Top tips for effective communication with your customers

Communication is key to nurturing and keeping long-lasting relationships with your customers.

For your communication to really work well, you need to know everything about your products or services better than anyone else. Skills such as patience and active listening can make a huge difference, as well as having a very attentive mindset. It’s important to ensure that you respond to all messages, comments on social media, phone calls, live chat, and emails promptly, as a delayed response could make them turn to your competitors.

Why is communication important?

In today’s online world, with so much competition for every single business out there, no matter how big or small, the way you communicate with your customers can make or break your brand.

There are lots of ways you can communicate with your customers, and factors such as 24/7 availability and multiple channels that they can contact you on, are important for customer satisfaction.

You need to be able to help them in real time, give them any updates to your business or products/services, market new products to them and keep them happy.

The four most popular ways to communicate are:

By phone – this is the best way to resolve any issues with your customers that can’t be solve in other ways. Sometimes, when you try to email or message an unhappy customer, the feeling behind your message gets lost and it can come over as abrupt. So, phone is better as nothing is more reassuring than to hear a real human voice, who is calm and can explain any issues. Customers will like that you’ve taken the time to speak to them – it helps to make them feel like they are valued.

By email – This is good for giving information, for example, newsletters. Email is cost-effective and you have an email thread to keep track of the conversation. I speak to my clients by phone once a month to talk about how things are going – and always follow up with email to confirm our conversation and anything we’ve agreed.

Live Chat – you can put live chat on your website, but for me most live chat comes via messenger, where I can talk to my clients in real time. Sometimes, when doing this, it becomes obvious that you need to have a chat by phone, and other times you will find that you can confirm a date or delivery etc this way.

Social Media – social media is great for sharing regular updates with your customers, talking about new products or services, educating them about something you do or your business, and entertaining or inspiring them with quotes or funny stories/memes. Social media is also brilliant for engaging with your customers in a way you can’t do via other communication channels.

Tips to improve communication with your customers

Here are a few tips to help improve the experience your customers have with your business.

The right message

Conveying the right messages or information is crucial for any business. It is your responsibility to ensure that any information about your business, be it around shipping, info on a particular product and its use, turnaround times, pricing etc needs to be accurate, so that you can set realistic expectations from the start.

If you have a website, shop, and social media channels, make sure that the information you give is consistent across the board, as this leads to a positive customer experience with your brand and business. Any information that differs can cause confusion and ultimately, could lose you customers.

Be proactive in your communication

Inevitably, there will be times when a customer is not happy with the service you offer. They might hassle you to get their problem solved and might keep hassling you if it’s taking longer than they expected.

The best way to solve this, and to avoid it, is to be proactive with your communication. Let them know how things are going every step of the way.

Let me give you an example. I used to work for a global insurance company, and at one time was in their call centre. I worked solely on complaints, which could be quite difficult at times. I found the best way to make the customer experience a good one – even though I was dealing with a complaint – was to be transparent, open, and honest, and above all, keep them informed. When a complaint was first made, I always apologised and said that I would investigate it and get back to them. Now, people hear this all the time and often don’t get a call back – this is where I made a difference. I gave them a time and date that I would ring them back…and I made sure I rang them, even if I didn’t yet have an answer. I’d ring and tell them that I didn’t yet know the answer but was hoping to find out by ‘whatever date.’ I’d then agree another date and time when I would ring them to update or give them an answer. Nine times out of ten, customers were happy with this because I’d still taken the time to ring them in person.

This is what I mean by managing a customer’s expectations. That call makes all the difference. The customer knows that you care and that you are doing your best to sort things out for them. They also know that you will keep your promise to ring and update them.

Active listening    

Active listening is about paying attention to what your customers are saying to you. Listen to everything they have to say and repeat back to them anything that is important to remember or know. This proves that you are listening and ensures that you have understood correctly.

Keep a pen and paper handy in case you have to make notes and don’t interrupt them. Don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat something or clarify something, so you fully understand. You don’t want to miss any vital information or details that are important to them.

Whilst you are speaking to your customer, get rid of any other distractions – turn off anything that is likely to interrupt you. If you are speaking on a landline, switch off your mobile, and if you are on your mobile, switch off your landline or put it on answer phone. If possible, take the call in another room. Don’t have any background noise on such as music or TV.

Earlier I said to avoid interrupting your customer. However, there are times when you may have to – for example, if the line is bad and you can’t hear them properly, or you may have to ask them to repeat something if there is a language barrier.

Know your product or services  

This sounds obvious, but your customers will ask you all sorts of things about your products or services, and you need to be prepared.

Know everything inside-out, so you can answer questions with confidence. If there is something you’re not sure about, or something you’d not thought about, be honest and say that you don’t have enough information about it but will find out and get back to them…and make sure you get back to them in a timely manner! Don’t forget!

Try to avoid words such as “I think’’, “it might be, or it could be,” or “maybe it’s xxx.” This doesn’t instil confidence and makes you sound confused or that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Take your time

It’s normal to feel some frustration when a call is taking a long time, or you are speaking to the twentieth customer that morning. However, for your customer, it is the first time they have spoken to you that day, so they deserve the same polite, helpful treatment that your first customer received.

Take your time to understand queries and give as much information to help solve any queries or complaints.

The call you receive may not be negative – it might be someone phoning to say, ‘thank you,’ or to give a compliment!

Give your customers what they want

All customers are different and have different needs and wants. Whilst one customer will be happy with an email or messenger response, you will have those that prefer to speak to you directly.

If a customer is asking you lots of questions, ask them what they would prefer. Ask questions such as “What is the best way to contact you?” or “Are you happy for me to email or message you, or would you prefer a call?”

In my experience with my business, I get different requests, and some prefer both. I find it easier to explain something complicated over the phone, and then follow up in email. Part of my business is coaching, so that is always face to face via Zoom or video call, but even then, I’ve had someone say they prefer phone and not face to face. So, each customer is different and it’s up to you to find out what they like best and work to that.

Keep a record of what your customers have bought from you before, be it a product or a service, so you have something you can talk about and show them that you remember them. Call them by name, so that it is more personal. And, put yourself in your customers’ shoes and treat them how you’d like to be treated.

Encourage your customer to ask questions

Communication is a two-way process, so encourage your customers to ask you questions. When they ask a question, it gives you the perfect opportunity to, not only answer but to give them information about the various benefits or features of your product/service.

At the end of any conversation, whether by phone, email, or messenger, always ask your customer if they have any questions.

Encouraging questions can lead to more interest in other products or services and could lead to more sales.


Communicating effectively with your customers breeds loyalty. When your customers know that they can contact you easily and that you genuinely care about them, this builds trust. Trust in you and trust in your brand.

Happy customers will refer you to their friends and family and they are the best form of marketing you can have. Communicating them using the channel they prefer helps build that trust and loyalty – in no time at all, you’ll have your own army of marketers, promoting your business for you!

If you need any help with customer communication or would like help with your marketing, please get in touch. I offer a free 30-minute consultation.

Email me at or call me 0033 (0) 545 31 13 86.

How to reach your target audience

Once you have identified who your target audience is, the next thing to do is to find them! How do you do that?

Hopefully this article will answer those questions and fulfil the main goal of marketing…get the right message to the right audience, at the right time!

Here are a few ways that will help you decide how you can best connect with your target audience.

  • Any marketing you do needs to speak directly to that audience you have defined. This does sound pretty obvious, but so many people think that their products are universally appealing so are targeting everybody. It’s nice to think that is possible, but it is seldom true and that mind-set can get in the way of talking to the right people.
  • The next thing to do is to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. It is most likely that they won’t know much about your brand, products or services as well as you do, so by seeing what you offer through different eyes, you can look for potential weaknesses or misunderstanding. Then the right messaging can be crafted.
  • Now you need to identify the best channels that will speak to your target audience. Now, there is not just one answer here, it will all depend on who your target audience are. So, when you did the research into your target market, what do they turn to for information?

    Do they read local magazines or newspapers? If they do, a local ad might do the trick.
    Do they listen to local radio? Could you get an ad on the radio or get in touch with the radio station and ask to be interviewed?
    Do they use social media and if so, what sites do they use? It’s no good putting everything on Twitter and Instagram, if they mainly use Facebook, for example.     

Building a communication/PR strategy  

Once you know who your audience are and where they like to get their information, now you need to get that information out to them. This does mean having some kind of strategy…I don’t mean another long and arduous document that you’ll do and never look at again, but a more pointed plan. So, let’s look at the strategies you could use…

Social Media

This pretty much goes without saying – most target audiences these days are on social media in one form or another. Social Media is a great way to engage people in conversations with your business. You can encourage people to follow your page by creating ‘follow’ buttons on your website that link to your social media pages. If you send out a regular email to your customers, add a follow button on that to get them engaged with your social media pages. You can also use ads on social media to attract followers.

Post content that you know will interest them and they’ll find value in. Ask questions in your posts and remember the 80/20 rule. 80% engagement and building a following and only 20% actually selling a particular product. If you only ever post details of your products and cost, people will lose interest. They like to get to know the person behind the brand, so engage with video content, podcasts, inspirational quotes, funny quotes, ask questions that may be related loosely to your product or service, do a ‘this or that’ – do you prefer coffee or tea for example. There are loads of different post ideas in one of my previous posts.

Get into publications they read

If you know that your target audience like reading hard copy material, like magazines, trade publications or newspapers, you could put a small ad in it. You could also contact the publication direct and ask if your business could be featured. If it’s a newspaper, pitch a story idea to a journalist who writes for the newspaper, or ask if you can be interviewed. Alternatively, you could write an article and then submit it with a pitch to the relevant publication. This isn’t easy, but there are a few free courses and articles online about how to pitch to this type of media.

If you know that your audience read certain blogs, contact the blog owner and ask if you could write a guest blog article. Make sure that your SEO is on point with this, and also check the SEO on your website. It needs to be good to appear high in search engines, so take a look at your website and make sure it hits the mark, so it will be seen by your target audience.

Networking events

Join local networking events, as this is a great way to meet your target audience and talk about your business. Even better, if you can get a speaking spot to talk about a particular area of your expertise. You’ll not only be speaking about something that is relevant to your business and your target audience, you’ll also get the chance to mingle with your target audience afterwards. If you get a spot as a speaker, the event will be advertised with your name and subject, so you know that people interested in what you have to say will be in the audience.

Creative Content

OK, so now you know where and how to connect with your audience and how, let’s look at the content you share in more detail. This can be written content, video or podcast. It’s good to try out all the different forms of communication.

Appeal to emotions

People in general, are more easily moved to take action by their emotions than by anything else. Sometimes even good old logic goes out the window when emotions are involved.

For example, some of the big cat food manufacturers advertise on TV. Although the ads do focus on ingredients and how good it is, the product is mainly sold by the cute kitten talking to itself, or running around playing…or just sat there looking cute. There’s one brand of cat food that is described as ‘gourmet’ food. The cat in that ad is a pampered, long haired pedigree that looks a cut above the rest. This kind of advertising, using the right kind of images or video is what helps sell that product.

Solve a problem

If you have done your research on your ideal customer, you will know what problems they have…and how you can solve them. You just need to let them know that you can fulfil their needs and solve their problems. And, whilst it’s important to give the features of your product or service, all your customers really want to know is ‘what is in it for me?’ So, solve a problem they have and you are more than halfway there.

The time factor

Time, or the lack of it, is also a great marketing ploy. If you can communicate that your product or service saves people time, whilst also giving them what they want, for a price they can afford, you’ll be onto a winner. It’s a very busy world and people are constantly looking for ways to save time, so they are happy to listen to anyone who can help them save some of that precious time…and solve a problem for them at the same time!

DON’T push the sales angle

As I said earlier, use the 80/20 rule. I absolutely hate it when I sign up for something online – it might be a freebie, it might be something I pay for and in order to get it, I give my email address. I’ve not got a problem with that, but if I then get bombarded with emails in my inbox, I not only find it irritating, it’s usually about selling the same thing, something better, something bigger. OK, I get it, I’m happy to be asked once or twice, but some people send several emails a day over several weeks. In my mind, that’s just unprofessional and pushy. So I’ll unsubscribe…and might actually miss out on something I would have liked a few weeks down the line. I just can’t stand the hard sell. So it’s definitely about the getting the right balance on pitching products/services and engagement and building a loyal audience.

Ask questions

In order to connect fully with your target audience, you need to really know them. Ask existing customers and potential customers for feedback, so you can gain more information about their needs and wants. This could be via a poll on social media, or a survey to their inbox. There is no better way to get information about your audience than to ask that audience itself. You will gain great insight into what makes them tick and find out what they need, or what problems they might have. Then you can work to provide that need or solve that problem.  

Share and improve your Brand

Talk about your brand values in your content. This will engage people with the same values as you and will help you identify with your audience and to connect with them on a deeper level.  

Stand back and take a good, long look at your brand image. Read your website and social media pages through the eyes of your target audience. Does it speak to them in the way you thought it did? What could you do differently to improve it? Is your brand warm and inviting, or cool and aloof? Does it connect with your target audience? The way people perceive your brand goes a long way to deciding whether or not they will become a paying customer.   

Publish a case study

Whether you provide a product or a service, you will have a case study to share…a happy customer, someone whose life you made easier, or whose problem your product or service solved for them. What better way to advertise your business, than to interview a happy customer and ask them how your business helped them and why it is so good. This makes your business more real to your audience. It also gives your target audience the reasons why buying from you is such a great idea.

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s crucial to have a connection or a two-way conversation between your business and your target audience. It’s also really important to realise that, just because you have identified your target audience and identified how to get to them, that your job is done. Far from it I’m afraid. Every post you make, every campaign you run will show you how to do a better job next time around. And if you continue to ask for feedback and are willing to take criticism and ideas on board, tweaking what you do, you will get more and more effective results.