Communication is a pillar of survival. Every day in business and in life, we are constantly interacting via emails, texts, body language, and social media. Verbally and nonverbally, communication will always be necessary; and, when it comes to business, communication will remain as vital as your company purpose. Could there be such a thing as too much communication though? Yes, but it can be managed.

When it comes to your business, you’ll want the reassurance that not only are your customers engaging with your brand, but that they are also leaving with a positive experience to share. With this goal in mind, it can be tempting to bombard customers and clients with multiple communications in an effort to keep your company fresh in their thoughts. Fight this instinct. However useful and necessary communication is in business, overzealous efforts through email or social or cold-calling can end up hurting you and your company more than it can help.

As much as we all wish there was, there is no one magic solution or 5-step system to ensuring good engagement with your customers, but there are smart ways to go about being professional and engaging without crossing over the line to pushy and annoying.

 

Keep an Ear to the Ground to Stay Relevant

Much like fashion trends and the ways people prefer to make payments, the ways in which we communicate will continue to evolve as our technology evolves. Social media will likely continue to play a big part in customer engagement, and staying on top of the most popular channels and trends will be beneficial. Keep in mind a couple suggestions from Forbes for when you actually make use of these channels.  

  • Be an active listener and actually make an effort to keep track of and occasionally respond to the Likes and Shares of your customers. People want to know that they were heard.
  • Be aware of the 80/20 rule. 80% of your outreach should engage your audience, and 20% should promote your brand. More than 20% promotions may seem more like a sales pitch than wanting to build a relationship, so keep proportions in check.
  • Words matter, so choose them wisely. When posting to social, don’t aim to use a “social media” voice, use your brand voice.

Stay True and Transparent

If customers feel that you’ve been misrepresenting yourself, it’s unlikely that they will want come back and experience that again. Making exaggerated statements or claims about your business that don’t hold up long term will not lay the groundwork for trust. Be upfront with what your business is about.

 

Be the One They Go To, Not Run From

Believe it or not, sometimes people need a break. This may seem hard to comprehend because being a constant presence to consumers is important for business, but one of the biggest turn-offs to a customer is clinginess. A 2015 survey showed approximately 35% of individuals unsubscribing from a business’s feed due to an explosion of emails, followed closely by irrelevant content in those emails.  

 

Ask Yourself the Right Questions

As the saying “it takes one to know one” goes, you won’t understand how to properly reach out to your customers without taking a walk in their shoes. Consider asking yourself a few questions to get in the right mindset to start communications.

  • Is this copy easy to understand?
  • How often do I read emails sent to me by other companies?
  • What types of emails or social media posts do I typically prefer to see?

Taking on a customer perspective before hitting Send on any of your communications will save you potential headaches over lack of responses later.

 

Don’t Over-complicate Communication

Depending on the business, some may offer up their full contact information soup to nuts, including addresses, phone numbers, and email address. Others may prefer to have an online messaging form through their website. Whatever method of contact works best for your business, make sure that your customers know what it is and how to act on that.

Customers want to know that you’re there and that you care, but there is a line between engaging and annoying when it comes to customer outreach. By utilizing the communication tools available effectively and not incessantly, you will be able to capture and keep their interest in your business.

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This piece was written by Lauren Minning, Content Specialist for Payline.