8 ways to effectively communicate with clients

Business communication experts discuss the best methods for interacting with clients.

1 2 Page 2
Page 2 of 2

“We use Slack to get clients out of email and into a chat room format,” says Kate Finley, CEO, Belle Communications. “We can make communication much more personal [using Slack] and decrease the need for lengthy meetings or the trap of multiple correspondence channels like text, email, phone and social media.”

6. Snail mail. “Don't dismiss ‘snail mail,’” cautions Deborah Dumaine, CEO, Better Communications Writing Workshops. “Today almost all of our communication is delivered through our phones or computers. To stand out to new prospects [and even existing clients], a mailed letter can make a far bigger impression than yet another email in an overflowing inbox,” she says. “Letters are so rare that people can be intrigued and will open them. Try it.”

7. Social media (LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter messaging). “One of the most significant upsides of staying in touch with clients over social media is that you’re meeting consumers where they’re already spending their time,” says Bruce Milne, executive vice president, Socialware, which helps clients manage social media across the enterprise. “Use social media networks to regularly share content, updates and your own tips with clients, thus establishing yourself as a credible expert in your field and a top-of-mind choice when your type of services are required. In situations where discretion is necessary, [use] Facebook Messenger, Twitter direct messages (DMs) [or] LinkedIn InMail.”

Another advantage to using social media is “communications can be attended to at a client’s leisure,” he adds. “That means you [don’t have to worry about] interrupting [an important meeting or] dinner [or messages] getting buried in their email inbox.”

[ Related: 7 ways social media can improve customer satisfaction ]

8. Texting. “I always give my clients my cell number and let them know it's OK to text me about urgent matters,” says Tomaro. “This not only helps me stay on top of things that need my immediate attention, but shows my clients I truly care about their business.”

“Some of my service providers (doctors, salons) have moved to text messaging, which is really effective as a way to remind clients of their appointments and of special deals they may have going on,” notes Garrett. “It gets my attention much more so than an email that just sits in the inbox with dozens of other messages.”

“As businesses look to woo the critical millennial market and break through today's cluttered communication channels, SMS/text-based messaging is one of the fastest and most efficient ways to accomplish this goal,” explains Tim Fujita-Yuhas, director Product Management & New Product Strategy, OpenMarket, a mobile engagement solution provider. “Businesses should also look to text-enable customer service phone numbers to streamline requests internally and to allow clientele to reach out and interact when it’s convenient for them.”

[ Related: 9 ways mobile and social tech improves the retail shopping experience ]

How to choose the client communication strategy that’s right for your clients

“The best way for businesses to stay in contact with clients is to discuss with them the best means of communication,” says Kyle Brigham, director of Accounts, Marcel Digital, a boutique digital marketing and web development agency. “Give them the opportunity to tell you how to reach them best. [And] never assume one [method] of communication works for everyone.”

[ Related: 11 Tips for Improving Your Company’s Customer Support ]

“Once you have [ascertained] their communication preferences, record that information in a customer relationship management program,” says Zach Schaefer, president, Spark the Discussion. “Then follow the preferences that they [have] given you. The worst thing a service provider can do is ask their clients about their communication preferences and then ignore that information.”

Remember to be respectful of clients’ time (and patience)

Whichever method of communication you use, “make sure you are delivering value in your communications and ensure the method and frequency of communications is welcome,” says Erika Goldwater, vice president of Marketing, ANNUITAS, a demand generation company. “Contact or notify customers with useless information or a few too many promotional emails and you may lose them as customers.”

1 2 Page 2
Page 2 of 2
Time is running our to share your experience. Take the 2019 State of the CIO survey today!