What you say and how you say it can make or break relationships! Be it business or personal, it is true in everything we do. So, how can we improve our communication skills and connect with clients? The first step is to strive for clarity in communication.
There should be no assumptions between your agency and clients, in terms of what you expect from each other. With the rise of social media marketing, today’s businesses need to communicate in ways that the clients prefer.
For client communication to work effectively, you need to make it an integral part of your agency’s culture. Here are five major ways to improve your agency’s client communication skills:
Perfect your agency’s brand voice
Staying true to your agency’s brand voice and being genuine is a good step towards clarity in communication. These days, clients do not want products and services forced upon them. Let’s start with the basics:
- Develop brand personality: Many of your clients are young people, so the brand language should be fun and lively, without being too casual. For instance, use words like bright, great, amazing, active, happy, and so. “We’re happy to help you” or “Have a great day!”
- Conduct thorough research: Try your best to understand how clients in your target market like to communicate. How do they communicate and perceive themselves? Which mediums do they prefer?
- Capture their attention: The brand language you choose to use should be powerful enough to capture client attention and evoke positive responses.
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Develop buyer personas
Once you understand your ideal client, it becomes easier to develop strategies and improve communication skills as well. Now that you have chosen a brand voice, start building a buyer persona by doing the following:
- Find relevant information: With your digital footprint, getting prospective clients to fill forms on your website or social media page can bring in plenty of useful information. Make it interesting by asking questions like:
- Where are you from?
- What are your hobbies?
- What are you most passionate about?
- When and how did you decide to study abroad or migrate?
- Which country, college or university do you prefer and why?
- Get feedback from your sales team: Your sales team is usually in the best position to get relevant client information. Use their feedback on how the survey is doing and whether you need to make any changes to it.
- Create matching brand voice: Once you have enough data to create a buyer persona, hand it over to your agency’s communication specialist. His/her task should be to create a matching brand voice. A brand voice that does not relate to buyer persona spells disaster for your agency’s communication strategy.
Choose your words carefully
Without the right words, client communication is ineffective. Now that you know, what your ideal clients are like and the kind of brand voice they prefer, it is time to put pen to paper. Here are some general things you should consider to see if you are meeting your clients’ expectation:
- Be Simple: Simple does not necessarily imply boring! Regardless of the kind of brand voice you have chosen, use words that are basic and easy to understand. For instance, “Do you need a place to stay in college?” instead of “are you looking for on-campus accommodation?”
- Be Direct: Remember, good communication skills are about clarity, so the more direct you are, the clearer you will sound. Avoid vague statements like “you might be able to apply” or “I’ll see what I can do”. Instead, say it directly, “You are eligible to apply for this college” or “I’m sorry, but you do not meet the college application requirements.”
- Be Clear: Never assume anything! It creates miscommunication like nothing else and can ruin your client relationships. For instance, saying things like “your application will work out”, while knowing that the applicant’s credentials are not good enough.
Practice your communication skills extensively
Practice makes perfect! After your agency’s strategy and words are in place, the team must practice these skills. The key is to make it a part of your agency culture, not just an external thing you need to do for clients. Check out these tips:
- In everyday conversations, use the same language and communication style that your agency brand advocates.
- Don’t just limit these conversations to verbal interactions among your team. Use them in all the different communication mediums your agency has.
- Keep a record of all responses. Whether you are talking to a client or a team member, you can use each response as a feedback, to continue improving your communication skills.
Let your agency’s brand personality shine!
Happy clients will talk positively about your brand, attracting more prospects to your agency business. So, maintain a sense of humility, harmony, confidence in your client communications, and become a trusted advisor.
- Be practical: Whenever a client makes an enquiry online or offline, he/she expects a quick response. However, let’s also be a little practical. You will not be able to answer all their queries immediately, so allocate a reasonable timeline to respond.
- Be prompt: Responding to client queries within 24-48 working hours is reasonable. Anything more than that and the clients will not be happy.
- Specify the time: When you receive a query online, specify the amount of time you will take to answer. You can create auto-response messages like “Thank you for the query. One of our representatives will reply back to you within 48 hours.”
- Be positive: Positive words reduce conflict, improve communications, and empower clients. Use words like “definitely”, “absolutely”, and “certainly” in your conversations. Try phrases like “I absolutely agree” or “I can certainly help you.”
Good client communication skills is about taking an honest approach to business. To be successful, your agency team must genuinely believe in what they are saying. So, be simple, direct, and clear in your communication strategy!