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Reach out for recommendations

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Katie Mallinson 1  By Katie Mallinson

When it comes to how you communicate to your clients and potential customers, you will no doubt try to ensure you have many boxes ticked. Your website needs to tell people what you do and why you’re good at it; you might send emails to widen your reach; your social media may be jam-packed with interesting content, and perhaps you’re even successfully projecting your voice into the press via a carefully considered PR strategy.

If you manage to nail all of the above, have a well-earned breather, you’re doing great! But ask yourself, are there any gaps in your communications activity?

In all of the examples highlighted here, there is one common theme – you’re talking at people. But to generate some really interesting and commercially promising value from your comms, you need to talk with people. Two-way dialogue, whereby you interact with individuals and organisations, ask their opinions, provide tailored advice and promote next step interaction, will reap much greater return.

Polls and surveys are a great way to obtain insight, and people love the opportunity to share their views. Forums allow you to interact with customers and peers alike, whether you offer some tips or get involved in a (healthy!) debate. And events, however bijoux, are a great way to network, exchange ideas and encourage Q&As.

You could even reach out for recommendations or reviews, from clients you’ve worked with to date. One of our clients, a Huddersfield-based electrician, recently surveyed website visitors to learn what influences their decision making process when choosing a sparky. And recommendations came out top with 60% of the vote, way ahead of price, encouragingly!

It’s perhaps no surprise – we digest social media feedback and use review sites before making a restaurant reservation, booking into a hotel or buying a car. So it makes sense that so many people check the quality of an electrician’s work, in advance, before inviting them into their homes or places of work.

But the same applies to virtually all areas of business – reviews provide an independent seal of approval, build customer confidence and offer reassurance. They break down barriers and minimise risk for the buyer.

So, as you evaluate your comms strategy, think about how reviews and recommendations could slot in. And don’t be afraid to ask for this feedback – not only could it help attract new customers, it will help you evaluate the quality of your offering and enable continuous improvement too.

 

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