Like any relationship, your connection with your customers grows and changes over time. A prospect will need different attention, information, and touchpoints than an established customer.
Real-time communication is all about sending the right message at the right time, all throughout your customer’s journey with you. It’s about using the full suite of communication channels at your disposal to start the conversations that build lasting relationships.
Here are actionable real-time communication tips you can use at every stage of your customer journey.
The exciting buzz of a new connection! When a new lead comes in, anything is possible. You want to harness that energy quickly and thoughtfully. Think of it like dating. Your customer doesn’t know that you’re a catch. Let them know who you are and discover what they’re looking for.
Along with making a great first impression, you have three primary goals when you first connect with a prospect:
- Create trust
- Offer value
- Collect information
With some thoughtful, well-timed messages, useful resources, and getting-to-know-you conversations, you can show them exactly how you can provide the solutions they need.
When your customers are just learning who you are, text messaging is the perfect way to connect without being pushy. Combine both inbound and outbound tactics — make it easy for your prospects to reach out to you by text, too.
- Make sure your business is clearly advertised as text-enabled. Even though 89% of consumers say they want to text a business, many still don’t know business texting is available.
- Create ‘Text Us’ calls-to-action. Sign off on newsletters, emails, and blog posts with an invitation to text for more information.
- Build personalized SMS sequences to start conversations with customers who request info from you or download your content.
If the Connect stage is dating, this is the stage when things start to get serious. You’ve built a good rapport with your customer, and they’re seeing how a partnership could really work for them.
Your goals are:
- Continue to have real conversations to build a foundation.
- Determine if you’re a good fit for each other.
- Provide resources, tools, and helpful solutions to close the deal.
Think of how you communicate with a new friend. Likely, you don’t just stick to one form of communication. You’re friends on Facebook and Instagram — you like their posts and send along funny articles and beautiful pics you think they’ll enjoy. You call or email them if you have a longer story to share — and all throughout, you’re texting them, too.
To deepen trust, build rapport, and continue to provide valuable info, use a multichannel communication strategy, with text messaging making your other channels more powerful.
- Send texts to schedule a call or meeting. And send a text after to see if your customer has follow-up questions.
- Sprinkle in quick yes/no questions into your texts to get fast engagement and quick answers.
- Follow up if you don’t hear back from your email. Keep the conversation top of mind with a “just checking to make sure you saw my email” text.
You’ve got a happy customer. But like any relationship, this doesn’t mean the wooing stops. You still need to impress and nurture your established customers to keep them happy.
Your goals are:
- Delight your customers.
- Convey how much you appreciate them.
- Encourage them to refer contacts to you.
By now, you have a good idea of what works for your customer. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Just continue to listen closely, provide value, and keep it real.
- Remember important milestones. Did your customer mention their daughter’s wedding or an ill family member? Send a brief text acknowledging these life events. Or send a message just because.
- Try emojis! Emojis add energy, friendliness, and familiarity.
- Text your happiest customers to ask for referrals.
Looking for more? Check out our real-time communication tips to help you close faster.