Companies have clients both within and outside of their organization. Shareholders, employees and regulators are typically seen as internal customers, but it’s traditional clients that keep revenue flowing.
Communication with external patrons is essential, and whether a message is related to marketing, sales or other essential functions, failure to professionally get your point across can prove detrimental.
Fortunately, there are several ways you can improve communication with external clients.
1. Keep it Simple
The message you convey to external clients is important, but communication relies upon the ability to first connect. You don’t want your customers having to search far and wide to find a way to contact your company. By making contact simple, you increase the likelihood that clients will actually try to communicate.
Fortunately, there are several ways to accomplish this. You’ll first want to ensure that your company can be reached through a variety of platforms. These should include email, phone, social media and even contact forms. It’s also essential to place contact information conspicuously on all marketing pages. Few things can upset a client more than being unable to easily get in touch.
2. Avoid the Spam Folder at All Costs
Making it easy for customers to contact you is great, but what about your messages to them? Surprisingly to many, email is still one of the most popular ways to disseminate marketing and sales messages. In fact, 73 percent of Millennials prefer email over other marketing communications. Of course, email’s popularity means very little if your messages are going into Spam folders.
Unfortunately, many of the old-school methods of getting people to open an email can land you in “the folder of no return.” Concealing text within images, adding “Re:” in subject lines to indicate previous contact and many other “tricks” will cause email providers to think your messages are spam. Just be straight forward, and your messages will get across.
3. Personalize External Communications
Recent studies show that 78 percent of consumers want companies’ communications with them to be personalized. Generic messages showcase a lack of effort, and your clients want to feel as if they’re special. The best way to accomplish this is by gathering data from your customers, dividing them into subgroups based on certain traits and then tailoring different messages to each group.
4. Utilize Professional Proofreading Software
Many companies think spellcheck is all they need for accurate proofreading. Unfortunately, times have changed and this is no longer the case. Effective communication with external clients requires clear tone, ideal wording, a knowledge of best practices and real-time feedback.
Of course, most word processors cannot provide this depth of analysis. Luckily, proofreading software that utilizes artificial intelligence now exists. The best company in the world can fall short if their actual message isn’t compelling, but the right software can ensure your communications are always effective.
5. Always Remain Consistent
Organizations get their messaging copy from a variety of sources. In many instances, they utilize content mills which can result in five messages being written by five different people. While you don’t have to avoid this tactic, you do need to ensure that every communication showcases your brand voice before being distributed.
Maybe your company’s brand conveys a young and hip image. Then again, your target clientele could be professionals who want to skip all the hubbub and get right down to brass tacks. The important thing is to remain consistent. You want your company to be identifiable immediately, and keeping your voice in line with your branding will assist in this endeavor.
Consistent Improvement Mandatory
Whether it’s using up-to-date proofreading software or utilizing several contact methods, there are innumerable ways you can improve communication with your external clients.
Some of these tactics will take time to show their positive effects, but others can improve your organizational contact methods almost immediately. Humans thrive on interaction, so as long as you’re communicating in an effective manner, you can rest assured that your clients will repay the favor with loyalty.