Client communication is the most valuable asset a company holds. It tells you what you should build, how it should be built and has the benefit of creating a relationship with your buying audience. With all of the benefits of nurturing robust client communications, it is always surprising to see how little resources many businesses dedicate to the task.
In a time when most communication occurs in keystrokes, the premium on meaningful and thoughtful communication is high. Many businesses fall into a trap of following touch points instead of really diving-in to understand their client’s input to foster exceptional client communication.
What is Exceptional Client Communication?
In short, it is communication that reaches people on a personal level and builds relationships.
It starts by researching your audience to understand who they are, what they care about and what they need. The best places to start are social media, LinkedIn and company pages (found using a simple Google search).
Exceptional client communication also requires choosing the right method at the right time. At Tubular, we use Intercom as our real-time chat solution. It is ideal for quickly handling small issues, addressing minor concerns and when a client simply needs to touch base with us.
When relaying product information and providing tutorials, email is best. The recipient can file the message and then refer back to later or easily forward the information to a colleague; making it ideal for actionable and value-packed content.
Often over-looked, yet extremely valuable is the client interview. Client interviews demonstrate that you care about your client’s wants and needs with the added benefits of giving your development team clear direction on what to build and what to fix.
Client interviews should be conducted over the phone or via a web-conference. The goal is to understand the client, their business and how your product supports their goals for the future. During the interview learn:
· What do they love about your product?
· How are they are using the product now and what they would like to use it for in the future?
· Who or what is influencing their decisions?
· What short-term and long-term goals are they working towards?
Applying the Results to Your Business
The results of client interviews, feedback, tech support requests and all of the other communications you have with your clients will naturally influence future product decisions. However, you can take it one step further and use this data to build user-communities centered around your product. A robust and active community acts as a product feature by providing benefits to your clients and generating data on their experiences with the solution.
A robust and active community acts as a product feature
Understanding your audience’s needs allows you to supply them with the right communication at the right time. If you learn that a potential client is focused on features, send out a link to a free trial. When the trial period is over, touch base to understand which features they like and which they did not like -also find out if there were any features they expected to see but did not.
This provides the perfect opening to discuss features that are currently being developed. Demonstrating that the company is always growing, the product is always improving and that the users have real input on what is built. Most users are happy to share their feedback when they believe that it will have an impact on the product.
Building a culture of exceptional client communication provides long-lasting benefits to your product and your company. When you understand what your client needs, wants and will buy, product development becomes easy. When your client feels genuinely cared for and relies upon your relationship, business development becomes easy, too.