Not forgotten: 5 “old school” ways to communicate with customers

file-330529894With the rise in popularity of social media and a lot of consultants focusing almost exclusively on developing a social media strategy for clients, we thought it would be a good idea to go back to basics for a refresher on other ways to communicate.

Don’t get us wrong, social media is important and it is vital that your company embrace it.  But at the end of the day, it’s just another form of communication (and one that not everyone embraces).

Multiple Channels

Proper communication is crucial to providing good customer service.  There have been many examples where openly communicating has kept a bad situation from getting worse, or even turned it into a positive.

This post lists 5 other ways to reach your customers outside of social media.  If you are offering products or services to the general public (even if your “public” is other businesses) you should be using at least 3 of them, if not all.

    1. E- Mail
      Hello captain obvious!  You already send and receive emails every day, but did you ever realize it can be passively used to spread any marketing message?  Your email signature is the perfect place to let everyone you correspond with know about your upcoming sale, new product or whatever else you have to announce.
    2. Telephone
      It still surprises me how many web sites think it is best to leave a phone number off their site.  The most common argument is “I don’t want all the phone calls.”  WHAT?!?!!  Thinking that you can do business with no way for people to talk to a human is just crazy.  Humans like to connect.  Put your telephone number out there.
    3. Instant Messaging and Audio/Video Chat
      While not the solution for every kind of business, Instant Messaging is widely popular and very convenient way to stay connected.  Here at MosierData we use IM’s all day and every day to  communicate with not only our team, but our clients too. If you have a camera and microphone, many IM’s (such as Skype) even offer video chat – which can be even more personal than a phone call.
    4. Live chat on your website
      If your business is large enough to have at least one full time person dedicated to customer service, you should really think about adding live chat as a sales and support tool.  As a bonus, most live chat companies let you actually watch the path visitors take through your site, letting you see in realtime what they find interesting.  When they decide to talk to you, you get a nifty little popup on your screen.
    5. Online meetings / Webinars
      For times when you would like to present something to multiple people at once (and it doesn’t have to just be customers, you can present to employees, a board of directors, or anyone) online meetings are one of the coolest ways to get it done.  No need for a room and a projector, just your computer and a microphone.  Most companies such as ClickMeeting even offer a free trial.

What other ways does your business communicate with customers?  Leave us a message in the comments and let us know.

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About the Author

Though his chief ambition is to one day control the entire Internet, Jim busies himself in the meantime running our little web development and marketing agency. He's a certified super nerd who ranks coding in old, outdated languages and watching Star Trek reruns just a bit too high on his list of fun things to do. Outside of work, Jim enjoys Hockey (Tampa Bay Lighning, to be specific), more genres of music than most people realize exist, riding his Harley (he calls it "two wheel therapy") and exploring the world through travel.