We live in the age of communication. And there are more ways to communicate today than ever before.
“Did you get that email I sent? Or the text? Or the tweet?”
There’s no doubt you have heard these statements more than once. Communicating has definitely gotten easier but that doesn’t guarantee what you’re saying is being heard. This can create major problems when your target audience consists of current and future clients.
Medium Versus Message
We communicate from our very first breath – a baby’s cry, or laugh, registers instantly with its parents. By the time we have entered our chosen profession, we know what we want to say, but that’s only half of an important situation.
The other half is delivering the message – and in order to do this successfully, you have to know your clients. Do they prefer emails or phone calls? How quickly do they respond to your messages? It’s vital to ask this question early in the relationship – you don’t want to leave a voice mail when your client specified that texting was the best way to communicate.
Remember there are other ways to communicate that might not be on your radar. For instance, if you landed a serious client in the next 30 days, and he or she wanted to communicate solely by video conferencing or video chat, do you have the actual hardware? Do you and your staff know how to properly use it?
When you’re faced with having to invest in an unfamiliar medium, it’s vital that you work with a professional to purchase, install, and use it. This isn’t the time to do it yourself!
So you’ve done your homework and are familiar with your client’s preferences. The next step is making sure that you and your staff are properly trained to use the software or hardware. There are a multitude of training resources available via the internet or training firms. Whatever the choice, it’s crucial that everyone knows what they’re doing. There’s nothing worse than a botched communication – it hurts your reputation and makes you look anything but professional.
Technology improves connectivity because it transmits information to your client quickly and easily. In turn, your client provides you with feedback and insight into what they want from you and your firm. The back and forth of communication is fundamental in building, and maintaining, a strong relationship. It also builds your reputation, and can trigger referrals and endorsements that enable your firm to grow.
Pairing the right technology with an accurate message pays off with improved clients relationships – and a better understanding of what your client wants. You’re also adding another service to your firm’s current offerings, and adding to your reputation as a professional.
One last final hint – remember that a hand written thank you card or letter makes a great impact in this day of electronic communication – just make sure you have the right address!