If you are trying to build a successful online business, you need to learn how to communicate with your Consumers in an effective and concise manner. The internet was created to facilitate communications, after all. When you are speaking with your Consumers, you need to be at the top of your game.
There are many avenues for communication with the internet. But which one should you choose? How can you tell which method is best for your company and your team? Don’t worry–we can help you narrow down your decision.
Here are a few options your company has when it comes to online communication.
1. Social media responses
This communication method entails replying to comments and questions posted by your Consumers. More and more companies are designating an employee to manage all of their social media accounts. Other companies choose to hire outside social media firms to manage and coordinate profiles, communications, and marketing through social media.
2. Social media chatbots
Chatbots are very useful tools. These computer programs are able to answer simple questions in the style of human conversation. Think of them as interactive FAQs. If the chatbot’s AI is stumped, it can direct your Consumer to contact your company by more direct means.
3. Website chats
These computer programs connect a Consumer directly to one of your company’s representatives. Your employee will be able to respond to the customer in real time. Larger corporations have entire departments devoted to chatting online with Consumers, whereas small businesses usually have a few employees rotate chat duty.
For emails, your goal should be crafting quick, professional, and thorough responses. You might want to create a few model responses as unofficial templates for your staff to follow when communicating with Clients.
However you choose to engage with your Consumers, you should probably develop an in-house style guide so that your company’s communications stay consistent. The guide should include standardized grammatical and spelling rules, along with rules about addressing Consumers (“Mr. Surname” or “Bob”) and other incidental points. Some companies simply decide to use an existing style guide (MLA, Chicago, APA, e.g.) and add company-specific policies.
A brief note for companies with younger employees: Consider training your staff on business correspondence. Someone who is fresh out of college or who is returning to the workplace after a long period of unemployment might be unfamiliar with corporate conventions. While you might get a few eye rolls and aggrieved sighs, you will avoid situations that range from embarrassing (ending a serious email with “THX<3!”) to damaging (using crude slang when replying to a Consumer). A brief workshop on basics of business correspondence will cost you a small amount of productivity but saves you hours of damage control.
As you can see, it’s easy to communicate with your customers online as long as you have all of your channels optimized and ready to go. No matter which option you choose, remember that Consumer communication is the first step to long-term success.
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