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Retailer Communication: This is why WhatsApp is so important

Customer communication in retail: WhatsApp versus email (Image: Freepik)

In times of shutdowns, digital communication channels such as e-mail and messenger are in demand. WhatsApp is clearly ahead of the game.

Digital communication is a must

The communication between companies and your customers is constantly changing. The corona pandemic is an accelerator, the symbolic fast-forward button. Lockdowns and shutdowns ensure that many things are digitized at the speed of the express train. And that’s just as well.

For example, traditionally operating companies also have to deal with the modern form of communication – because they hardly have walk-in customers anymore. Instead, it is important to “get into conversation” with (potential) customers in a contemporary and digital manner and to conduct business.

Email is good, but not perfect

“Contact us by e-mail” or “You can now reach us at Ihrbuchladenteam@gmx.de”: You have been seeing such notices in the shop windows of bookstores, toy shops and musical instrument stores for a few months now. The traders try to stay in contact with their regular customers and accept inquiries digitally.

That’s good, but also bumpy. This type of communication has a few weaknesses. If you as an entrepreneur use email exchange, your customer must …

  • remember the address correctly.
  • type in the address correctly in his mail program.
  • write a subject line.
  • Use a formal salutation and a friendly greeting.
  • Formulate correct sentences and describe your concerns.
  • possibly provide further contact details (e.g. his mobile phone number).

All of this leads to the fact that writing an email is seen as “work”. This obstacle is a hurdle. One that, in the worst case, leads to a prospect not contacting you at all.

How are you doing better?

One possibility would be to hang one or more posters with a large QR code in the shop window. If the interested party scans a QR code with their smartphone, their e-mail program opens automatically. Ideally, the email address and the subject line are filled in automatically using the stored logic.

The subject could read: “Buying the Book of Heartbreak in Ireland”. This saves the customer some time and is happy about it – which increases the mood to buy and increases customer loyalty. And you get emails that you can better classify in order to process the inquiries faster.

How can it be faster?

Scan the QR code (Image: Freepik)

The use of messengers such as WhatsApp would be even better and faster. Because:

  • WhatsApp is widespread and, despite some criticism, very popular.
  • The so-called Conversational Commerce the focus is on fast, informal exchange. Long cover letters, empty phrases and greetings are not common here.
  • In addition to the name, a mobile phone number is also transmitted. Ideal for calling interested parties quickly if there are any questions.
  • Communication usually takes place in real time – which increases the satisfaction of impatient customers.
  • You can use text modules to answer frequently asked questions – at least if you have WhatsApp Business or the WhatsApp Business API via ChatWerk.
  • With WhatsApp Business (API), the conversations can be given labels such as “urgent” or “product XYZ”. That creates order and structure.
  • Obtaining feedback and ratings is easy, quick and effective.

If you use WhatsApp or other messengers as a communication channel, you should try to get the customers “in” as quickly as possible. QR codes are also recommended here.

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