Communication Mistakes Made by Small Businesses

113

Customer communication is important for businesses of all sizes, particularly enterprises that cater to hyperlocal audiences. In the absence of effective communication, both current and prospective patrons are liable to feel left out of the loop, confused and disrespected. So, if your business’s communication efforts leave something to be desired, you’d do well to address the issue posthaste. In the quest to ensure good customer communication, take care to avoid the following missteps.

Taking Forever to Respond to Customer Communiques  

You’d be hard-pressed to find a consumer who’s amenable to waiting exorbitantly long periods to hear back from businesses. After all, if you were to submit a question or concern to a brand you trust, it stands to reason that you’d expect to receive a response in a timely manner. So, if you and your staff have a habit of treating customer communiques as a low priority, this needs to change ASAP.

Taking forever to get back to customers creates the impression that their concerns are unimportant and their opinions mean less than nothing to you. So, if you’re looking for effective ways to express appreciation to your patrons, providing timely responses to questions and concerns is a great place to start. Whenever customer communiques are received during your normal hours of operation, make an earnest effort to respond before the end of the business day. Should a question require further research, let the sender know that the matter is being addressed instead of waiting until you’ve found the answer to offer up a response. 

Depending on how busy your business is and how many customer communiques you receive in a given day, hiring a dedicated customer service representative may be a wise course of action. As the title suggests, this individual will assume full responsibility for handling customer inquiries and grievances, thereby enabling you and the rest of your team members to focus on other parts of the business.  

Not Responding to Feedback on Social Media 

You’d do well to regard social media feedback with the same level of importance as other forms of customer communication. Unfortunately, some businesses view questions and comments received via social media as low-priority – if not outright ignorable. Needless to say, this is a mistake. Since popular social platforms are many consumers’ preferred vehicles for communicating with their favorite brands, social media feedback should never be placed on the backburner. Promptly responding to comments and questions from your followers will help make you seem nice and approachable, thereby encouraging more followers to reach out to you through social platforms. 

You should also avoid being goaded into arguments on social media by individuals who thrive on conflict. Not only does this stand to land you in trouble with various social platforms, it’s also liable to make you appear combative and/or immature in the eyes of your followers.

If your business’s various social media accounts receive a substantial number of comments and inquiries, consider tasking your dedicated customer representative with monitoring said accounts and responding to feedback. A dedicated social media manager can also prove very helpful in this endeavor.  

Failing to Provide Dedicated Patrons with Regular Updates 

If repeat customers are among the cornerstones of your business, it’s only natural that they’d wish to be kept in the know. So, whenever new business hours, price alterations or important staffing changes go into effect, take care to inform your dedicated patrons posthaste. This can be done via email, social media or dependable automated text messaging software. 

If customers are kept in the loop, they’re less likely to be surprised and/or inconvenienced in response to changes that take place within your business. As such, whenever a change that stands to impact customers takes place, take care to notify them using any of the methods mentioned above.  

Effective customer communication should be among the foremost priorities of any small business. Finding the proper avenues of reaching out to your target audience will enable you to keep your patrons informed and display your appreciation for them. Unfortunately, not all businesses are equally adept at communicating with their intended audiences, and missteps on the communication front can do considerable damage to your enterprise. So, in the interest of maximizing your business’s customer communication efforts, steer clear of the blunders discussed above.  

TIME BUSINESS NEWS