How companies communicate with their customers is the key factor in determining if they will have a positive buying experience and when they will come back to purchase again.
The single biggest competitive weapon that small businesses have over large competitors in this area is the use of technology. Big companies are slow to switch since they have invested millions of dollars in their systems. Alternately, small business owners can invest a fraction of the cost with cloud solutions to create a solid and growing infrastructure. It is actually easier now than it was years ago to provide an excellent customer experience with a small technology investment.
Small Business Communications Mistakes
Here are the areas that must be addressed:
1. Phone Communication System
Don’t get stuck with old PBX switches or just using cell phones for company business. Selecting a robust “Voice Over IP” (VOIP) system with a company like Nextiva will make a business seem large and professional even when they are small. I remember in one of the companies I started, we had alot extensions for different staff members that didn’t even exist (yet!) to make us seem like a more established company. By getting a central business number and an automated receptionist with an auto attendant menu, customers will become more comfortable buying from the start. Most importantly, Nextiva solutions will simplify a small business with a single, seamless source for all its email, voice, instant messaging, and conferencing communication.
2. Team Collaboration
The single most important factor in a company’s productivity is how easily they can collaborate together even when they are not physically in the same place. Nextiva Drive allows team members (and customers) to collaborate on documents in a secured environment. It becomes easy to access, edit, share, and back up company data from any device.
3. Call Data
Data analytics is critical if a small business is going to understand their customers. With Nextiva, a company can know who is calling, how often, and how long they are on the line. It can also track the staff’s activities of inbound and outbound calls on a scoreboard to measure their productivity and results.
4. Customer Relationship Management System (CRM)
Knowledge about the customer used to be based on the collective knowledge of a company’s team. Unfortunately, when those people would leave, the information would go with them. Now, it is very simple to keep track of thousands of prospects and customers with an effective CRM system. This should be the repository of all information including their last conversation or interaction, how they responded to various marketing campaigns, and where they are in the selling process.
5. Social Media Management System
Managing a company’s social media presence needs to have a strategy and process to it. Customers need to be responded on social media. There are various tools to help you manage this, like Zendesk. Instead of being only reactive on social media, content can be scheduled strategically weeks in advance using Meet Edgar or Hootsuite on Twitter and Facebook.
What business communications tools do you use with your customers?
Republished by permission. Original here.
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For team collaboration, you can even do it online. What we use is BB Collab or GotoMeeting. It works the same way as having a real meeting only better for everyone can see the same monitor.
It is very important to set up a system and make sure that it is in place. This will ensure that you have a system for approaching any type of situation as it comes up.
Having a system is good for communication planning. I have recently looked into that and my interest was definitely piqued. It is where you plan for different situations in your business particularly in risk communications, investor communications and the likes.