How do you communicate with your customers? This was a question that came up this week at my monthly networking group Coffee & Cake Business Network (www.key-words.co.uk/events).
While there’s always the option of picking up the phone, or dropping in for a meeting, many of the ways we communicate with clients relate to marketing.
Some businesses set out a clear marketing strategy; others simply carry out ad hoc activities, from sending out the occasional email or press release to writing a blog or being visible on social media.
While this may bring some results, a lack of strategic planning can mean that your marketing takes a back seat when times are busy, or you spend a lot of time on activities that have very little impact.
The discussion at the meeting centred on the fact that we often choose to communicate with our customers in a way that doesn’t suit them – or appeal to them.
For example, we send out emails to customers who never read email marketing. Because email marketing is now ubiquitous, in some cases it can be better to send out a letter or postcard instead.
Better still might be to target a number of key customers, say 10 or 15 people, and give them a phone call.
At the same time, it’s often worth doing a little bit of research to find out how your customers like you to communicate with them. One of the businesses at the meeting was a hair salon – they could potentially devise a feedback form or postcard with boxes to tick on the options for being contacted.
Many companies are now active on social media – another useful marketing tool. However, there’s no point in focusing all your marketing activity on your Twitter and Facebook accounts if many of your customers are not on social media.
Finally, another important point was whether you were offering customers what they wanted.
Interestingly, not everyone wants discount, especially if it’s offered at a time when they are not ready to buy – in the case of the hairdresser, when they’ve only recently visited the salon. Your customer may prefer a free bolt-on service or a free product instead.
Creative, affordable copywriting that will help you sell your products and services. From blogging packages and web content to press releases and e-marketing, we offer professional copywriting in Huddersfield and Leeds and across West Yorkshire and the UK.
Read my monthly column in The Eye magazine, interviews with top authors in Excelle magazine, features written for Around Town magazine and a variety of articles written for the national press.
From Joanne Harris to Iain Banks, find out more about events with bestselling authors and creative writing courses in Huddersfield run by Key Words.
For business there’s a choice of Writing for Business seminars, one-off masterclasses and speaking engagements, as well as our monthly Coffee & Cake Business Network event at Café Society in Huddersfield