How Many Ways Can Your Customers Contact You?

The good news: there are more ways to communicate with your customers than ever before.

The bad news: there are more ways to communicate with your customers than ever before.

Let’s count them first, then come back to why that is both good and bad news.

  1. Phone calls
  2. Email
  3. SMS/Text messaging
  4. Live chat
  5. Facebook messenger
  6. Chat bots
  7. Twitter
  8. Other social – WeChat, Snapchat, Instagram
  9. In Person (is it weird that I thought of this one last?)

I’m probably leaving some options out. But already there are nine different ways for your customers to contact you.

Why that’s a good thing

Conversations between customers and brands today are far more common than ever before. Consumers are loyal to, and trust the brands that do right by them. They have relationships with brands the we might think of a relationship between friends.

New options for communicating with customers lead to new ways to serve, please, and wow them. And that is an opportunity for your business.

Why that’s also a bad thing

While all these different methods of communication open up new opportunities, they also carry a bevy of challenges for brands. First and most common, there is more to manage. You want to be where your customers are, and that means trying to accommodate as many different channels as possible. But that puts more strain on the departments managing these forms of communication.

Second, there’s more that can go wrong. Customer service is hard enough with only one channel to worry about. We have all seen the kind of PR nightmares that can erupt when one customer has a bad experience. That’s more and more likely to happen the more different conversations are happening.

Embrace it

Some businesses choose to handle this new communication climate by trying to ignore and deny it. And while I conceded that for many businesses, especially smaller ones, it can be difficult to manage all the different communication channels, my recommendation is to embrace them. Your customers have. And the better you serve your customers, the more they will love you in return.

Do More with Less in 2016

“Do more with less.”

It’s usually not what anyone wants to hear. But in many companies, it’s the common theme around this time of year. When we’re setting budgets for next year, we want to grow, but we don’t want to spend more money to help accomplish that goal. So, we have to do more with less.

But I want to take the negative connotation away from the phrase for a moment. Because doing more with less does not mean you and your team have to work harder. It means you have to work smarter.

And we live in an age where working smarter is easy.

Technologies can automate tasks that used to be labor-intensive. They have given us access to a world full or remote help. They have made optimizing our advertising budgets easier.

We can do more with less, simply by identifying a few key opportunities in our day to day to work and taking the time to “fix” them.

Keys to doing more with less in 2016:

  1. Know that “Less” means lower costs, and “More” means higher revenue
  2. Prioritize the team’s responsibilities and look for tasks to eliminate
  3. Invest in technologies that can automate routine tasks
  4. Track all marketing spend and be ruthless about cutting unprofitable spend
  5. Encourage innovative thinking within your organization aimed at cutting costs
  6. Take advantage of outside help with projects not in your comfort zone

Doing more with less will lead to higher profits and quicker growth. So get started today!