Have you ever telephoned a customer or a client on their office line, left a message and did not receive a return call? A few days later you followed up with that person by telephone and left another message. No response. Finally a follow up email by you, prompted a return email saying they just don’t normally return phone calls, and that email, even though they get far too many of them, was how they usually communicate with others.
Or have you ever emailed a person, only to have it apparently be ignored? You follow up with two more emails, and still no response. Next you try to telephone their office a few times and still get no response. Finally you look at your CRM and notice a mobile phone number. As a last resort, you try that, and sure enough, you get through to them. Sound familiar? This type of miscommunication scenario happens more times than you think.
According to the Radataki Group, Inc. market research group located in Palo Alto, California, what contributes to this problem is that: The typical corporate email user sends and receives about 105 email messages per day.
Despite spam filters, roughly 19% of email messages that are delivered to a corporate email user’s inbox are spam. This includes what is referred to as “graymail” (i.e. unwanted newsletters or notifications).
Based on those numbers, it is not surprising that more and more of our clients are having a problem staying on top of their daily emails.
And if that isn’t confusing enough, how about this: Jeffery Kluger reports in Time Tech that, The telephone call is a dying institution. The number of text messages sent monthly in the U.S. exploded from 14 billion in 2000 to 188 billion in 2010, according to a Pew Institute survey, and the trend shows no signs of abating. Not all of that growth has come out of the hide of old-fashioned phoning, but it is clearly taking a bite — particularly among the young.
So, how do you communicate with the people you are trying to sell to?
Today there are several ways to connect with and communicate with your customers and clients. Here are just a few that are commonly used:
• Telephone-I-phone, Office phone, home phone
• SMS Text/Mobile-text messaging
• Social Media –Twitter, Facebook, and Linked in (to name just three)
• Hard copy letter or post card
• Fax machine
• Face to face meetings
The key to being able to connect with your customer or client is to identify the number one and number two ways by which they prefer to be communicated. Here are some questions you can use to get that information.
• What are the best days of the week when you can be reached? What are the worst?
• What is the best time of the day? Before 8 a.m., between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or after 5 p.m.
• What are the worst times of the day to connect with you?
• What is the best way to reach you? Telephone, (which phone number?), email, text message or?
• How long should I wait to hear back from you before I try
While not fool proof, by using these questions, you can ascertain the best way and time to consistently connect with your clients and customers. Once you are able to do that, you will save yourself time, frustration and energy.
By Tom Borg © All Rights Reserved
Tom Borg is founder and president of Tom Borg Consulting, LLC. Since 1996 he has worked with CEOs, presidents and their leadership teams in over 1900 companies and organizations. Through his consulting, mentoring, coaching, workshops and his assessment instruments, he works with his clients at the intersection of leadership, communication and culture. Tom helps them stop the disconnect and get them back on track. (734) 404-5909 firstname.lastname@example.org www.tomborgconsulting.com.