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.
- Phone calls
- SMS/Text messaging
- Live chat
- Facebook messenger
- Chat bots
- Other social – WeChat, Snapchat, Instagram
- 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.
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.
Read more: How PR Calms Customers In A Turbulent World