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Building Rapport With Multi-Channel Communication

January 23rd, 2019

Communication is king when it comes to building a relationship with anyone, and that includes customers. Staying in regular contact with your prospective customers builds trust and reputation, and, in turn, increases your sales.

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Not all communication methods carry the same weight though. That's why it's critical to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each communication channel. Using the right form of contact at the right time guides prospects down the sales funnel.

Some of the most popular ways to communicate with clients include calling, texting, and email. Here the pros and cons of each, and how they influence the rapport you build with your clients.

Building Rapport Via Phone Calls

Calling a prospect may seem old-fashioned in this digital world. However, making a phone call does show your prospective client that you care. Calls show a willingness to take time out of your busy schedule to hold a meaningful conversation.

Communicating via phone calls comes with advantages and disadvantages, however. Here are a few things to consider:

Pros )

  • A phone call makes it easy to determine a prospect's interest in the product or service you're trying to sell since you can easily hear the tone of the person's voice.
  • With direct communication, you can quickly make future plans with the client and confirm them.
  • When paired with call tracking and real-time reports, you can confirm phone call effectiveness and agent productivity.

Cons )

  • Because more people are using digital forms of communication, it's not always easy to get a prospect on the phone.
  • Moreover, they may not respond to a message that you leave on their voicemail until much later, if they respond at all.

To avoid late responses, make sure that you place phone calls during business hours instead of late in the night or on weekends. If your prospects don't pick up, leave a brief message making sure you repeat your best contact number. Lastly, smile while you are leaving the message. Smiling reflects in the tone of your voice and encourages a callback from your prospects.

Building Rapport Via Text Messages

Text messaging (SMS) is one of the easiest, most preferred, and effective methods of communication for many people. When you send a text message, it needs to be short, simple and to the point. People text throughout the day and often check their texts more frequently than any other form of communication. Furthermore, they can quickly respond to you on their time without being bothered by a call.

Before incorporating text messaging into your cadence, consider these pros and cons:

Pros )

  • It's fast and easy to communicate with clients via text messaging.
  • Clients are quick to respond to this method versus phone calls or emails.
  • You can also promptly see if your message was sent correctly and read thanks to read receipts and error message reporting features.

Cons )

  • The message may be too short to get what you're trying to say across to the recipient.
  • If you send multiple messages, the prospect may mark the number as spam.
  • Unless you use a program or CRM, it can be rather difficult to organize and share text messages across a team.

To make text messages work, send them during business hours. This schedule ensures TCPA compliance and higher response rates. Additionally, keep your text messages professional and avoid using emojis. Instead of emojis and gifs, type out how you feel. In other words, instead of using sending a happy face emoji, text "that's wonderful to hear." Lastly, don't send multiple messages in a day if you receive no response. You don't want prospects to assume that your text messages are automated or block you.

Building Rapport Via Email

Email makes it simple to customize your message for each client and is a tried and true way to communicate for businesses. You have the option to make it short and sweet or much longer and detailed when needed.

Consider these benefits and disadvantages of using email as a form of communication to determine if it's right for you and your prospect:

Pros )

  • With email, it's easy to organize and keep track of the messages sent between you and your prospects.
  • This form of communication makes it simple to schedule automated messages.
  • Even if the client responds from another email address, you can still track the conversation from start to finish.
  • You can send emails any time of day.

Cons )

  • Your email could go in your prospect's spam folder and may never get read.
  • Sometimes emails are lost in a sea of other messages and promotions, so it's possible that you may not get a response for a long time.

Before sending an email, review your message to catch spelling or grammatical errors. Avoid sending off a generic email by personalizing it with your prospect's name to improve your response rate. Organize your email folder so you can quickly access important information. It's best practice to schedule when your emails go out. This structure allows you to see a sort of calendar of communications ahead of time. Avoid sending out too many emails in a week to avoid coming off as spammy. Lastly, review your subject line and ensure it doesn't contain any phrase or words that may auto-flag it as spam.

You Can't Build Rapport Until You Make Contact

Making an effort to stay in touch shows the prospect you want them to be around for the long haul. In some cases, it's important to pick the single best form of communication, based on your relationship with the client. Combining all of them though, while it may be tricky, can be the best way to build a solid rapport with new customers. Through some trial and error, you should be able to determine what works best for your company in no time.