Many companies focus on marketing to the public without putting a focus on retaining the customers they have already earned. While building a book of business is important to thrive and succeed in the business world, retaining customers is just as important. One way to retain your clients and build a stronger professional relationship is to improve your customer communications. Strong communication is key if you would like your customers to believe that they are your company’s priority. Communication is also critical to looking professional, building a reputation and ultimately gaining market share. Here are 4 tips on improving your customer communications so that you can achieve the gold standard. Find Out What Your Customers Prefer and Think Like Your Customer Base You cannot deliver what your customers want if you do not take the time to ask them. One of the first ways to improve your communications is to identify your customers’ needs and preferences so that you can give them what they want. Some customers prefer convenient contact methods online, and others prefer to speak directly with a representative. To find out what companies want, ask your loyal clients to fill out surveys so that they can provide answers to the important questions. With these answers, you can identify what to focus on. Provide the Front Line Employees with Communications Training Some people are inherently good communicators and others need training. Your front line employees who communicate with employees directly are making an impression every time a client makes a contact. Be sure to invest in communications training which should be given to all employees after they are hired. Training should cover topics like: active listening, body language, how to avoid negative questions, how to respond to hostile customers, and explaining technical concepts. This training will pay off in the form of customer satisfaction and retention. Invest in a Professional Telecommunications Service If you are promising your clients personal service, you need to live up to your promises. Your phone systems can really affect your communications and also your ability to deliver on your promises. It is important to have a full-featured business phone service that makes your business look professional. Consider speaking with a telecom consulting company to help you choose a service that includes personal voicemail, call forwarding, conferencing, greetings and extensions that is best for your specific location. This gives customers the options they need to speak with the person that they are calling for. Always Keep Your Customers Informed Customers never want to feel like you are keeping information from them that could affect them. You should always inform customers on technical problems or developments that could affect them. When a customer hears about problems from their friends or news sources, it shows that you are not concerned. If you address issues and point them out on your own, it is easier to resolve the issue and keep the client. Effective communication in every stage of sales and customer service is essential. Communication is a critical skill that can make or break your company. Be sure you address areas where you need to improve, and then come up with strategies that will help you build strong relationships. Images: ”Customer Care Center – text illustration with social icons and tablet computer and mobile cellphones on cyan digital world map background/ Shutterstock.com“ __________________________________________________________________________________ 0Connect with Tweak Your Biz: Would you like to write for Tweak Your Biz? Tweak Your Biz is an international, business advice community and online publication. Today it is read by over 140,000 business people each month (unique visitors, Google Analytics, December, 2013). See our review of 2013 for more information. An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.