By Mylvio Mendes
Effective communication is one of the most elemental and key criterions for businesses to scale and survive in this ever growing competitive world. Irrespective of the size of business, a good communication platform always serves to streamline several organisational processes as well serving the customers faster.
Having the right business communication tools can give your business that much needed competitive edge and certainly helps to stay ahead of the curve. However, with multiple options available today, business leaders and managers have an important task at hand in choosing the right communication tools which can deliver the intended purpose.
Here we will be discussing 6 Communication tools that every business should have in order to improve customer relations and customer retention.
Certainly not a new platform, but even today, e-mail communication is one of the most widely used and effective tools to reach out to customers. What makes it so special is the set of advanced features that you can use from some providers like Gmail combined with some plugins/integrations that are available on the market.
- Program automatic follow-ups if the person does not reply within a time frame you set up.
- Check if the email has been delivered and read.
- With a mobile app, you can operate your email on-the-road.
- Integrate it with Email Marketing Platforms such as MailChimp for custom campaigns
- Integrate it with CRMs so you can track email history directly from your CRM interface.
Customer Service Platforms
Many businesses find this as one of the most important communication tools to drive customer service and customer experiences to a new level. By integrating different customer service platforms like ‘Salesforce’ and ‘ZenDesk’ with their workflow systems, businesses have developed a more comprehensive and structured approach to their customer service.
Such communication platforms also help to understand and analyse customer behaviour, demands and it helps businesses to improve their end in a faster manner. Moreover, such platforms are driven by built-in automation systems and responses thus requiring less human intervention, reducing operational costs considerably.
Live Chat is a very intuitive way to reach out to your customers. Many business websites today have a Live Chat Integration which pops up immediately when you visit their site. This is one of the fastest ways to reach your customers in real-time and gives them a sense of priority and importance.
Live Chat helps build trust for your business and brand and instils confidence. Moreover, with this feature, you can easily handle multiple customers at one time. One of the most popular software providers is Livechatinc.com
Webform with Custom Field
This is one of the most effective and sought after ways to hear to your customers and their queries. A webform with custom fields helps you understand the exact nature of queries from a customer and direct them further to the respective in-house business departments. This way you can serve customer queries in a more efficient and fruitful manner and in less time.
With several drop-down and selectable options, it can make it easy for the customer to fill in their details and message and submit a request in absolutely no time. It is very helpful as it saves a lot of customer time, unlike with mail where the customer needs to draft the entire message on their own.
Social Media interactions are the recent trend and can be very effectively used as communication tool for your business. Having a social media presence like YouTube, a Facebook pages/community, LinkedIn profiles, Twitter handle gives your business a quicker reach to a broader audience. It can scale your business faster while establishing an instant connection with your customers.
Moreover, your customers can quickly know about any new products & services introduced by your business and will help spread the word fast. Social Media can help you build a more casual relationship with your customers and help you exchange a lot of ideas.
Over the years, Telephone Systems have dominated business communication platforms and have served as the most vital communications tool. Over the past two decades, the business industry has witnessed the use of earlier traditional models like KSUs (Key system Units), to PBX (Private Branch Exchange) to the most modern and latest cloud-based telephone systems operating on Internet protocols.
The modern cloud-based telephone systems have turned out to be quite cost effective in terms of operational costs and demand minimum maintenance. Moreover, they can handle a big pool of customers at any given point of time without any lags or delays in the system. The modern telephone system being Internet-based can be operated from any place on the planet through your unique IDs assigned.
These modern telephone systems are largely automated with dozens of features. Some of the most common features now available are:
- Auto Attendant, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Incoming Call Routing to the respective department based on the customer query.
- Call Recording for post-call analysis, internal training, and quality purpose
- Call Queuing feature so that each and every customer is attended and no one is left out
- Opening Hours to inform your clients in a professional manner about your company’s working hours.
Multiple options are available and depending on the nature of your business, you can use any of these communication platforms to serve your customers and improve the efficiency and productivity of your business.