Engaging your customers with effective communication
In this article, we’re talking about effective communication with your customers. This content was transcribed from a panel from a 2021 Customer Marketing Summit. Look into our upcoming events; members have discount opportunities too.
Introducing our panelists
Hello, everybody, and welcome. Today we’ll be talking about engaging your customers with effective communication. My name is Igor, and I'm a Product Marketing Lead for Lemax (now Head of Marketing at Mediatoolkit). I'm joined today by Alex and Anita, who I’ll hand over to now to introduce themselves.
Hi, my name is Anita, and I'm based in Germany. I'm very excited to be a part of today's discussion. I lead Product and Customer Marketing at ThroughPut Inc. We provide AI-powered supply chain software that helps companies make better sense of their supply chain operations and gain end-to-end visibility for streamlining productivity and output.
And I’m Alex Conners. I work for a company based in New York City. We provide application traffic management. We work with some of the largest companies in the world – LinkedIn, Dropbox, Salesforce – to help them deliver the best application experience to their end users.
Common issues in customer communications
When we were preparing for this discussion, we all agreed on one thing – that companies often engage their existing customers in communication just before the renewal period, and the rest of the time, they just forget about them because they assume they're happy. We all highlighted the importance of making our products or services relevant throughout the whole customer lifecycle, and not only two months before the renewal comes up.
What are some other common issues that you see in customer communications?
As you said, there's the challenge of talking to customers consistently. The other piece is what you use to talk to them. We often find that customers are communicating with us across different platforms, so their data is disparate. I think that's one of the biggest challenges.
I also think that companies struggle with the difference between customers and prospects and remembering that they already have a relationship with customers. Sometimes as companies are trying to grow and scale, there's not as much emphasis on continuing the customer relationship once they're deployed. They’re focusing on new revenue opportunities for the business instead.
We need to help customers to extract more value, and we need data uniformity so we can make sure we’re talking to the right people at the right time. If not, it's gonna be very obvious to our users.
I completely agree about the issues you mentioned. What I would add is that there’s often a lack of any single source of truth. Internal teams are using so many different KPIs and pieces of software, so how do you centralize goals and objectives and the metrics we use to measure them? How do you obtain that single source of truth that tells you the right information to disseminate?
I also agree with Alex’s point about the lack of understanding of the distribution mechanism. Oftentimes, there is a lot of emphasis on the communication strategy, but distribution becomes an afterthought. We need to centralize and understand the right way to reach out, so we don’t have customer success, marketing, and product marketing teams all reaching out at once for different purposes.
The other issue is the information overload that typically ends up happening. Customers tend to receive lots of information from all of us. Understanding what information is helpful for them, as well as the best formats and mediums, is essential.
Communication techniques to engage your existing customers
If the last couple of years have taught us anything, it’s how important customer focus is. Yes, of course, you need to scale the business and focus on acquisition, but a lot of companies, including ours, have realized that when everything stops, you have to focus on your customers.
We’ve intensified our communication with our customers on so many levels. We’ve had weekly meetings with them and follow-up sessions. That’s one of the most positive changes I’ve seen – this increased focus on the existing customer.
What are some other communication techniques that you use to engage your existing customers?