Whether you’re dealing with complaints, helping with queries, or simply getting a message out, communicating with your customers is an important way to establish meaningful connections and reinforce your brand image. Contact forms, emails, social platforms, and voice messages are some of the most common ways that you can get in touch with your customers (and vice versa).

Being such an essential part of building ongoing customer relations and brand awareness, we’ve put together some tips to help you become an effective communicator.

1. Respond quickly

The Internet has made it possible for small businesses to engage and interact with potential customers in new and more direct ways. Emails and other online messaging services (including Facebook messenger and live chat functions) allow you to reply quickly and efficiently to complaints, emails, requests or other concerns. Because of this, modern customers tend to expect a rapid response.

It’s important to manage expectations by telling customers when they can expect a final response at a later time, particularly with complex requests. Even if you can’t resolve the issue straight away, customers want to at least receive acknowledgment that you are aware of the problem and are working towards providing a solution.

2. Personalise responses

Automated responses can be useful when dealing with a large flow of email traffic, but they’re often received coldly by the people they’re meant to reassure – your customers!

There are a couple of steadfast rules you can follow to personalise your responses, including never beginning a response with ‘Dear valued customer’. Always use first names where possible. Also, try and use a conversational tone (as long as it fits with the branding of your particular business), and reassure your customer that you’re taking responsibility for their query.

3. Continue support

Even after you’ve addressed a customer’s problem, ask them if there’s any way you can help them further. Quite often there won’t be anything else they require, but a simple ‘is there anything else I can help you with today?’ goes a long way in showing how willing you are to ensure they are fully happy with the service or product you are providing them.

4. Follow-up

Once you’ve fully met your customer’s needs or resolved their problem, make a point of following up with them after a few days. Check how they are going and if they are having any further problems. This not only helps you identify early issues, but also further establishes a positive impression of your company.

Throughout this entire process, it’s important to keep an upbeat, professional mentality. Customers who are frustrated can sometimes be a bit abrasive, but staying polite and following the above steps towards effective communication can go a long way in turning their negative outlook into a positive one.

If you’re finding that a common issue your customers face is that of missing information, it may be time to revisit the copy on your website. Check out Shuttle Rocket’s affordable copywriting packages, and fine-tune your client communication from the moment they reach your website.