At the heart of every strong relationship is strong communication. And as a Podium customer, you know that the relationship between your business and your customers is no exception. If you want to form lasting connections with each and every member of your audience—connections that lead to loyalty—your team needs to master the art of customer communication management (CCM).

Due to its broad reach, CMM is relevant to just about every person in your organization. Every team member—from the ones in your call center to the ones on your marketing team—needs to be committed to putting the customer experience first.

We’ll explain how your CCM approach can help your team build their communication skills and ensure your customers are happy at every point of the customer journey.

 

What is customer communication management?

CCM is the practice of forming and maintaining customer relationships through outbound communication. It comes into play each time you’re sending customers a message, whether you’re reaching out through a web page, phone call, text message, or another communication channel.

Even when your brand is doing great, refining your CCM strategy can help you sustain your growth by building a strong customer loyalty.

 

Customer communication management best practices

There isn’t one perfect path toward great CCM. Every customer base is different. Above all else, you need to keep in mind what they’re looking for. After all, the goal of CCM is always to serve your customers as well as you can—and exceed their expectations as often as possible.

However, there are a handful of proven approaches that you can implement to set your team on the right path. Here are five of our best practices for building an effective communication strategy:

 

01. Use the right channels

The right communication channels for your team aren’t always what’s convenient for you. Rather, they’re the channels that are preferred by your customer base.

More than ever, customers prefer non-intrusive channels like text, live chat, and social media. With channels like these, your customer service team can provide better support in a quick, convenient way. 

At the same time though, 61% of U.S. adults still prefer calling support teams when they have an issue to resolve. 

A solution that you can use is taking an omnichannel approach to CCM, which means blending together diverse channels for the best marketing, sales, and service experiences. As you know, Podium offers an omnichannel solution—from Call Forwarding to Template Messaging—that can all be managed from a singular dashboard. As a result, no matter what device your customers are using, they can engage with your brand in one seamless experience.

 

02. Personalize your communications

Nearly all marketers agree that personalization plays a huge role in growing customer relationships. Because strong relationships should be the end result of your team’s efforts, your customer communication strategy must aim to personalize every interaction.

For example, if you own a dental practice, you can offer a more personalized communication experience by sending a text reminder when a patient is due for an appointment. If you own a coffee shop, you can send a customer a discount for the exact drink they ordered last or order most often.

Now, with Podium’s Contact Profiles feature, you can manage and build upon all the information you have about your customers, and automate some aspects of the personalization process, too.

 

03. Follow up with customers

Sometimes, customers need to be sparked into action. When you want to keep customer engagement high, your CCM approach needs to include a follow-up process.

You don’t want customer satisfaction or interest to fizzle out just a few weeks after they receive great service. Some examples of how you can follow up include:

  • Reminding customers about something they left in their online cart
  • Asking for feedback after a recent purchase
  • Sending birthday messages and coupons
  • Asking for and responding to reviews (both negative and positive ones)

The customer journey doesn’t have to end just because a payment is made. Reconnect via text, Webchat, or Campaigns with Podium and start boosting customer loyalty. 

 

04. Reduce response times

Communication is happening faster than ever these days. People are having real-time conversations with people across the world. Now that advanced tech is a basic part of consumer lives, 82% of people expect your team to respond immediately. Effective CCM must prioritize response times.

Of course, not every company is able to offer 24/7 support, especially if you’re running a small business. With Podium’s customizable messaging templates, you can send custom automated messages like: after-hour, appointment, and service reminders. You can also create templates that answer common questions for times when a real team member isn’t available to help.  

Ultimately, custom messaging templates can help you improve response times and capture more leads in the process.

 

05. Be human

Great customer communication needs to be human. Even if you’re using a chatbot, your customers don’t want to feel like they’re interacting with a robot—especially through informal mediums like social media.

While your team should always remain professional and positive, you can form stronger, faster connections by adopting a more casual tone. For starters, you can greet people with a simple “Hey!” instead of “Dear customer,” to make things more conversational right off the bat. 

Another way you can show your brand’s humanity and connect with users is simply by being honest. Be straightforward and transparent as you communicate, so customers know your word is one to trust.

 

Improve the customer experience

Creating the best CCM approach for your company needs to be an ongoing process. As technologies change and you learn more about your customers, you can shift the channels and strategies you’re using to make their experience as great as possible. By doing so, you can increase customer satisfaction in all areas of your business.

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