If you own a business in Nova Scotia — or anywhere really — it’s vital that you make an effort to create a connection and begin building relationships with your clients and customers. Why is this so important?
It’s cheaper for your business to keep current customers by building a relationship with them than to win new customers.
A bird in the hand, right?
By having a business communication strategy, you’ll be able to keep the customers you already have. And they’ll be more likely to support your business during the tough times because they know and trust you.
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The best ways to connect with customers
To start, you will have to choose some tools, keeping in mind that different people prefer to receive information in different ways.
Some are on Facebook throughout the day, while others prefer to communicate through email. Some like self-serve answers (e.g. FAQs on your website), while others want to interact directly with a real human.
Here are some of the best ways to connect and communicate with customers across Nova Scotia:
1. Your business website
The first and most common method of connecting with customers is by building a website for your business. These days, most people assume that every business has a website.
A website is an essential marketing tool because it lets you communicate with your customers whenever it’s convenient for them.
With a website, you’ll be able to provide all the essential information about your business, such as:
- Your address and hours of operation
- The products and services your business provides
- Phone number or link they can use to set up an appointment
- Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- Return policies
You could install a chatbot on your website that allows customers to message you or your staff in real-time and have their questions answered.
The business benefits of blogging
A website can also be expanded to include a business blog, now considered by many something all business owners should be doing.
A blog lets you share longer articles related to your products or services. For example:
- How-to articles (e.g. use and care of your products, help to select the right fit)
- Seasonal gift guides
- Longer and more complete answers to your FAQs
- Top 10 lists (e.g. most popular products or gifts)
- Trends in your industry that affect customers
Regardless of the business you own, blogging is also an excellent way to draw new customers to you online as they search for answers to their product/service questions. Blogs that can answer Nova Scotians’ questions often win their business.
2. Email marketing
Email is another highly effective communication method for businesses of any size. With email marketing, you can inform customers about deals, upcoming events or link to a post you’ve published on your blog they might find interesting.
Email is a proven way to encourage repeat purchases.
As a small business, you may not have the budget for expensive marketing campaigns. However, email marketing is one of the most inexpensive communication tools, making it a perfect tool for even the smallest ventures.
3. Social media
While email marketing may be one of the cheapest ways to connect with your audience, you can also use social media to keep customers engaged and informed about your services.
For social media to be useful for your business, you’ll need to choose the social media platforms that your customers use. There’s no point in posting on LinkedIn regularly if your customers spend little time there.
Some of the more popular social media platforms include:
Once you’ve chosen your social media platform, you’ll need to create a social media strategy for your business.
When you’re operating a business, you may not feel like you have the time to run your social media accounts; a written plan will help you stay organised and posting regularly where it matters most.
4. Phone/Text (SMS)
Another way that you can connect with your customers in Nova Scotia is through phone calls and texts (SMS or short message service).
While communication via phone may not be as popular as it once was, it’s still the preferred tool for some interactions.
With phone calls, you’ll have a closer interaction with your customers than you may have with social media or email marketing, which helps deepen the relationship. It’s particularly useful in resolving problems or responding to a complaint.
However, you’ll need to remember that phone calls and text messages are very personal, so you don’t want to abuse this communication method by using it too much. Otherwise, your customer may get irritated and think you’re spamming them with text messages and phone calls.
Tips for contacting customers in Nova Scotia
As a business, it’s always important to be mindful when communicating with customers or else you may lose customers.
Here are some tips to help you connect with your customers in a way that doesn’t turn them off:
1. Respond ASAP
Whether you receive an email, a phone call or a message on social media, you should always respond as quickly as you can. This shows clients that you value their time and interest in your business and are interested in communicating with them.
2. Be professional and polite
A good tip for any business is always to be polite and professional when talking to your customers. Whoever communicates with the customer is the face and voice of the business and you don’t want to ruin your brand image by being rude or disrespectful.
3. Don’t abuse phone calls
While phone calls are a great way to do business, this communication mode has its place. You won’t want to use phone calls unless you’re updating your clients on a service they’ve requested or responding to their inquiries.
4. Keep it simple
It doesn’t matter if you’re phoning a client, texting them or sending an email. You’ll always want to keep your message simple and to the point. By keeping it simple, you don’t waste your customer's time and there’s less room for confusion about what’s going on.
5. Proofread and review
Before sending out any social media posts, emails or blog posts, be sure to proofread your messages — twice. If there are typos in your email messages or text messages, it can make your business look amateur and unprofessional.
We hope that this article has helped you understand how you can connect with your customers in Nova Scotia. Always remember that there are multiple ways to communicate with your customers, and each method has its place in the business world.
Make sure that whoever communicates with your customers — whether that’s you or a staff member — understands and observes business etiquette. The goal is to retain customers by serving them, not lose them by annoying them.
Over time, using the tools described here to reach customers will form a relationship and build trust, a precious commodity for any business.