Today’s customer demands simplicity, flexibility, convenience and services anywhere anytime. In order to establish customer loyalty, it is important to connect with the customer first. And, for that, you need to take responsibility for your brand communication.

As a small business owner, building rapport with your customers is easy. It allows you to reach people on a more personal level helping build stronger relationships.

And, to create stronger customer relationships, you need to establish strong communication at various touchpoints in the customer journey in order for them to keep coming back to you.

“Your customers might love your product or services but they’ll love your brand only when you go beyond and exceed their expectations.”

Mind you, it’s not just the customer service team who needs to effectively communicate with customers, but the entire team should understand what your customer needs.

Know your customer – their pain points, where they get stuck and where they feel elated – play a positive part in their journey

Your customers should feel an emotional connection with your business and to cultivate this connection you will need to offer interactive avenues at every possible communication touchpoint. It is these avenues that will lead to customer engagement and future purchase opportunities.

The 5 communication touch points I’m about to talk are the main areas where you need to put all your efforts and make a remark to turn your customers into loyal fans.

5 Critical Communication Touchpoints To Foster Business Relationships

1. Pre-Sales – Learn About Your Customer

Pre-sales is a crucial stage that offers an opportunity to qualify, win and renew leads into customers.

It all starts with understanding what your customers value and to know that you need to listen to them – rightly. The key is to listen, learn and adapt but it all begins with a conversation and you will have to initiate it.

You will need to make your pre-sales communication stronger. And for that take a cue from great sales reps who have always tried to anticipate customer needs and to deliver on them consistently.

#Pre-sales communication tip: Personalization is the key to making your customer feel valued as an individual, and not as a number.

2. In-Sales – Go The Extra Mile

ABC in sales jargon stands for “Always be Closing” but it also stands for “Always be Communicating”.

From opening pitch to the closing deal, it is effective communication that supports every step in the customer’s journey providing a critical link between the potential customer and the team.

Remember, the guiding goal of any successful sales communication strategy should be to provide leads with the right information through the right medium at the right time. And thanks to the next-gen communication mediums, businesses today are capable of communicating through omnichannel.

#In-sales communication tip: When you engage with customers, be careful not to create a one-way conversation. Ask customers questions, and respond to their inquiries.

3. Post-Sales – Keep the Conversations Flowing

We see tons of ads every day. In this noisy marketplace, businesses need to find more creative and effective ways to stand out and stay relevant. And, post-purchase communication is an imperative part where you need to excel.

An essential facet of any marketing or customer retention strategy, you can use post-purchase communications to influence feelings about your customer’s recent purchase, as well as inspire future purchases. It is at this stage where the customer support team within an organisation plays a huge part.

Here’s an example of post-purchase SMS communication from Ola to bring a customer back.

#Post-purchase tip: Your post-purchase communications need to be balanced between promotional and engaging.

4. Follow Up – Be Consistent

The way consumers spend is based on emotions, same ways, consumers also stay loyal to a brand based on emotions. And it is in your hands that your customers stay loyal to your brand.

#Follow up tip: Consistency is the key when it comes to staying connected with your customers.

5. Feedback – Show Them You’re Listening

Whether the opinion of a customer about your business is good or bad, they will make it known. Invite customer feedback to show you are listening.

Also, customer feedback helps you better your business offering to meet customer needs. It can be as simple as creating a short survey and share it with your customers over a simple text message or an email with a few questions sent to them after a couple of days of purchase.

#Feedback communication tip: Feedback coming from customers is important in order to create strategies, develop products and services improvements, improve customer relationships and much more. Keep it short and simple.

“RELATIONSHIPS ARE BUILT OVERTIME”

The touch points with customers have increased and so have the mediums that are keeping pace with new touchpoints as they emerge.

Commonly businesses choose SMS, Email, Push notifications or an Omnichannel approach especially into the online business landscape to communicate better and effectively.

Adopt a medium of communication that is universal, resonates with the nature of your business and what your customers are most comfortable with. But, the most important thing is to be conscious of the experience you’re delivering and to deliver it consistently.

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Pallavi Jaisinghani

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