The longevity of a business is influenced by several factors. Its management, the impact of its services and products, its approach to the market, marketing efforts and of course, its customers all combine to the success of a business. If customers love your business and you know how to keep customers loyal through good service, you are headed in the right direction. Unfortunately, Bloomberg tells us that 80 percent of businesses fail in the first 18 months. Why, you ask? There are several reasons and one is lack of communication.
Communication is a way to develop a powerful relationship with your customers. Sometimes businesses ignore some of the basics of communication, and that will hinder business growth in a big way. Here are three communication mistakes your business may be making and how to overcome them.
You Lack a Clear Way for Your Customers to Reach You
You have a business website, and that’s a great first step. But do you have a few different ways your customers can contact you? You need to.
In addition to a phone number, you need to provide an email address where customers or clients can reach you. Another great option is a contact form that allows you to give people the choice to select what they want to contact you about, and makes it easier to organize and manage your messages. You should also link your social media accounts to your website so you can listen to customer inquiries.
You Don’t Seek Customer Feedback
Do you have any idea how your customers feel about your business? Do you ask them what they think or just hope they will tell you? Do you fear if you ask for feedback you may receive too many requests that you are unable to implement?
There are many reasons why businesses need to ask for customer feedback. You need to be aware if your customers need something or encounter a problem. Chances are, if something is wrong you will know right away. But what about all of those things you are doing well? It’s nice to hear that customers are pleased and that’s something many businesses don’t hear often enough.
Feedback also tells you more than the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of your customers. It also gives you tips on ways to improve your products or services, your marketing efforts and really almost any way you can better your business so you will succeed. Feedback can give you much more information than you may realize.
Your Customers Don’t Know How Much You Appreciate Their Business
There are several ways to show your gratitude. While you may feel you express your thanks to customers via your actions, communication is a way to pinpoint your appreciation. The content of the emails and messages you send your audience and the way you respond to inquiries and concerns and the frequency you thank your audience for being your customers are all parts of demonstrating that you care about them. By showcasing your feelings, you give your customers a reason to stay true to your business.
Another way to show your customers that you value them is to always keep them in the forefront of your mind. Send them personalized messages, offer them special promotions, and thank them for their business. If they offer feedback, make sure to acknowledge you received it and point out that you’ve implemented it.
Customers make or break your business, so never underestimate their power. In order to have a good relationship with your customers, you have to do more than just offer them products they like. The most successful businesses develop a personal connection with their customers and that is founded on communication.
What types of communication between a business and its customers do you feel are essential for a business to experience great success?
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.