We’ve written before about the value of a phone call, even in this era of constant digital communication. Two human beings speaking to one another directly will always be the clearest way to hold a conversation. However, a face-to-face interaction or phone call isn’t always possible—or preferred.
Thankfully, there are many other ways to get your message across to your potential and existing customers, from forms to text messaging and email. Discover how to communicate virtually with customers, especially with live chat, which will now available on the Contact Cloud platform!
1. Online Forms
Online forms offer a way for customers to reach you directly from the convenience of their computer or phone at any time of the day. This method of communication is perfect for those instances in which someone wants to indicate they’re interested in learning more about your service or product but aren’t ready to buy yet, or if they have a brief note or question.
Available within Contact Cloud are FormReactors, which are click-to-call forms that can immediately trigger actions (e.g. an automated phone call) when a form is submitted. Our FormReactors are easy to embed on any website, and can be set up with a variety of instant responses on your part from a personalized text, to an immediate call from a live agent.
This means that online forms can even be used for urgent communications. We’ve worked with law firms who use FormReactor to immediately connect with high value clients, and contractors who use FormReactor to respond to emergency home repair requests.
We can even dynamically associate FormReactor submissions with your tracking source and tracking number. That means they’ll also be linked to calls, texts, and web sessions, so you can capture the full picture of each sales journey. By tying form conversions back to the search keywords, or the ad campaign that brought in the lead, you’ll be able to hone your online marketing strategy through learning which ad campaigns are resulting in the greatest number of leads.
2. Text Messaging
If you’re running a business, you should be speaking with your customers in the way they prefer to communicate. The last few years have seen a huge uptick in those who consider text messaging to be their primary form of communication. So, why not speak to them in the way they prefer to listen?
Communicate with thousands of your customers simultaneously by sending text messages via an autodialer. Our autodialer allows you send the your contacts bulk messages of up to 800 characters, which can include images and emojis. These bulk messages can be sent out at any specified frequency, as often as every minute, or even days apart. You can be specific with this, and set a schedule for the texts that include “time controls,” so that you’re not disturbing your contacts by messaging at inappropriate times.
To further tailor and customize your message, set up personalization tokens so that your text message can address each individual by their first name. Or, use personalization tokens to remind your clients about upcoming appointments, with the custom appointment time and date changing dynamically based on who the message is being sent to.
It’s easy for your contacts to remove themselves from text communications if they prefer not to receive them. If someone responds to your bulk message with the keyword of your choice, such as “stop” or “cancel,” we can automatically add them to a blacklist. They’ll no longer be contacted, and you’d never have to lift a finger.
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing is undoubtedly one of the least expensive ways to communicate with a large number of contacts. Emails can be received and opened instantly, no matter where in the world your clients are based, so they’re a great way to remove geographic barriers for international or e-commerce businesses.
Your messages can be customized with tons of data gathering features, so that you can stay on top of which ones perform the best. Add a Contact Cloud tracking number to the message to monitor the number of calls and texts you receive from that particular email, or use a service like HubSpot to learn which links are clicked on the most and what content your customers are most interested in. As a rule of thumb, it’s good to include a footer or call-to-action in every single email that directs clients how to contact you to lead them to reach out directly.
4. Live Chat
Live chat has become one of the most popular ways for businesses to communicate with customers instantaneously, day or night, across time zones. You can implement a live chat box on any page of your choosing on your website and prompt visitors with enticing questions based on their behavior.
For example, if someone is scrolling through a plans comparison page, the chat box could open with a sales or support representative asking if they are able to help someone pick a plan that meets their needs.
With chat, you can either have a live support team monitoring it at certain hours, or even utilize a bot who is able to respond to messages with pre-created macro replies. For the customer, chat minimizes the need to wait on the phone in a support queue or speak live to an agent when that’s not feasible and in most cases delivers an answer instantly. In fact, 52% of millennials say they would rather converse via text over chat, signaling that more businesses need to get on board with this as a standard line of communication with their customers. Contact Cloud's’ chat is a great support tool for your team to provide instant, real-time service to customers within one unified communications dashboard.
5. Snail Mail
One of the oldest methods of communication has become the least effective mode of communications for growth businesses.
Ultimately, every customer will have their own way they prefer to communicate, which goes to show that an integrated approach is often best. By offering a combination of all these tools, you’ll ensure you’re appealing to the needs and preferences of a variety of audiences.