Contents
Communication with
customers. 1
Understanding of customer
needs. 1
Customer service. 1
Feedback. 1
Introduction of new
products. 2
Brand positioning. 2
Channels of communication
with customers. 2
Product or service
marketing. 2
Social media. 2
Service center 3
Call center 3
Issues with communicating
to customers. 3
Cultural clashes. 3
Lack of transparency. 4
Unavailability. 4
Lack of information or
misinformation. 4
Too much information. 4
Conclusion. 5
 

Communication with customers

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Communication forms
an important part of every organization. It forms the backbone of various
activities that take place in the organization. For any business to run
efficiently it is important that they are able to communicate with their
customers in a transparent manner (Kodish, 2015). Customers are the final
consumers of the business’ products or services. Therefore it becomes very
important to ensure that the organization is frequently touching base with its
customers. This also helps the organization stay aware about the changing needs
and demands of customers. The importance of effective communication is as
below:

Understanding
of customer needs

Communicating with
customers allows various organizations to gauge the changing needs and demands
of their consumers. This helps the firm to mold their offerings as per the
requirements of their customers. This in turn will lead to increased customer
satisfaction and number of repeat purchases.

Customer
service

Once the product or
service has been delivered to the customer, it is extremely important to
provide for an after sale service. This after sale service helps the
organizations in building a long term relationship with their consumers and
this is only possible through effective communication. Communication with
customers also helps the firm is addressing grievances of customers as and when
they arise.

Feedback

Feedback is highly
important for any business to ensure that there is consistent improvement.
Feedback is only possible through transparent communication between the
customers and the organization. Communication with customers enables them to
provide a genuine and transparent feedback. This is turn makes sure that the
brand’s offerings are consistently improvised and molded leading to increased
customer satisfaction.

Introduction
of new products

Every time a brand
wishes to launch a new product, the product must be effectively marketed and communicated
to customers to initiate purchase. The role of effective communication is very
vital in ensuring that people are aware of the new product and are interested
in buying it.

Brand
positioning

Brand positioning
refers to the image of the organization that holds in the minds of the
consumers (Nalca, Boyaci & Ray, 2017).
Effective communication with customers helps the companies in setting the right
brand positioning for themselves. Brand positioning plays a vital role in the
success of any business. An effective brand positioning will attract the right
customer segment and help the firm in enhancing their customer base.

Channels of communication with customers

There are various
channels through which an organization can communicate with its consumers. The
presence of a larger number of communication channels leads to effective
communication and helps in building a strong connection between the
organization and its customers. These channels of communication are as below:

Product
or service marketing

The basic style of
communicating with customers is through acts of marketing. This is a one way
communication and allows the organization to inform the customers about any new
or existing offering by the brand. These advertisements also build an image in
the minds of the consumers which is known as brand positioning.

Social
media

Every organization
has marked its presence on social media. Social listening skills are very
important while communicating with customers. Social listening refers to the
organization being widely aware of what is being talked about the brand on
social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram etc. Social
media is not a tool to communicate with a large group of customers through a
single platform (Tuten & Solomon, 2017). For effective communication,
organizations must respond to customers on social media and address their
grievances as well.

Service
center

Most organizations
have physical service centers spread across different areas. These service
centers are an effective way to communicate with the existing customers of the
brand and address their issues in real time. Effectiveness of the service
center leads to increased customer satisfaction (Wilson,
Zeithaml, Bitner & Gremler, 2016).

Call
center

Every company has a
call center or a help line where the customers can call the organization and
reach out to their customer service team. The idea is to help the customers and
address their issue by speaking to them on the phone. Communication in these
call centers largely determines the efficiency of the brand and its service.

Issues with communicating to customers

Unfortunately, if the
communication with customers is either missing or is ineffective then it is
expected adversely impact the company’s performance as well as its brand
positioning in the industry. Customers are approached by organization and vice
versa through various channels like social media, customer service centers,
telephonic customer care and face to face communication with customers (Lemon & Verhoef, 2016). All these channels
cater to customers in a different manner. Social media allows the company to
communicate with a large number of customers under a single platform (Hollensen
& Raman, 2014). However, it makes it difficult for the company to respond
to all the customers individually. Face to face communication with customers
through service centers are highly effective but very few customers take the
pain of approaching the customer center. There are various issues that a
company may face while communicating with their customers. These issues are as
below:

 Cultural clashes

There are various
multinational firms who have spread their business across different geographies
of the world. Therefore it is difficult for them to gauge complete
understanding of the local culture. This culture includes local ethics,
language or religious sentiments of people. Lack of information about the same
may create a cultural clash and the organization may then find it difficult to
communicate with customers.

Lack of
transparency

Often, communication
with customers is not transparent. The number of customers is large and not all
of them directly communicate with the organization. Therefore, this leads to
spreading of numerous rumors which may or may not be true. A lot of
misinformation travels through customers which adversely impacts the brand’s
reputation in the minds of its consumers (Coombs, 2014). Therefore it is
recommended that companies must remain transparent to their customers by making
necessary announcements on public platforms and addressing customer grievances
as and when they arise.

Unavailability

Organization being a
single entity can be reached out by customers through various different
channels of communication. On the other hand, it is impossible for a large
organization to touch base with all their customers individually.
Unavailability of customers makes it difficult to communicate with customers.
Many organization float surveys to gain a deeper insight about consumer needs
and demands. However, if the customers are not available for such researches
then it is difficult for the organization to understand consumer needs and
demands.

Lack of
information or misinformation

A major issue
regarding an organization’s communications with its customers is the inability
of the organization to communicate effectively leading to consumers being
uninformed or misinformed. This breeds into consumer’s perception and makes it
difficult for organizations to ensure effective positioning. Misinformation or
wrong information about the company is also a major issue faced while
communicating with customers (Austin & Pinkleton, 2015).

Too much
information

Another issue that
may arise while communicating with customers is disclosing too much information
or unnecessary information that the customer does not require. This will
adversely impact customer relationships and may make the organization
vulnerable due to excessive sharing of information (Sharma & Crossler,
2014). Therefore, it is recommended that organizations must not give away too
much information about the internal details of the business like their costing
or any internal politics.

Conclusion

It has been
established that communication with customers plays a vital role in the success
of any business (Nave, 2014). Organizations must ensure that they communicate
with their customers in a transparent manner and the chains of customer
communication might be well established in the business process. While
communicating with customers, organizations must be aware, active and highly
responsive to make the communication process effective.

There are various
channels to communication and organizations must leverage on all of them to
ensure a better connect with their customers. Business organizations must be
careful while communicating with their customers so as to ensure that their
local culture is respected and correct information is revealed to them. Transparency
in communication leads to enhanced trust within the organization and its
customers. This is why it forms a very important part of customer satisfaction.
Communication problems must be immediately addressed to ensure a smooth flow of
communication with customers throughout the business lifecycle.

 

References

Austin, E.W. and Pinkleton,
B.E., 2015. Strategic public relations management: Planning and
managing effective communication campaigns (Vol. 10). Routledge.

Coombs, W.T.,
2014. Ongoing crisis communication: Planning, managing, and responding.
Sage Publications.

Hollensen, S. and
Raman, A., 2014. Social Media Marketing. Marketing Canada-Journal.

Kodish, S., 2015.
Cultivating Relationships with Customers: The Social Media Challenge. Journal
of Leadership, Accountability and Ethics, 12(2), p.81.

Lemon, K.N. and Verhoef,
P.C., 2016. Understanding customer experience throughout the customer
journey. Journal of Marketing, 80(6), pp.69-96.

Nalca, A., Boyaci, T.
and Ray, S., 2017. Brand positioning and consumer taste information (No.
ESMT-17-01_R1). ESMT European School of Management and Technology.

Nave, S., 2014. Communication
in the Workplace.

Sharma, S. and Crossler,
R.E., 2014. Disclosing too much? Situational factors affecting information
disclosure in social commerce environment. Electronic Commerce Research
and Applications, 13(5), pp.305-319.

Tuten, T.L. and Solomon,
M.R., 2017. Social media marketing. Sage.

Wilson, A., Zeithaml, V.,
Bitner, M.J. and Gremler, D., 2016. Services marketing: Integrating
customer focus across the firm. McGraw Hill.