Creating Consistent Communication with Your Audience

by | May 22, 2017 | Business Foundations, Growth & Sustainability Strategy | 0 comments

Episode 3 Show Notes

Have you ever found yourself fielding the same questions from your customers on social media, in your inbox, and through your website’s contact form? For every potential customer that has reached out to you to ask a question, there are at least two to three other potential customers who gave up on finding an answer and moved on to someone else.  Creating clear information about your business and how your customer can work with, or buy from you, is necessary for increased growth.  Today’s episode will share four ways to provide clear and consistent communication to your audience that will save you time, increase customer satisfaction, and decrease customer drop-off.   In this week’s episode 

 

  • +  I explain how you can create and update your frequently asked questions on your website and give you specific examples of questions to answer

 

  • + I talk about the auto-response message and how it easily streamlines all communications in your business

 

  • + I tell you about creating a welcome email for your email marketing and how it can help you stay top-of-mind to your customer

 

  • +  I also explain the importance of reviewing the copy and photography on your website to make sure you are clearly communicating your brand and other important information to your customer

 

  • +  I provide you with a downloadable guide that will serve as your aid as you begin to apply the principles you learn from this week’s episode 

Create and Update Your Frequently Asked Questions

The first step you can take to creating clear and consistent communication with your customers is to create or update your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on your website.  Your FAQ page needs to be up to date, clearly marked, and in a location that is easy for potential customers to find.  Whatever you decide to title your FAQ page, the first thing you want to do is to make sure that it is easy to find so that your customers know that’s where they can find the answers to their questions.  For example, you can link to your FAQ page in the header, sidebar navigation bar, or footer navigation bar of your website. 

The second thing to remember is that you should often review, update and add to your FAQs as needed.  Don’t just set it and forget it. My rule of thumb is if I receive a question three to five times via email or on social media, it becomes a frequently asked question. I never write out the same answer to the same question more than two times. I want you to provide an answer to help your customers learn how they can take advantage of what you have to offer.

One thing that will help you keep your FAQ page up to date is to keep a running list of repeat questions you’ve received from your customers. Keep these in a place where you can easily transfer them to your FAQ page and provide an answer, I use trello to keep track of questions because I can easily access it from any computer or phone and it will simultaneously save wherever I’m typing.   Whatever way you choose to keep track of repeat questions, keep them in one location so you can note any commonalities. Don’t let more than three months go by without reviewing this list and updating your FAQ page.

Another way to get the most out of your FAQ page is to consider combining it with your contact page. There is a high likelihood that the question your customer has to ask is listed in your FAQ.  List out all of your FAQs before your “contact me” box so your customer can read through them and get their answer.  If their question remains unanswered after reading them through, then they can fill out the contact form. Getting their question answered before they fill out the contact form not only saves you time having to write out an answer, but it will save your customer time since they don’t have to wait for a response and will hopefully move toward buying from, or working with, you.  If you choose to have two distinct pages for your FAQs and your contact page, I want you to provide a link to your FAQ page before your contact box so they can check to see if their question has been answered before they reach out to you. Providing your customers with clarity will increase their likelihood of buying from, or working with, you. It also makes them feel as though you understand them and are providing for them at the forefront of your relationship.

Have you ever noticed that so many customers come to your page only to leave without purchasing? One of the primary reasons for this is that your potential customers have questions, but they’re unable to find clear answers to their questions, so they give up and they leave. Not every person who has unanswered questions is going to take the time to reach out to you for help or further information. Updating your FAQs may seem like a minor thing to do for your business, but the impact is real.

Another great place to link back to your FAQ page is through Facebook using the messenger auto-responder. If someone sends you a message to your Facebook page, you don’t have to stop and send a manual response.  Rather, you can provide an automatic response thanking them for their message and directing them to your FAQ and contact page then they can see if their question has already been answered and if it hasn’t they can then contact you online. It’s important as your business grows to direct your customers to ONE place and streamline your communication through ONE place: your email. In doing so, you won’t spend all day, or paying someone to spend all day, answering Facebook messages.  Don’t give your customers the expectation that you can be contacted any and everywhere.

If you’re new to business or haven’t started your business, you’re probably wondering how to create an FAQ page if you haven’t even begun receiving questions from customers. Even if you’re new and have no customers, it’s important for you to create an FAQ page, especially since you don’t have a history yet and people need to know how to work with you. Think to yourself what does your customer need to know in order to work with you or to buy from you.  Answer the questions that will walk a customer through how they can come to your website and complete a purchase with comprehension about what they’ll receive, when they’ll receive it, and how they will receive it.  Second, take a look at other stores’ FAQ pages and take note of the commonalities you see amongst brands. Those questions will most likely be the same questions your customers will have.

Here are some common FAQs you can include on your website, particularly if you are a product based business that sells physical or digital products:

  • ✔️ When and how will I receive my order?
  • ✔️ What is the turnaround time?
  • ✔️ Will I receive an email when my order ships?
  • ✔️ Will I receive a tracking number?
  • ✔️ Where do you ship?
  • ✔️ Do you offer rush orders? What are the terms? 
  • ✔️ How do I place an order?
  • ✔️ Do you offer wholesale?
  • ✔️ What is your return policy?

 Set an Email Auto-Response

An email auto-response automatically responds to the customer when they send you an email and it is a great way to communicate with your customer.  This email is going to be sent to someone who has taken the time to find your email, ask you a question or state a concern, so it’s important that the email is in your brand’s voice and not a generic recitation of your FAQ page. It also should soothe some of their concerns from their email by letting them know immediately what’s going to happen next.

The first thing to consider when setting up your email auto-response is to make sure it’s written in your brand’s voice. If your brand is laid back, you don’t want your response to sound corporate. You can also set up different email accounts dedicated to specific areas of your business.  For example, I have separate emails dedicated to wholesale, customer service and collaboration requests so that I can address those audiences differently and appropriately in my auto-response.

After your introductory “Hello,” thank them for their email and acknowledge receipt of the email. What I love about the email auto-response is that it eliminates that email that you would get questioning if you’ve received their email. It lets the customer know that you received their email and that you will respond which puts the customer at ease.

Let your customer know when they can expect a response.  If you have certain hours, such as “you can expect a response within 48 hours”, make them aware of that. Lead with the questions you receive the most emails about.  For product-based business, for example, you might receive the most questions about your turnaround time, how to purchase a rush order, how a customer can add on to an existing order, refunds, and exchanges.  Answer these questions first in your auto-response and then direct the customer to your FAQ page. Your customer is more likely to click on the link to your FAQ if they feel like you’ve started to give them specific information rather than just saying that you got their email and you’ll respond. This communicates that you care about their concerns and here are some ways you can address them immediately rather than having to wait for your response.

Setting up your email response is quite easy if you are a Gmail or G Suite user and I walk you through how to do so in this week’s download linked above.

Create a Welcome Email

The third strategy that will help you provide clear and consistent communication to your customer is to create a welcome email that is sent after a customer subscribes to your email list. Most service providers, including Mail Chimp and Convert Kit, will allow you to send an auto-response email to new subscribers. This strategy is a great way to communicate to your customer what it is you think is most important to know about you, your business, and your brand (I go into much more detail about the welcome email and provide copies of my welcome emails in Episode 16 here).  Your welcome email can be an introduction to your brand or the story behind your brand, explain how they can work with or order from you, or provide a free PDF to welcome them to your brand. Think about what you can offer to your new subscriber that will introduce them to your brand. This can and should change over time, but whatever you choose to put in your welcome email, it will help you stay top-of-mind to your customer since they receive it immediately after subscribing.

 

Review and Update Your Website’s Copy and Photography

This last strategy is pretty basic but all too important.  Take the time to review and update the copy or words on your website as well as the photography.  When was the last time you went through all the words and photos on your website and updated or added to them? Just like your FAQ page this is something that you can’t just set and forget and it’s important to set aside time to go back and review the message you’re communicating through words and photography.  I want you to go through your website with a fine-tooth comb, looking for ways that you are consistently speaking to your customers.  By consistency, I mean are you communicating one clear message through all of your words and photos. The best places to start are with your home page, about me page, and then your service or product pages and descriptions.  Keep these questions in mind as you review your website and ask yourself if a stranger visited your website:

  • ✔️Would they know what it is you offer and how to get it?
  • ✔️How long would it take them to figure that out?
  • ✔️How long would it take them to figure how to contact you?
  • ✔️Can they easily find your FAQ page?
  • ✔️Does your about me page communicate what your customer needs to know in order to connect with you or your brand?
  • ✔️Do your product descriptions explain measurements, sizes, turn around times and any other information that helps the product to sell?

Highlights

  • Create and update your FAQ page [00:02:40]

    Examples of frequently asked questions [00:14:12]

    Set an email auto-response message [00:28:22]

    The program I use to dedicate separate emails to different areas of my business [00:30:45]

    Create a welcome email [00:37:13]

    Review and update your website’s copy and photography [00:42:15]

    Your downloadable guide [00:47:22]

Action Steps

  • Download today’s freebie and review how you can apply these four strategies in your business.  I want to hear your insights and your #1 takeaway from today’s episode, let me know by leaving a comment over on Instagram @shuntagrant.  Chat soon!

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Shunta Grant

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Hi there! I’m Shunta, I work with women who seek success in their businesses, but not at the expense of joy in their lives! I teach them how to build and grow successful businesses that keep customers coming back time and time again. When I’m not helping women run businesses they love, I’m reading a good book, taking a class at the gym or walking the aisles of Target and TJ Maxx with my daughter Zoe. If you believe that both your business and your life can be filled with joy, come hang out with me here on the Business, Life & Joy podcast.

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