Most brands are well into their digital strategy as we step into 2018. But the million dollar question is “are you talking to a brick wall when it comes to communicating to your existing customers?”

I am sure most will agree that the best weapon in your arsenal is the existing customer base. The low hanging fruits are cross selling, up-selling and retaining existing customers. Most brands will confidently state that they have evolved from “foot-in-the-door” to “mail order” to “email” to “sms” to “digital”. Unfortunately, quantity is not quality when it comes to millennial or digital darlings. They demand that you give them only the information they need, minus the frills.

Few things to consider in your communication strategy

SMS

Don’t use the one size fits all approach. Segregate your customer base according to what they would be interested in and send them messaging which is very relevant to you. If you push too many things that they are not keen on, they will tune out. Most of your SMS’s will remain unread until deleted. Also, most millennial and digital darlings see a message preview and decide if it’s relevant to them-so start with your punchline.

WhatsApp/ Viber

Yes it’s true that your customers are on these platforms, but be careful when you invade their private space. I would recommend consent first or atleast a robust opt out option via a simple reply. The last thing you want to do is annoy your existing customers. Remember that they probably provided you their mobile number to call them for important matters, not to use it to stalk them and send messages on apps they use for other purposes.

Email

Yes, emails still work in my opinion. But make it personal, very targeted and interactive. Don’t just send your press ad to your entire database. Make your emails navigable and opt for email automation.

Social media and Web chat

It goes without saying that you need to be integrating web chat and social media response handling as a key element of your marketing, sales and customer service strategy. But ensure that customers feel that you are always online.

Messenger

Let’s face it; you can’t ignore the stats: 1.3 billion users are now active on Facebook Messenger, and they’re exchanging more than 2 billion messages per month with businesses. Most companies are beginning to make statements confirming the effectiveness of Facebook messenger campaigns.

When a customer or a potential decides to reach you on messenger, speed of reaction is paramount. My personal buying behavior is where I search for something on Facebook, and message the first 3 pages I find. Then I eagerly await a response. Usually the most effective communicator wins the job. My rational is if they are not prompt to get a sale then they would be worse when it comes to retaining a customer. For this reason I recommend deploying messenger bots sooner than later. Brands must evaluate and decide if they only use it for marketing as they work brilliantly for working the funnel to generate leads or they deploy them for basic customer servicing as well.

To sum it up, be available on platforms that your customers prefer at the frequency they demand.