How good is your communication with customers? Discover why things such as consistency and work orders software can improve it.
A business lives and dies by the customer. Whether we’re talking about a giant corporation like McDonald’s (“Over 99 Billion Served”) or a small, mom-and-pop business that’s still trying to get off the ground, the customer is the lifeblood of any company.
While there are clearly ways to attract a customer, such as low prices or perks and benefits, eventually everything comes down to one thing: are you effectively communicating with your customers?
It should be noted that I think this applies to both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) industries. Drawing from the wise words found in Forbes, any strategy surrounding client communication needs to include the four following characteristics:
Clarity: First and foremost, I think we can all agree that effective client communication only happens when both parties fully understand the message that is being shared. I recall learning about this during various communications classes in college. No matter the background or demographic of the customer you’re trying to reach, being clear in setting expectations — as well as proving that you met or exceeded them — is vital to success.
Consistency: How would you feel if you received different treatment from a company every time you came to them with a question or request, even when the issue hasn’t changed? I’m not saying that being cold and robotic is the way to go — it isn’t — but there is value to being consistent in how (and how often) you interact with your customers. One way that we try to do this at CleanTelligent is to set up our software so that even when the content of an inspection or work order may change, the way it’s communicated to employees and/or clients is the same. The customer likes it because they know what to expect. In short, familiarity is king.
Convenience: If your customer — or potential customer, for that matter — doesn’t feel that your communication methods are done at a time that works for them, I can’t promise that they’ll be happy with your relationship. If your customer is happy with their relationship with you, it makes it that much easier to retain them as a loyal client down the road. The adage “a happy wife equals a happy life” comes to mind. Speak with your customer and find out what is best for them, even if it may not be perfectly ideal for you in every case.
Compelling: This is especially important in the janitorial industry, because communication with the client should always tell a story. Every non-important or non-compelling interaction with a customer, in effect, is used time that would have been better spent (by both parties) on other tasks. If you are trying to prove performance to your client, don’t just throw tons of graphs and charts at them — stick to what you know is important to them.
Effective client communication begins and ends with how much effort you are willing to put in to ensure that the message is fully understood and valuable to the customer. Not only will your communications be more productive, but it also serves to strengthen the relationship that you have with that client.