Small business communication challenges

How do you respond to clients? Social media has evolved how people can reach your business and how your business can be seen.

This tale is about reaching out to several different companies this week, how they were contacted and the responses received.

Clients will reach out using social media.

A lot of interaction is initiated through social media rather than seeking out a companies email address and making contact. This week two companies and a website owner were contacted via email after looking for this information on their website. Two were a traditional email address the other was the contact form on their website. None have responded to this communication, this is now income they will not make. Contact was made to find out about products and then also COVID19 considerations in regards to their business. In reference to the website the contact was initiated to share an update on something they reference on their website.

Social media was also used to reach out this week. When no response was received from the website they were also tagged on Twitter for a response as well as to share another update to their resource. The other social media initiation of contact was made with the health authority in regards to an update and some confusion surrounding it. Their response did not clear up any of the confusion and likely has only added to it.

Finally a client we assist with some minor management of social media was also contacted this week. We monitored that a response was received and in one instance the client directed the client to the proper resources and company to deal with their questions. This is where this instance gets interesting, the customer has to now make a phone call to resolve their query. It appears the company they are reaching out to will not respond to texts, messages on social media or via email so what harm does calling them make? Absolutely no harm whatsoever, but it is a new trend that less and less people are using the phone to make contact than every other resource.

How do you support your clients needs?

All of this leads to the question for your business or brand, how do you expect people to contact you? What are your protocols for response? Who is monitoring your points of contact and what is their customer service training? This is a bit of a Catch 22 as a business having an Instagram profile requires a Facebook Page which creates a point of contact you might not ever be prepared to monitor, creating communication that might not ever be reciprocated. This then leads to a potential client informing others about this lack of response through word of mouth or on their social media channels. A complaint that might not have any justification given the circumstances. As illustrated with telecommunication example, people are more likely to text than they are to call, do you need a phone line or do you get a simple cellular phone to receive those texts and the rare phone call?

Why are people afraid to call? Is this because of the long waits associated with calling companies and the multiple options clients are made to make before reaching a human being, if they in fact reach a human?

You can hire communications and social media management companies to monitor and respond to clients for your digital communications and this guarantees clients are heard. What then has to be developed is what is the proper response? A company who properly manages this for your company will immediately ask for assistance on queries they have no previous experience answering. One wrong answer can lead to more harm than good.

Throughout all of this though responding to clients and customers is key to a good reputation. You may not provide the answer they want to hear but you have to provide an answer for future success.

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