You may have a great team, amazing marketing ideas and a budget to match, but unless you get your core communications in line you may be wasting your time and money.
Firstly, establish how customers are going to contact you; email, web chat, IM, SMS, Phone and then make sure that they all look and feel professional, conveying your business in the right light and ensure they work 24/7.
Use a professional email address (dump the gmail and Hotmail address). There is nothing worse than being drawn in by some great publicity, only to be asked to email johnsbigbusiness at hotmail.com it instantly smacks of unprofessional and is out of sync with the BIG business image that the publicity has conveyed.
Similarly, a mobile phone number at the bottom of the web site or on publicity will also convey small business and get potential customers wondering if the company can really handle the business or is it just too small? Whilst we now live in a mobile world, a mobile phone number smacks of one person on a mobile phone at the other end as opposed to a local Fixed line number which gives the impression of a professional business. That image can be further enhanced with a PBX switchboard managing each and every call and publishing additional phone numbers for regions or countries you are promoting your services to.
Auto responders for web-chat, IM, SMS and even emails are great, but make sure they are professional in their content and convey the right image. In addition ensure you are able to respond in a timely manner.
If using a phone auto-announcement for times you are unavailable, make sure the caller is handled correctly and you are aware of who called and when by using notifications or even utilise professional call answering services.
Become a 'mystery shopper', and check all customer touch points to make sure when they contact you, you are able to respond. Don't leave this to chance as you will most likely be throwing money down the drain and left wondering why your amazing marketing campaigns are not resulting in sales.
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