer Communication? (And How to Improve It)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published October 23, 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Businesses that focus on strengthening customer relationships can increase loyalty, promote their products, and increase sales and revenue. There are many communication strategies to form a connection, share information about new products, and resolve issues. Communicating with customers can help you develop strategies for increasing consumer satisfaction and retention. In this article, we define customer communication, share the benefits of focusing on communication, and explain how to improve communication with customers.
What is customer communication?
Customer communication refers to interactions between a business and its clients that influence decision-making. This can refer to advertising, social media interactions, customer support, and face-to-face contact. Companies strive to share information about their products or services, offer discounts or promotions, and gain insight into customer behaviour and interests. Communication involves working with consumers to resolve specific issues and listening to their interests.
Businesses focus on customer communication because it's a significant component of maintaining a positive brand image and increasing satisfaction. Suppose customers feel like a company cares about their issues and responds to their inquiries. In that case, they might develop a more favourable impression of their products or services and remain loyal to the company. Communication channels such as social media allow businesses to interact directly with potential customers in an open environment where each exchange is visible to the public. Positive communication can show potential customers how a company handles issues and interacts with clients.
Benefits of effective communication with customers
Here are some benefits you may see from effective communication:
Communicating with customers can help resolve and prevent minor problems from becoming significant. As a manager, establishing multiple communication channels can make it easier for customers to contact the company when they have an issue with a product or service. Responding promptly to customer complaints allows you to demonstrate the company's integrity and makes customers feel valued.
Build brand image
Customer-focused communication allows you to develop a company's image and increase recognition among potential clients. Choosing practical communication tools and sending specific messages can convey information about a brand and help consumers form positive associations. For example, using social media to connect with potential customers, share information, and promote aspects of a company can help establish a brand and emphasize critical components of the business. Interacting with customers with various tools allows you to demonstrate that the company realizes the importance of customer relations, further establishing a positive brand image.
Form a connection
Communication helps businesses connect with potential customers and encourages them to learn more about their products or services. If customers can contact a company through social media or a website, they can ask questions, learn more about what it offers, and engage with advertising content. Targeted advertising is another way to strengthen the connection between customers and a company, as you can generate specific information related to customer interests. A relationship between a business and its customers may also lead to future sales.
Businesses focusing on positive customer communication can increase loyalty and encourage repeat purchases. When customers feel like a business listens to them and responds promptly to their questions or requests, they might feel committed to that company and choose them over competitors. Customer loyalty may allow you to raise prices and increase profit margins without negatively impacting sales.
How to improve customer communication
Here are steps you can follow as a manager to improve communication:
1. Assess the situation
Before you start working on improving communication with customers, consider the current situation within the company and assess its goals. Communication strategies might differ for large and small corporations, so evaluate the business you work for and the target market. You can also review the available budget for hiring new service staff or incorporating new communication technology. Assess organizational goals and values so your efforts to improve communication align with broader objectives. Include current methods of communication so you can establish a foundation for progress.
2. Create a team
Forming a team to work on improving communication allows you to incorporate multiple perspectives and areas of expertise into your work. Contact collaborators at various levels of the organization to assist you in your efforts. Finance and accounting professionals can help with budgeting and forecasting the associated costs, marketing professionals can understand consumer behaviour and advertising, and customer service professionals can share their experiences with current customers. Consider engaging consultants that specialize in improving communication to gain a new perspective.
3. Gather data
Try to gather data related to current methods for communicating with customers. Collect qualitative information, such as descriptions of customer experiences, and quantitative figures, like response time, engagement, and customer retention. Look at the data in multiple ways to search for patterns and issues. If possible, learn how the company's competitors approach communication with their customers and use their statistics as a comparison. If you notice that other businesses have more returning customers, you might conclude that the company can improve its communication with customers.
Two-way communication between customers and businesses is critical for determining effective strategies. As you gather data, try to ensure you prioritize customer input during the process and provide opportunities for existing customers to have a significant role. Customer satisfaction surveys are an excellent way to obtain a response or contact individual clients and ask them to discuss their experience communicating with the business you represent.
4. Consider solutions
Review a range of possible methods for improving communication and assess the viability of each approach. Using multiple techniques and strategies may significantly impact communication, so try to identify several ways. You might focus on improving the company's social media presence, increasing interactions with potential customers, and expanding the customer service department.
This increased social media presence can also allow customers to connect with representatives using multiple communication channels and enable the company to establish in-person interactions to build relationships with clients. Try to use data and customer input to help determine your choice of solutions.
5. Use technology
Using technology can be an effective way to improve communication with customers. Technology allows you to respond to customers quickly using a variety of platforms. Customers usually use this response time as a critical metric for evaluating how a company answers their inquiries. Using various technological solutions, such as social media and chat software accounts, customers can inquire about issues, and the company can update its website for increased interactivity. It's beneficial to test various technologies to find practical solutions for the organization.
6. Assess results
After you implement strategies for improving communication, try to assess results and evaluate progress. You can use customer satisfaction surveys, interviews, and data collection methods to determine how customers respond to the new approaches. Use the information you gather to determine which communication strategies benefit you and continue focusing on those that offer a positive return. Try to evaluate the success using multiple metrics and evaluate the relationship between improved communication and increased revenue.
7. Stay current
Continue to research new methods for connecting with customers and improving communication. Stay current on communication technology and research new social media platforms, software applications, and online services. Consider establishing a permanent team to focus on customer interaction and continually provide new strategies for improvement. Connect with customer service team members and ask them to give suggestions using their direct experience with customers. Maintaining a focus on communication can help you identify new trends and make the customer experience a central aspect of the company's brand.
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