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3 Top Tips for SMBs to Improve Communication With Customers

Knowing what to say, using the right tools and channels, can help make happy and loyal customers for life.

Your customers drive your business, and to keep customers engaged and happy with your product, it's essential to your business's success to implement effective communication strategies.

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Here, we connect with communications experts from Vonage who share their best tips for SMBs to bring in new customers and keep existing customers satisfied and always coming back.

1. Identify the best channels for customer communications.

Before internet capabilities were a household mainstay, customer communications were often filtered through call centers or even snail mail. While call centers and direct mail are still effective means of communication and problem solving for certain customers, this might not be the preferred method of communication for others.

"There's been a recent acceleration in adoption of different communication mediums," explains Leon Frankel, Director of Product Management at Vonage. "Customers aren't just looking for voice options anymore. They're looking to stay engaged over video, instant messaging, or even social communication. So, having a solution with APIs (Application Programming Interface) and multi-channel capabilities to engage a customer is critical."

John Antanaitis, VP of Global Portfolio marketing at Vonage, adds: "Businesses of all sizes need to make meaningful connections on their customers' preferred channels–customers are omni-channel in their behaviors, and they expect businesses and brands to be the same - even SMBs."

With Vonage, small businesses can take advantage of unified communications solutions that provide APIs to reach customers across messaging, voice, video, and more. Businesses can also take advantage of these integrated solutions to get real-time messaging capabilities through their customer's favorite social applications, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Viber.

"The past few years have forced businesses to re-think their approach to digital transformation and accelerated adoption of communications technologies including unified communications and communications APIs that offer omnichannel capabilities," said Jason Blackwell, Research Director, IDC. "SMBs, in particular, can realize significant benefits when they choose a cloud communications provider that can provide a comprehensive solution and enable them to compete with larger competitors on customer and employee experience."

2. Keep speed at the forefront of your communications.

There's nothing worse than being placed on an unnecessarily long hold when you need immediate help with a product or service. Situations like this can not only cause extreme frustration and dissatisfaction for customers, but they could also result in customers doing business elsewhere, with a competitor.

"People are always on the move, and if it takes too long for a business to respond to a customer's request or sales inquiry, they'll move on to another solution or company. It's extremely important to have a solution that allows your staff to connect with customers when and where they need you," Frankel says.

"People expect responsive communication from the brands they engage with," Antanaitis adds. "First-time resolution is absolutely critical to customer satisfaction."

Like the previous point, having a solution that can embed in whatever software or device your customer is using is critical in keeping speed at the forefront of your communications strategies. Vonage's SaaS model allows small businesses to communicate with customers online, so businesses can remain in contact with their customers from any device, mobile or desktop, from anywhere around the globe.

3. Focus on your own employee's experience.

If employees don't have the tools they need to succeed in their own role, chances are, they won't have the tools necessary to help their customers. "If you improve your employee's experience, that can translate over to a better customer experience," Frankel says. "There needs to be a communication solution that's simple, accessible, and enjoyable for employees to use, otherwise they can't readily help their customers. It's key that your staff is engaged with the solution because that can reinforce a customer-obsessed culture where employees can quickly and easily communicate with their customers."

Vonage integrates with multiple, popular business software solutions to provide SMB employees with a seamless communication experience across applications, such as Microsoft Teams, Salesforce, Zendesk, and more. Through these integrations, employees can eliminate multi-channel hassles and easily access customer calls or tickets in one, singular UI to improve the overall customer experience.

Click here to learn more about how Vonage can help your business improve communications to help make happy, loyal customers.

Vonage

Brand Spotlight Partner

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