At the root of every successful marriage, friendship, sports team, and business is highly-effective communication. Done exceptionally well, relationships flourish. Internal teams work in sync, customers have clear expectations, and overall everyone involved thrives. In business when communication gaps exist things quickly break down, tension rises, deals fall through, and customers are lost.
The role communication plays in growing a successful business extends well beyond landing new customers. Yes, it’s important to keep a steady stream of new clients flowing through the funnel but, once you’ve done the hard work of earning their business, now it’s time to nurture the relationship. After all, just because someone chooses to do business with you once doesn’t automatically make them your customer for life.
It cost 5X more to gain a new customer than it does to keep an existing one and a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by 125%. Customer retention is the doorway to extraordinary success and communication is the key to unlock it. Asking for feedback, educating them on your products and services and providing them incentives are all effective reminders that you value them as a customer. However, when poor or infrequent communication occurs, customers feel forgotten, neglected, and undervalued. Before you realize what's happened a competitor comes along and sweeps them off their feet.
Having the ability to upsell an existing customer to a “better” product or cross-sell them another service is the most efficient path towards increased sales. Once someone has experienced at least one of your products or services and found it valuable it’s likely they will find value in your other offerings as well. Upselling and cross-selling should be baked right into your ongoing marketing strategy. If it’s not, more than likely you have a ton of missed opportunities right within your existing customer base.
You want to keep customers happy and maximize the lifetime of your relationship. But honestly, if you’re not in consistent communication with them then you aren’t maintaining much of a relationship, and without a solid relationship it is hard to keep a customer happy and loyal. If you don’t identify and relieve their ongoing pain points, they will find someone else who will.
Remaining silent is one of the loudest forms of communication. As consumers when we see a negative online review for a business and the business hasn’t provided a response it sends us a red flag. Why didn’t they respond? Did they fix the problem? Most consumers interpret remaining silent as the company’s lack of concern or care. Be proactive about your reputation and make a plan of action of how you should properly respond to reviews, especially when they are negative.
Earning referrals isn’t easy and nearly impossible if you aren’t staying in contact with your customers. Ongoing communication throughout the customer’s entire buying process will ensure they have a positive experience that makes them want to share with their friends. But not all referrals begin organically through word-of-mouth. If you know someone has had a great experience, simply ask them for a referral! It’s not “tooting your own horn” it’s just getting the ball rolling—and done correctly it can fuel future growth.
Our hyper-connected culture has provided businesses with an increasing number of ways to communicate and connect with their customers. For small businesses with limited budgets and resources this creates significant opportunities and challenges. Websites, digital advertising, online directories, social media, online videos, tv commercials, magazine ads, billboards, direct mail, text messaging, mobile advertising, email marketing, the list of options is almost endless. With so many options to consider it can be challenging to determine which marketing and communication tools will be most effective for your business. Like fly fishing, you’ve got to know when and how to use the right flies.
“Good communication is like fly fishing. You need to use the right fly. Cast it at the right time. And place it directly on the rising trout. That's how you catch the fish. Too often, bad communications is simply the result of those who don't know when and how to use the right flies. And they end up just scaring the fish away.” -Greg Matusky
At Splash Omnimedia, we help clients develop highly effective marketing and communication strategies. Luckily, it comes pretty naturally to us, and we want to help you communicate more easily too. You work hard to position your business to be the best choice in your industry. Now let us help develop a strategy that will launch your business towards something amazing. Don't just make an impact, make a splash! Contact us today.