In my last post, I discussed why communication is key in keeping your business operating optimally during dangerous winter weather conditions. Speedy communication will result in greater customer appreciation, increased employee moral, and improved customer service and retention.
But now, you’ll learn how: Read on for four effective tools for quick customer and employee communication when the weather outside is more frightful than delightful.
1. SMS/text messaging
When you need to communicate a message quickly, text messaging is the way to go. That’s why, according to the Pew Research Center, a median of 75% of cell phone users send text messages on a daily basis. Say Winter Storm Jonas has brought several inches of snow. When you need to get ahold of customers or staff members promptly, sending a text message is quick and efficient. You can text one specific individual or send a group text, where receivers can respond and communicate in a reply-all manner. So, next time you yell at your kids for texting at the dinner table, remember that texting can be a useful business communication tool.
2. Social media
According to the Pew Research Center, as of January 2014, approximately 74% of adults who use the Internet are regular users of social networking sites, with the most popular being Facebook, followed by Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. You already know how important social media is for leveraging more business, but social networking is also a key communication tool in times of emergency situations. A quick Facebook post, for example, to let customers know your closing times or other updates during a winter weather emergency will reach all of your followers at once.
Individuals and businesses have been using email to communicate efficiently for more than 20 years now. In fact, the Salesforce Blog states that 77% of consumers prefer to receive “permission-based marketing communications” via email. Email is often our go-to form of communication, and now that the majority of cell phone users own smartphones, email is accessed 24/7. If snow is heading your way, email communication is a smart way to keep your customers and employees in-the-know of important weather-related information.
4. Website Updates
If your website receives a high amount of consumer traffic, as it should, keeping your site up-to-date is a must. Ensure that website updates will easily be seen; a good place is at the top of your home page. Also, keep in mind that consistency is key. If your email communication indicates that your primary location is closing at, say, 1 pm for inclement weather conditions, but your website does not, your customers may get confused. Also make sure that all of your communication states the exact same information, so customers won’t be questioning which is correct.
Using these simple communication tools in emergency conditions (as well as in everyday situations) will take little time, but yield big results. So, this year, take action: Don’t let winter weather take control.
Tell us: What communication tools work best for your small business? We welcome your feedback!
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