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How to Communicate with Clients Effectively

When to Use Texts, Email, and Phone Calls without Any Backfiring

How many times have you called a potential or current client, prepared with a really solid value proposition for them – only to be met with a cold or annoyed reception? Perhaps you’ve emailed or texted a client more than once with no luck.

This kind of trial and error when communicating with clients to pursue new business can be soul-crushing. We’ve been there. However, if you’re like many businesses, you rely on client communications to keep your business moving forward. 

Whether you’re a business owner, or you’re in a sales or customer-facing role, you’ve probably experienced this type of frustration and disappointment. The thing is, the old adage “it’s not you, it’s them” is quite true. Different clients and prospects react differently to various modes of communication.

You might be most comfortable with email, but that doesn’t mean that the person on the other end of the transaction feels the same. So should you email, call, or text? Good question. In today’s landscape that’s loaded with multiple channels for communication, this question is becoming more and more common. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at a few ways to determine client communication best practices to help answer that pressing question: How Should I Be Contacting Clients?

Determining Effective Communication Strategy 

Happy GoReminders customer.

GoReminders allows you to set preferences on how your clients want to be contacted.

There are a million articles with even more statistics talking about effective communication methods with clients. But the bottom line is this: there is no one answer. The best mode of communication will depend on a variety of factors.

Factor #1: Your audience

Like any good communicator knows, understanding your audience is always step one. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is failing to consider a client’s preferred communication channel. Set your own preferences aside and get to work figuring out theirs.

 If your focus is customer-centric, which it should be, you listen more than you speak because you know that communication is a two-way street. 

Put yourself into the shoes of your client and ask yourself this question: 

How would the client want to be approached for new or additional business? 

Think about who you are dealing with…

If it’s a current client, consider what you already know:

  • If you’re calling on a millennial with a SaaS business, we’re probably not going to get this person on the phone without an appointment, no matter how great the conversations have been in the past. 
  • If you’re calling on a seasoned professional nearing retirement who prefers an old-school approach, we’re not going to be texting him or her since that will likely feel too informal and disruptive.

If it’s a new client, do your homework:

  • Think about your client’s industry. Real estate people are typically phone people. Office personnel working in a physician’s practice or at a hospital are usually phone people as well. 
  • Ask around. Do some digging. Ask their receptionist or a former rep how this person prefers to be approached.
  • Check out the person’s profile page. While quite rare, some companies now indicate such detailed information that you can find out this person’s preferred communication style. 

Once you determine the “best practice” for communicating with a particular client, record it so you won’t have to recreate the wheel the next time you need to reach out to them. There are plenty of note-keeping tools to record valuable information like this.

Factor #2: The content of your message

The content of your message should be another driving factor in your decision about how to contact the client. Consider the following:

  • The content of your message will either be simple or complex. Is the content simple enough or does it require a conversation? A quick update should not require a phone call and is much better suited to a text or an email.
  • Sometimes the content of your message requires documentation. Some communications require a documentation trail. If you may need to prove later that you provided certain information to the client, ensure it’s in written form and for this, email is best. 
  • Another important consideration is the sensitivity of the information. Sometimes, communication might be too sensitive to be put down in writing. In this case, it probably makes sense to pick up your phone and call. This way, you can adjust your tone and even the content of your message according to the progression of the conversation and the client’s mood and reaction.

Factor #3: The reason for the communication

Again, if using a customer-centric approach, simply be considerate. 

A form of communication that interrupts the recipient is rarely going to be well-received unless it is information that is really important to them.

Therefore, be really honest when answering this next question: is this message important for us or for the client?

  • If the message is important primarily for your business, opt for email. This applies even to a sales pitch that includes a potentially valuable proposition for the client. Because this call is more important to you, it’s not worth the risk of permanently establishing yourself in a negative light in the eyes of the client.
  • If the message is important for the recipient, text or a phone call is appropriate. For example, when reminding a patient about an appointment, pinging them with a text or buzzing their phone with an automated message won’t be overly bothersome because they are receiving a tangible benefit by receiving such a reminder in today’s hectic world.


Consider Automating Some of Your Communications

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Send fully customizable automated text and email messages in seconds, with GoReminders.

Small businesses in every industry are recognizing the need to improve their communication processes, especially in this post-COVID world. Businesses are pivoting more and more to automated technology to make the entire communication process with clients more streamlined, more convenient, and more user-friendly.

But too often, a simple mistake with the platform or the process can eliminate all the benefits of automated communication, result in fewer new clients or appointments, and drive even the most loyal customers away. 

Don’t make that mistake. GoReminders is simple and easy to use. Setup takes 30 seconds and your automated messaging system is ready to start sending. Use our templates or customize. It’s that simple


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