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Corona crisis: These are the most important communication channels

Customer communication in the corona crisis with shutdown and lockdown (Image: Freepik)

Advice: This is how you can reach your (potential) customers perfectly when classic communication and contact points are limited.

Customer communication and the customer journey

Let’s admit it: even before the COVID19 pandemic, it was difficult to reach your own target groups. Because the so-called customer journey – the journey of your customers – can be quite long depending on the product.

Many diagrams show an idealized way of the customer journey. This consists of a start, several touchpoints and an end – the purchase.

Customer Journey (Image: Freepik)

These are just simplified representations. With many products, the customer does not go straight to a store or an online shop and purposefully purchases. Rather, he lets himself be inspired beforehand, he informs himself, he weighs up; he gets new information, maybe tries it out, asks friends; he reads customer reviews and weighs up again.

The modern customer journey is accordingly complicated and complex. And the corona pandemic didn’t make it any easier. Because: Now a few important touchpoints are missing.

Because of the lockdowns and shutdowns, customers are less able to obtain information than they used to be or not at all in shops. There is also no need to try things out on site. This creates a communication gap between you as an entrepreneur and your customers.

How can the communication gap be closed?

Fortunately, we live in the 21st century, there are more ways to communicate than ever before. For example, you can exchange ideas with your (potential) customers like this:

  • phone
  • FAX
  • Social networks (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Xing …)
  • e-mail
  • Web chat
  • Messenger (WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger …)

Each communication medium has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here is a quick overview:

medium advantages disadvantage
(Mobile-)
phone
  • everyone owns
  • usable on the go
  • fast, direct communication
  • Company not always available
  • possibly wrong contact person
  • only language
FAX
  • Transmission of documents (including images)
  • not widespread in the private sector
  • staggered communication
  • difficult to use on the go
  • Documents only in black and white
e-mail
  • Very common
  • usually reaches the addressee
  • Append various File formats
  • staggered communication
  • Mail may end up in the spam folder
  • formal cover letter
Social networks
  • great spread
  • depending on the network: real-time or time-delayed communication
  • Append various File formats
  • fragmented market
  • The type of communication depends on the network
  • partial deficiencies in data protection
Web chat
  • fast, direct communication
  • no installation necessary
  • usually attach various File formats
  • Chat runs through a website
  • Support is often not available 24/7
  • Chatbots often cannot replace people
Messenger
  • very high distribution
  • fast, direct communication
  • Append various File formats
  • Support is often not available 24/7
  • Chatbots are not yet widespread
  • partial deficiencies in data protection

 

Which communication channels are popular?

As various studies show, most end customers want preferred communication via messenger. Understandable, almost everyone nowadays has at least one messaging app installed on their smartphone. Its use is known and very popular. The exchange takes place in Contrasted with an email or a less formal phone call.

Another advantage: With so-called unified messaging solutions, you combine several messengers on one platform. For example, small and medium-sized companies can use Chatwerk to communicate quickly and easily with their customers via an interface using WhatsApp, Telegram and other messengers.

Web chats and live chats are also on the rise. These are messengers that you can integrate directly into your company website or online shop. These can often be expanded with a manageable effort to include a chatbot that independently answers the most frequently asked questions.

How do you best communicate with your customers?

There are two answers to this:

On the one hand, you should not offer your customers just one or two routes, but several. In addition to telephone and mail, messengers and / or web chat are now standard. The exchange via social networks can also be a very good way.

Already knew? You can bring your customers to a WhatsApp chat using special QR codes.

On the other hand, you always have to think about your customers! They decide which communication channel they want to use to exchange ideas with you. If a channel is missing, satisfaction decreases. And the threshold to contact your company is increasing. If in doubt, a prospect goes to a competitor because he has better contact options up his sleeve.

For you that means: Don’t force your (potential) customers on your will! For example, are you critical of WhatsApp? Is that why you use Telegram or Signal? Then you block the possibility of communicating with millions of WhatsApp users. That harms your business.

Therefore, be open to various options. For example, it is possible to use WhatsApp in compliance with data protection regulations. That goes over the WhatsApp Business API , which is integrated in Chatwerk.

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