Being a cloud-based business phone system, we’re pretty big on communication, and we know running and scaling a business is hard.
Whether it’s prospects, new clients, retained clients, one-off projects, internal staff or freelancers, communication is at the heart of everything your business does. It’s how you speak to external clients, how you address staff internally and how staff members speak to each other. Miscommunication is your enemy because it wastes time and harms client relationships. Tasks fall between the cracks and vital deadlines are missed.
You might not even realise that your business is bad at communicating, but there are some telltale signs...
Failure to communicate effectively leads to disagreements and complications and what starts as a tiny mistake or problem can be the start of a journey towards you and your client parting ways.
The Importance of great communication in Client Relationships
It’s important to establish good communication with your clients early on, as it sets the tone for your working relationship. Whether you’re a startup with a sales team, or an established business with numerous offices and a large portfolio of clients, good and consistent communication has to be a top priority. Good communication equals positive relationships.
We created the following video that focuses on four top communication tips that are often forgotten or not even considered by many businesses. These simple methods of communication can motivate your client and help create a positive client relationship.
Press play or read about them below.
24 Hour Rule
Client emails should be responded to within 24 hours - it’s so important to show clients you value their business and are committed to their success. It’s a basic strategy that should be included as part of any client communication training with your employees - and one that can maintain, and even save relationships by working in reverse. If you find yourself irritated or annoyed by an email, give it 24 hours before you respond. Don’t send something you may regret later.
Call agendas should be the focal point of any regular client calls. Use them to bullet point the content of the call and send out beforehand so each party can prepare. Client calls should be productive, run through reports and achievements, or set new goals and targets. Organisation is key, especially if there are a number of people on the call - it’s easy to get carried away with idle chit chat, resulting in an unproductive call and a waste of time for both you and your client.
Make a Video
If you're onboarding a new customer or need to educate them on something they’ve never used before consider creating a video tutorial. Videos are more personable and engaging as well as being easier to follow than a long email full of instructions. Creating a simple step-by-step, easy to follow tutorial will show professionalism and creativity, whilst also making sure your client has all the information they need.
It’s all about quality, not quantity - keep communication with clients to a minimum. Communicate internally and collaborate on emails or reports so that clients only receive one email, instead of an email from each team that might be dealing with the different aspects of the account. Client-facing communication should be organised and efficient, as well as clear and concise.
Keep Notes and Track Client History
Being able to keep notes and track client call history is another way to improve communication. VoIP and cloud-based business phone systems like CircleLoop, have lots of features that can help with this.
Cloud Call Recording enables users to listen back to any business call. This is great for staff training, or quality control. With call recordings it's easy to teach new employees the skills to communicate effectively by listening back to strong examples. And on the flip side, use it to highlight any weaknesses or areas of communication that may need improvement.
Call Analytics is a feature available at admin level, and at a basic user level in varying degrees of functionality. Call analytics provides data driven analysis to help improve sales or stop wasting time on poor prospects.
Call and Contact Tagging enables users to make notes against a caller, meaning they’re able to give as much context as possible to a sales professional if the customer was to ring back, or when making another call.
If you’re using other tools to help run your business, such as a CRM like Hubspot, or accounting tools, like Xero you can integrate them with CircleLoop to elevate your communication further, connecting every aspect from informal conversations with clients to logging frequent callers within your sales teams.
Improve Customer-Facing Communication
We’re big on customer-facing communication, and we practice what we preach with our highly regarded Customer Success Team. Although our service is a self-service tool, we pride ourselves on continually providing great customer service for our customers.
There are many ways to further improve communication, especially for customer-facing roles. Some of these are:
Product or Service Knowledge - regular training sessions and product updates will keep your sales teams on top of their game.
Empathy - understand the customer, and the problem. And if you have to go that extra mile, do so.
Active Listening - stay focused and don’t assume anything. Ask questions, and make notes of key information.
Authenticity - always try your best to find the best solution for every customer.
Patience - you can’t please everybody, and a customer-facing role will no doubt experience an unhappy customer, but being able to maintain patience will help to solve the problem.
Personal Responsibility - made a mistake? Own it. Taking accountability and fixing a mistake goes a long way in retaining customers.
Incorporating the tips above within your communication strategy will help to ensure successful client communication. If you want more information on how you can improve your communication, download our free eBook below which is packed full of tips to help you make the most of your comms.