Communicating with your customers can be tricky thing. You want to do it correctly, to make sure that you’re getting your point across without offending someone. Today, if you want to stand out from your competitors, you need to bring something special to the table. While having a good idea is well and good, having the right voice to market it is vital.
The best way to do it is to establish a communication strategy. Have a set of guidelines in place that you can use to carry out all interactions with your customers.
1. Understand the audience
You need to have a good understanding of your audience if your want to communicate with them properly. Consider what kind of demographic you cater to. Who’s more likely to purchase your product or hire your service? For example, if you’re running a gardening business, it’s highly unlikely that teenagers or even young busy professionals are going to require your services.
Your target audience would most likely be homeowners, older, retired people, etc. You need to keep this fact in mind when you address them. Older people might prefer more respectful language, homeowners might respond well to a friendly, but professional tone. If you know your audience, you can alter your voice accordingly.
2. Set language and tone
By language, we don’t mean English, or French, but rather certain words and lingo. To connect with your audience, you need to establish yourself as their contemporary, as someone who understands their needs and preferences. Sometimes, even small details can change the tone of your communication with them entirely.
For example, if you’re running a small business that designs custom jewellery for teenage girls, you need to become familiar with the way they speak. If you start with “Hello, young Miss Tina, We would like to inform you…” you’re not going to appeal to teenagers. However, if your start with a perky, “Hey Tina! We’ve got an awesome deal for you…” you’re more likely to get a positive response.
Establish a particular style of language and tone as your company standard and ensure that all your employees follow the guideline when they’re communicating with customers. This doesn’t just give your business a voice but also a personality.
3. Understand the difference between the spoken and written word
Most entrepreneurs write like one would write a college assignment, or a school essay. People don’t naturally understand that the way we speak isn’t always similar to the way we write. You’ll use some words that you’ll never use in an essay or other communication. That hinders your ability to get that coveted conversational tone. After all, you’ve spent years perfecting grammar and learning thousands of different words.
Simplicity is the key here. Write the email newsletter, or response you need to send. After you’re done, remove all words that seem like they come from a Jane Austen novel. Turn all your ‘it is’ to ‘it’s’ and ‘are nots’ to ‘aren’t’ and you’ll start to notice that the tone has become conversational and friendly.