Open Lines of Communication: The Latest Ways Your Audience Can Reach You

Five colorful speech bubbles.
Written by: Connections Marketing

Emails, online form fills and phone calls are all useful when it comes to answering whatever questions people have about your brand.

But, to keep up with the competition, it’s crucial to tap into newer ways you can extend your organization’s lines of communication while still relying on standard, tried-and-true methods. Updating and refining ways to connect with people provides growing businesses with more opportunity for users to reach them, where they are, in a way that is most comfortable to them.

Instagram, Tik Tok, Twitter and Other Socials

What should you be responding to on social media? Possibly, more than you think. More than 30 million businesses in the U.S. say they actively use social media platforms to promote products and services, as well as to interact with their customer base. Your marketing team is likely already using a mix of socials to promote many things:

  • Company news
  • Sales announcements
  • Important milestones
  • Industry trends
  • Events and openings

But it’s no longer enough to show customers that you’re paying attention. You also want to actively engage with them, addressing whatever questions or concerns they have about your offersings.

Social Media Direct Messages (DMs)

What social media platforms do your customers and target audiences use? Wherever they are, take advantage of the most basic but important capability around: direct messaging. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others have direct messaging features that are often the best way to reach people – whether to resolve a billing issue or answer a question about your new product rollout. Because they are private, these chats allow marketers to share content one-on-one, making them ideal for answering individuals’ questions directly.

Live Chats on Websites

In recent years, all types of organizations have seen just how useful it is to offer live chats with humans on their websites. There are many potential benefits of online chat tools:

  • Showcase your company’s high-quality support service
  • No need to leave your website or find a new page
  • Reduce handling time
  • Integrate with other customer service tools

Offering this service allows visitors to get questions answered quickly by a real person – ideally, a trained employee or a dedicated outsourced chat agent.

“Conversational” Artificial Intelligence (AI)

A growing number of businesses are offering customer support across their websites using AI-powered live chat software. Conversational AI is a form of AI-driven communication technology not unlike a virtual assistant on your phone. Typically, these platforms are designed to recognize vocal and/or text inputs so that they can mimic an actual human assistant and respond to queries.

Chatbots & Bot-Managed Messaging

According to Zendesk, customer service teams that handle 20,000 support requests per month can save more than 240 hours each month by using chatbots. While chatbots and AI can certainly overlap, they are not necessarily the same thing.

Chatbots are designed to produce pre-written responses based on certain keywords and other language identifiers. If team members frequently field the same limited set of questions online, a chatbot is a great way to save time for your customer service team – and money for your organization.

Google Business Messaging

Was your company already on Google My Business? Check out the newer iteration’s Google My Business Messaging feature. This could be one more way that customers will want to get in touch with you in real time, through your Google Business Profile listing. A minimal effort in this area has the potential to improve your SEO while providing folks with info they need about your business.

Caution: Manage Customer Service Offered on Non-Traditional Channels

There’s one important caveat to all this good news. While online options are often faster and cheaper upfront, they still need monitoring and oversight. Those managing additional channels of communication will have to:

  1. Collect and organize contact data
  2. Have a central location to log communication
  3. Set boundaries such as scheduling
  4. Ensure timely responses

A Top-Rated Digital Marketing Partner Will Oversee Your Communication For You

The world of digital communication is always evolving. It can be hard to keep up with the latest ways to connect with target audiences. Take advantage of all of the channels of communication available by working with a well-heeled digital marketing agency that can take over some of these tasks for you. A highly qualified partner will be able to oversee other key parts of campaigns, as well, from web design to content creation to direct mail.

As you grow, the team of digital experts at Connections Marketing will ensure the latest approaches are incorporated properly into your larger campaigns and business goals. Contact us today to discuss how we will set up your next campaign for success.

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