Pay Attention to the Way your Clients Communicate

If your target customers are in their 20’s and constantly communicate through Instagram and Twitter, while in you’re 50’s and not clear about the difference between a twit and a tweet, it can be scary. What do you do? The first thing to do is to remember everything looks scarier when it’s unfamiliar. Start by understanding that all of these vehicles are just tools; tools that are SUPPOSED to make communicating easier and more interactive, not harder and scarier (even though it may feel that way at first). So instead of steering clear of them, get some help in understanding them. For example, my 82-year-old father recently got an iPad as a gift. He asked my 45-year-old brother for help. Luckily, my brother brought his 10-year-old son with him. My nephew patiently sat with his grandpa and explained all the basics. Truly a win-win scenario. Secondly, hiring a young person to help you is another win-win situation. You provide the wisdom, they help channel that wisdom through the new tools. Voila.

Another obstacle is finding out that your many and varied clients all want to be communicated with in a different way. Some prefer email, some phone, some text, etc. It’s hard to remember who likes what! This is where your CRM comes in handy. For your important customers and clients, take notes about their preferred communication method and make a real effort to follow it. They’ll appreciate it by showing you loyalty. For other, less frequent customers and clients with whom you’re just trying to keep in touch, it’s best to mix it up. Send an email, make a call, mail a postcard. By mixing up your tools, you’re more likely to catch different people with different methods.

Finally, what’s the rule about how OFTEN you should keep in touch? I wish there was one! Just like their communication tool preferences, customers and clients vary in how often they wish to hear from you. Being over-communicated with is just as annoying as never hearing from someone until they “need” you. This is where the art and science of communication intersect. It’s good to experiment with your methods–and then track the results. When you send a series of emails, do you get more people “unsubscribing” than when you send one a month? Experimentation is key–and paying attention to your audience’s reaction will give you guideposts. Pay attention to their guidance.

And if you get confused, give me a call. I prefer to be contacted by phone.

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