Efficient communication with customers is the basis of successful business relationships, regardless of the industry you operate in. How to make customers happy, lead engaging conversations, and increase trust during the cooperation? We will answer these and other questions based on a real life example - Delante. If you want to learn some tricks to understand your customers better, keep reading!
How Does Delante Communicate with Customers? Useful Practices to Follow
Propercommunication with customers is crucial as it inspires trust not only in your brand but also in the activities you perform. What should you do to keep both parties of the contract comfortable and run the communication smoothly?
At Delante, we’ve put great emphasis oncommunication with customers since the very beginning of our adventure with SEO and we’re constantly trying to refine this aspect.
Direct and transparent communication is our asset recognized by customers:
Over the years, we've received a lot of feedback from our customers and we've come to valuable conclusions. That's why we've decided to share with you our top 9 tips on thebest way to communicate with customers. They'll definitely help those who are just launching their business and want to learn more!
Transparent communication with customers has been one of the cornerstones of our company from the very beginning of its operation. It's important at every point of contact with a customer or potential customer. From marketing, through sales, to the SEO department. In each and every case we try to shorten the distance. This can be done thanks to appropriate in-house structures but also thanks to our understanding of customers, their needs and the challenges they face. We're happy to hear that this is what makes us stand out from the crowd, and we're not going to give up on that .
Marketing Team Leader
1. Shorten the Response Time
Customers don't like to wait. It's natural.
Each of us, when faced with specific tasks, wants to complete them as quickly as possible. Moreover, when there are problems on the website or any concerns that need to be resolved expressly, both parties should strive to shorten the response time.
Otherwise, communication can cause unnecessary nervousness, misunderstandings, and stress. At Delante, we do everything in our power to shorten the distance. Our SEO specialistscommunicate with customers directly, without account managers, which allows us to save time, and remain transparent.
We don’t have to worry about misunderstandings since we don’t involve third parties in the process. Customers can resolve any doubts with a specialist who runs the SEO campaign. After all, specialists know perfectly what’s happening on the website, and can quickly update customers during a brief phone call or by writing an email.
From our experience we can tell that both parties value this form of communication - it’s quick and efficient.
2. Remain Transparent
What is thebest way to communicate with customers? Staying transparent!
The SEO industry (and, more broadly, the marketing industry in general) involves a specific kind of collaboration in which agencies take some responsibility for company performance. However, it frequently happens that reporting transparency leaves much to be desired, and companies try to hide decreases, problems, and errors.
At Delante, we don't want to follow this path. Check out our article on what an SEO report should contain and see for yourself what you can expect from cooperation with us.
If something doesn’t go according to the plan, we immediately inform customers about it. Our reports include month-to-month as well as year-to-year historical data. Thanks to it, we can easily determine the cause of potential problems and pass that information on to the customers. At the same time, we'll already plan what to do to solve the problems.
3. Be Flexible
We know that every customer is unique. We serve dozens of different industries from all over the world and we realize that communication with the head of the marketing department of a large company should look different than communication with the owner of a local boutique.
This doesn't mean we don't treat customers equally. We simply try to tailor the process and our communication to individual needs and business models.
While some will expect regular calls, others will accept a monthly report with a brief "thank you, keep going." As long as the rules are clear to both parties and there are no misunderstandings, it’s fine.
We adjust both the form and frequency of communication to the customer's needs and expectations. After all, this is what tailor-made marketing should look like, right?
4. Remember that Communication Is Included in the Budget
Did you know that at Delante we break the whole process down into elements and show the customer what activities are included in the budget?
Check out our SEO pricing. It includes detailed information in a form of easy-to-read charts. We think it's a very useful practice that makes both parties aware of what the cooperation consists of.
Communication with the customer is one of these elements. At the same time, it's worth mentioning that we realize that the beginning of the cooperation requires a greater contribution, so we have included it in the budget for e.g., the 1st and 3rd month of cooperation:
1st month - communication with the customer accounts for about ⅕ of the budget.
[caption id="attachment_43172" align="aligncenter" width="610"] 1st month of cooperation[/caption]
3rd month - communication with the customer is a much smaller part of the chart, just a few percent.
[caption id="attachment_43174" align="aligncenter" width="661"] 3rd month of cooperation[/caption]
Thanks to the fact that we immediately inform customers about specialist's duties, and we tell them that these duties include communication, they understand our work much better. This in turn allows us to avoid misunderstandings, and the specialists can properly manage their time and plan activities.
5. Timeliness Is the Key
Why is this point mentioned among the best ways to communicate with customers? Because regular contact and meeting deadlines are the foundations of building trust and stable relations.
In practice, this means that we always stick to the deadlines, send reports on time (we always inform customers when to expect a report from us, usually just by the 10th of each month), and deliver all the necessary documents. Moreover, we regularly update customers during phone calls or by email.
We don't ask customers to wait for a response from us. One of the best practices you can implement in your company is to set a maximum time limit for replying to an email or calling back. Sharing these rules with customers will help you avoid any misunderstandings. Moreover, they may even implement them at their own companies, improving communication on both sides.
Remember to inform your customers about opening hours. This way, they won't expect an answer at 6 a.m. or 10 p.m. if they know the specialists work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
6. Take Care of All Communication Channels
Some customers prefer to talk on the phone or meet face to face, while others like emails or video calls. We make sure that our customers have access to the form of communication that is most comfortable for them.
Of course, we can suggest that it's better to send specific documents by email and to discuss the report during a video call if needed. However, if the form of the communication doesn't affect the process, it's worth leaving the choice up to the customer.
At Delante we make sure that every cooperation starts with the so-called kick-off call, during which the customer gets to know the specialist they'll be cooperating with and has an opportunity to ask questions.
In the first month, we also send a questionnaire to the customer, based on which we plan the process and create briefs for our juniors, copywriters, and other specialists who cooperate with us.
7. Use the Customer's Tools but Make Sure That They Remain the Data Administrators
If the customer doesn't have such tools as Search Console or Google Analytics implemented on the website, we can set them up. However, even in this case, the customer remains the administrator of all the data.
Delante gets the rights required to conduct reporting and basic SEO activities. Thanks to that we can take care of transparency of actions even more effectively. The customer can see exactly what is going on, and monitor changes in website visibility or the number of visits.
We never hide the results and when the cooperation is over we simply delete our access to the website and tools. This way, the customer doesn't lose any data and can continue using them.
8. Encourage Customers to Communicate Openly
How to communicate with customers? As we've mentioned earlier, to make the communication effective, it's necessary to involve both parties.
We transparently inform our customers that they shouldn't implement any changes to the website that could affect SEO without consulting us.
We also expect customers to inform us about the marketing activities we should participate in. These can include special SEM campaigns or the need to optimize specific products when they're in season.
Remember that good cooperation depends on both sides. You have every right to inform the customer about possible shifts in activities resulting from a lack of communication or misunderstandings on their side. You should always openly say that you advocate mutual, reliable planning of activities.
9. Inform Customers About Subsequent Steps in the Process
Customers like to know what's going on and what they're actually paying for. At Delante we make sure they can always keep their finger on the pulse.
We inform them about already completed activities and planned steps. When sending the SEO audit at the beginning of our cooperation, we specify what we'll be working on. We also tell customers when they can expect the next documents, messages, steps, conclusions, and results.
All this makes them feel secure and allows specialists to avoid panicked phone calls with questions about whether anything is actually happening on the website.
Why Is Communication with Customers So Important to Us?
Our customers are our partners: owners of their own businesses, small and large companies, people who love social media or are engaged in e-commerce. We know that everyone is different, which is why we want our relationships (even if they are purely business) to be as human, natural, and authentic as possible.
At the same time, years of experience have taught us that lack of communication can affect the effectiveness of our actions. If we don't learn something in time, we won't be able to react, and certain drops in visibility are very difficult to fix. This, in turn, makes us appreciate transparent communication even more.
So it's as much about good customer experience as it is about a smooth SEO process. We like to educate customers on what we're working on so that they have a better understanding of their websites. It's always a pleasure to see when after a few months of cooperation customers start using specialist terms almost as fluently as our SEO professionals and know what website modifications they can implement on their own. It inspires trust on both sides and allows us to fully understand each other's expectations.
At Delante we always work at 100%. We aren't afraid of challenges. It's all aboutefficient communication with customers, realistically defined goals, and appropriate tools. Our SEO specialists don't need anything else to succeed.
SEO specialists at Delante work to increase the visibility of our customers' sites, but apart from that they also communicate with customers. This has helped us shorten the communication path and bring the specialists closer to the customers’ needs. Although it can be challenging at times - after all, SEO and customer service don't go hand in hand - each of us (specialists) has gone through the same process and appreciates this solution. Not only from the perspective of personal development but also from the perspective of faster communication with customers, without account managers .
SEO Team Leader
The Best Way to Communicate with Customers - The Takeaway
You already know how to communicate with customers and build long-term relationships. If you want to remember three things from this entry, let’s mention the real cornerstones of communication with customers:
If you would like to work with a transparent, efficient, and coomunicative SEO agency - contact us, we can make it work!
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