How to Choose the Best Way to Communicate with Clients

It’s important to take notes about your clients so you can access their likes, dislikes,  how they like to correspond, and much more…  Use a simple CRM like Base to help meet all of your clients’ needs.

 

You’re in the middle of emailing a big client when he calls you and talks your ear off for an hour. You’re irritated, because he’s wasting your time with something that could have been handled via email. But are you justified in feeling this way?

When communicating with clients, it’s important to use the method they prefer, even if it’s not your favorite.

Do Unto Others as They Want You to Do to Them

Sure, that interaction could have been handled via email. But maybe your client just likes hearing your voice, to give him confidence that you’re still working hard for him. Maybe he’s lonely and just likes to talk. Whatever the reason, it’s your job to keep your clients happy. Sometimes that takes a little sleuthing to determine the communication style your client prefers.

How Do I Know What Style He Prefers?

It’s always a good idea to start with the most formal type of communication: phone conversations. From there, you can gauge whether every interaction needs to be via phone, or if you can move to email.

Your business card should, of course, have multiple methods of getting in touch with you, including:

  • Phone
  • Email
  • Social media profiles

Let’s say you leave a voicemail for a client. Leave your phone number so he can call you if he wants to, but also let him know you’ll follow up via email as well. That gives him the option of responding through the channel he prefers.

Can I Get More Casual?

Depending on your relationship, as well as both your and your client’s comfort with social media, you may even take to interacting on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. Instant messaging is another casual means of connecting. These are especially common in the tech and marketing sectors.

The rule of thumb is: keep it professional. If you use your social media channel for personal use only, it’s probably not a good way to interact with a client. But if you manage social media for your company, and if your client does the same, it might be an easy way to ping him if you have a quick question.

What About Snail Mail?

No, snail mail isn’t dead. But reserve it for more formal communications, such as copies of legal documents or letters, as well as thank you cards and holiday greetings. In fact, sending a card in the mail is such a rare thing these days, you’re sure to make a good impression!

Communication Cheat Sheet

Sometimes you need to use one communication channel for a particular kind of interaction. Here’s a guide to help:

  • In-depth conversation about account, changes, proposal: in-person or phone
  • Summary of conversation or update of project: email
  • Quick question: instant message or social media
  • Thank you or holiday wishes: snail mail

About Susan Payton

Susan Payton is a writer for Growth University and she shares our passion for helping small businesses grow. She is also the President of Egg Marketing & Communications.
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