Why communication is the key ingredient to building a thriving business

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A successful business of any type is really all about relationships. Relationships with current customers/clients, relationships with potential customers/clients, and relationships with staff and or contracted personnel.

Until relationships are solid and positive, nothing happens – no trust, no commitment, no sales revenue, and relationships are only built by communication.

Communication can be segmented into three groups with whom a business must interact. Here is a rundown of the types of groups and best practices for communicating with each.

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Communication with potential customers

There are several methods by which you will be communicating with your target audience that is not yet a part of your customer base, and it must be very carefully crafted.

Here are ways you can ensure that your communication with this group is effective.

1) Remember that consumers have problems they want solved.

Whether those problems relate to a new outfit for an occasion or a piece of software that will improve their own business activity, all of your communication should be geared to the problems you know you can solve for this audience.

2) Focus the bulk of your content (website,blog, social media posts, and advertising)on the value your product or service brings to the table. Most successful companies do this.

3) Be creative with your communication. Can you entertain or inspire while you are marketing? For examples, you may want to take a look at companies like Red Bull, Toms Shoes, Dollar Shave Club, Charmin, or Basecamp. 

Some use humor; others inspire. But the net result is that readers and viewers of this content are engaged and will remember your brand when they have a need or desire for products or services you offer.

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4) Use tools that allow you to create great visuals and videos. They don’t have to be professionally created, people like casual presentations because they are more intimate and personal. 

5) Experiment with audience interaction. Present quizzes and surveys; use some AR and VR tools to give them experiences with your products.

A great example is how eyeglass companies let customers try on frames at home on their computers.

If your potential customer base includes local or online consumers for whom your native language is not theirs, then it is your responsibility to communicate with them in the language they are most comfortable with.

Get your content translated into a foreign language and streamline access to that content. You will “buy” a lot of goodwill by doing so.

The goal of communication with potential customers is to first get noticed in the noisy space that is the internet and then to engage them enough to be remembered.

Communication with current customers

Research shows that it can cost as much as five times more to acquire new customers as to retain existing ones. It only makes sense, to do whatever you can to keep those customers.

Keeping them requires that you continue to develop and enhance relationships. This only happens through continued communication that keeps them happy, trusting, and coming back.

Here are the types of communication that will do just that.

1) Always, always, always, thank each and every customer for every purchase that is made. And personalize those messages (there are tools to do this).

2) Ask customers for feedback about your products and/or services and their experiences with the purchasing process.

3) Customer service for returns, refunds and exchanges should be smooth and rapid. Live chat is a critical form of communication in customer relations.

If you don’t currently have it on your website, install it. Don’t skimp on recruiting and training agents who are skilled communicators. They represent your brand, after all.

4) Ask for customer-generated content. People love to participate. ModCloth, an online clothing retailer, solicits photos of its customers wearing their purchases and features them on its website, in its blog, and on all of its social media platforms.

Featuring customers in your communications enhances more personal relationships.

5) All of your customers are on your email lists. It’s nice to reward their loyalty by offering special sales and discounts. It’s also nice to sometimes send out emails with just “fun” stuff.

This tells customers that you not only value them as people,but you are “human” and enjoy sharing with them.

6) Set up alerts, so that know when your brand is mentioned anywhere online. Check those alerts daily. If there are complaints or issues that have been made public, you want to resolve those immediately and do so publicly as well.

Communication with your own team

Whether your team is in-house, remote, or both, your goal should always be to have a committed group with high morale and enthusiasm for what they do.

You want that team to have “ownership” in the goals and mission of your business. Most of this is actually achieved through communication, and here are some key elements for that.

1) Ensure that your team is always aware of your mission and your long, and short-term goals. It’s important that they know where you are headed and how they fit into that picture.

2) Check in with your team members daily, either through face-to-face stand-up meetings (this keeps them short) or through video chat, if they are remote.

You want to know how they are doing and feeling, and you want them to know that you care about these things. Always ask what you can do to make their job/tasks easier.

3) Develop personal relationships with your team through your communication. Share your outside-of-work life and encourage them to share theirs.

When those types of relationships are developed, your staff is willing to take initiative and go the extra mile, because they know you care about them as people.

4) Involve your team when problems arise or when decisions need to be made. Get their input and ideas, even if you don’t end up using them.

5) Publicly praise and reward team members on a regular basis. When you praise a team member in the presence of his/her peers, you “buy” a lot of goodwill and morale.

Communication, and lots of it, builds relationships. Today’s consumers and employees want those relationships. Who you are is often more important than what you have to sell.

This is a good mantra to keep in your head as you go about getting new customers, keeping current customers happy, and building a team that really wants to see your business grow and thrive.

Do you have any tips for good communication? Please share them in the comments!

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About Dina Indelicato

Dina Indelicato is a blogger enthusiast and freelance writer. She is always open to research about new topics and gain new experiences to share with her readers. Currently she is a writer for Pick Writers You can find her on Twitter @DinaIndelicato and LinkedIn.

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