B2C communication plays an integral part in every aspect of your business. From digital marketing to sales and customer care, how you communicate with your customers makes all the difference. Communication should be a two-way street that allows you to have conversations with your customers. When you see B2C communication as something purely focused on marketing, you miss out on the chance to engage in every part of the journey.
What defines B2C communication? What role should it play in your company? Simply put, customer communication applies to every interaction your customers have with your business. As soon as a customer engages with your business as a potential new lead, communication begins. Once they move their way through your sales funnel, you are communicating through various lead generation strategies. Once they convert, you are communicating with them through various channels. Your mobile marketing, SMS marketing, email marketing, social media campaigns, and every other strategy are all aimed at engaging customers.
It goes without saying that you need to make B2C communication a major priority. When you do not, you risk missing out on the many chances you have to engage with your customers. To improve your communication efforts, it helps to know what to avoid.
B2C Communication Mistakes to Avoid
Knowing what not to do is a good way to learn how to avoid mistakes that cost you far more than you may realise. The biggest B2C communication mistakes to avoid are as follows:
1. Non-automated processes
One of the single biggest issues that arise across all areas of communication is a lack of cohesion. This often happens in large companies, when there are multiple touch-points for customer communications. Marketing is not always aligned with sales and sales may not be aligned with customer support. When this happens, chaos is par for the course. Not having any type of automation in place for your processes is a recipe for disaster. Trying to manage communication through individual platforms with minimal automation will amplify the lack of cohesion between departments. It will also very quickly frustrate customers. Automated processes are essential to keep everyone on the same page and ensure that customers get the information they need quickly and easily. When your processes are automated, you will be able to create marketing campaigns, send invoice reminders, collect outstanding payments, and manage every other customer-facing process more easily.
2. Batch-and-blast messaging
Another major mistake is continuing to use traditional batch-and-blast messaging. Customers today expect messaging and offers to be personalised. If you are still sendng generic email or SMS blasts to your entire customer base without any type of segments or personalisation, you will not get much traction. This type of approach assumes that every single customer and lead has the same needs. In reality, this is not true. There may be some customers who would love to get updates on your latest cosmetics product discounts available at your multi-department online store. That does not mean that every customer will want to receive an SMS announcing the deal.
A personalised approach that uses customer profiles at all stages of the journey is far more powerful. You will be able to target specific audiences who are more likely to convert. You will also add more value to customers by presenting them with offers that they genuinely want to receive. This helps to increase loyalty, with a higher chance of creating lifetime customers.
3. Lack of customer options
This one applies to customer service in particular. For customer care, a big frustration that customers face is not being able to get help easily. Too many companies offer a limited range of options to get in touch or get help. Call centres are notoriously difficult. When customers have to be put on hold, press multiple numbers to get directed to specific departments, finally get hold of a real person, and then get cut off, you can expect them to be angry. Direct messaging options such as SMS can be effective at times. Emails can be as well (presuming customer emails are answered quickly). Having a limited number of ways that you can communicate with your customers is vital.
Customers do not have the time or patience to go through traditional channels. Ideally, you want a wide range of options that include live chat, email, USSD, phone, SMS, and messaging tools such as WhatsApp and Telegram. This will help customers reach you through the option that suits them best.
4. Poor communication workflows
As we mentioned earlier, having a lack of cohesion between various departments is the quickest way for things to go wrong. Communication workflows make it easier to manage B2C communication at every stage of the customer lifecycle. Tracking communication before customers convert, only to hand the customer over to sales without keeping track of what happens next is a big mistake. Instead, you need to have proper communication workflows in place. These should keep track of the customer journey as well as the various strategies in place across every department. Marketing, sales, IT, customer care, and everyone else should be in sync to prevent customers from falling through the cracks. Once they fall, they are very difficult to bring back again.
5. Non-integrated channels
Finally, we have channel integration. There’s a reason that omnichannel communication is considered the most efficient way to improve acquisition and retention. Trying to manage all areas of communication from individual channels is a big mistake. So is seeing specific areas of communication, such as support, separate from marketing. Integrated channels allow you to create a seamless experience for the customer at every stage of their journey. The simplest way to do this is through an omnichannel digital communications platform.
Grapevine Interactive allows you to integrate your customer-facing channels smoothly and easily. You will be able to provide a high level of support and engagement from the moment your leads convert to customers. The good news is that mistakes give you the opportunity to learn, adapt and improve. Fine-tuning your strategies and approaches, investing in the right tools, putting more focus on the customer journey, and re-thinking the way that you communicate with your customers will improve your results.
To find out more about our digital communications and how it helps you improve B2C communications, contact the Grapevine Interactive team today.