Maintaining Communication Standards

Culture Maintaining Communication Standards

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Keep ‘Em Talking – Maintaining Communication Standards

People don’t buy from companies; people buy from people. We’ve all had irritating cold calls from anonymous corporations, and spam mail filling up our inboxes. Maybe you’ve been unlucky enough to have had your email or computer outright hacked due to an online security flaw. These are all fears deeply ingrained into the modern online consumer, and your company’s website has to immediately convince them of your integrity in order to stay ahead of the shadier competition. The best way to do this is to focus on communication, making it easier to facilitate conversation between you and your customers. The easier you are to contact, the more trustworthy you’ll appear.
Mastering social media
This is an easy one – make sure your social media is regularly updated and that you are replying to any comments or complaints. You don’t necessarily have to updated it hourly or even daily, but people need to see a pattern of maintenance. If you’re not updating a particular channel, it’s actually often better to delete it. Social media needs time and care to cultivate, so keep your campaign streamlined and focused by picking a channel and sticking to it. (In case you’re having trouble deciding which one, read our ‘Which social media network is right for you?’ blog) Remember to also bear in mind what days and times your customers will be around.

Designing the discourse
As well as social media, the design of your website is important. Give your site a distinct personality to remind customers there’s a human user on the end. Don’t be too clever with the basics though – the words “Contact Us” might seem dull, but they’re ubiquitous for a reason. Customers have been trained to scan the page for those two words (usually at the top right-hand corner of the page), and variations or deviations from them might not immediately register. Also include making your phone number clearly visible and as an HTML, not an image. Mobile browsing now rivals desktop browsing, meaning almost everyone needs the instant access that HTML provides.

(Contact) Forming ideas
Once again, simplicity is attractive. Keep your questions as brief as possible and your forms to one-column fields. Usability studies have shown that customers filling out these types of forms saved time, due to reading vertically instead of laterally. It’s no crime to have large input boxes either, as they force you to limit the number of fields. Customers will be reluctant to send off their own personal information if they don’t know where it’s going, so reassure them by telling them that their information is safe and that you won’t share it with a third party. Put this next to a clear action button at the bottom.

Remember, above all be open and be transparent. It’s not just new customers you should be thinking of; transparency also breeds loyalty, and the value of customer retention is not to be underestimated – a 5% increase in customer retention can be immensely profitable, and it’s estimated to cost between six to seven more times to gain a new customer than to keep an existing one. With this in mind, you can’t afford not to keep your customers in the loop.

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