Big thanks to social media and the Internet, businesses can completely operate and consumers can obtain their needs even when both of them are far from each other. Through online chats, communication is made faster, more accessible and more convenient. Day and night, even with the bounds of timezones and distances, online businesses can help and their customers can be helped. If you are an owner of an online business, you definitely see and experience all these advantages of bringing your enterprise to the cybernetic sphere.
Now, because your business can be easily seen and reached virtually, you can attract more customers, meaning you can acquire more profit. And before these happen, of course, what or who you encounter first are the potential customers.
Potential customers are not officially your customers yet; since they show interest through contacting you, they have the possibility to be! They are still inquiring and finding out about your products and services, looking around your website or online shop, checking out what you can do for them.
When potential customers reach out, this is a significant opportunity for you to convert them to actual customers. That’s why the first encounter is pivotal; how you connect with them and impress them got some points! To help you make the most out of every conversation with them, here are 5 tips on responding to potential customers through online messaging.
- 1 – GREET AND THANK THEM FOR CONTACTING YOU.
1 – GREET AND THANK THEM FOR CONTACTING YOU.
Every conversation, especially the first time, starts with a greeting. It does not have to be so extravagant of course, but a proper greeting, such as a simple “Hi!” or “Good day!” begins the connection. If you want, you can give a brief introduction, probably just a sentence, about your brand, feel free to do so
Don’t forget to thank them for contacting you. There are lots of online businesses out there, and you must absolutely be appreciative that you are the one they got in touch with or that you are one of the top options they are considering.
2 – CLEARLY ANSWER THEIR QUESTIONS.
Potential customers have at least a couple of questions per person. It would be difficult for you and for them if you give them vague answers to their inquiries. Be certain to always clearly answer their questions.
When someone is asking for sizes, send them the whole size chart with the conversions according to measurements and according to countries, if applicable. When they are asking for shipping rates, show them all the prices from different couriers you use. What they are exactly wanting to know, exactly let them know.
Answer their questions and follow-up questions too. Best if you can also answer in advance the possible questions related to what they have already asked. In that way, things will be clearer for these potential customers. Their curiosities will be attended to.
3 – BE PATIENT TOWARDS REPETITIVE QUESTIONS OR THOSE WITH OBVIOUS ANSWERS.
Managing an online business is not easy; it’s an enormous challenge to be honest. One of the struggles arrives when potential customers have repetitive questions. Five different potential buyers may have the same inquiry, or a single potential client may have been repeating the same question thrice already because they could not crystal-clearly understand.
Be patient with these kinds of people because you will definitely encounter a lot of them. Some end up not buying, but don’t lose heart because many become customers after a long list of clarifications. The latter probably just want to be free from doubt before they make their purchase.
Also, be accommodating towards people with questions whose answers are obvious or are posted on your online page already. These potential customers might just be too busy to read everything; well, that’s not totally a friendly excuse but might be forgivable for you, if you want to make them your customers. Meanwhile, some might be just wanting to verify their understanding, that’s why they are still asking about obvious details.
4 – ADDRESS THEM RESPECTFULLY REGARDLESS OF AGE.
When you are a business owner with services suitable for all, you cannot be picky about the age of your customers (as long as they can afford and are allowed to). Although you have a specific age group in your target market, you are tremendously thankful when all kinds of people, from different age ranges, reach out and want to avail of your products.
Address all your potential customers respectfully, regardless of age. They can be older than you or younger than you, but never forget to call them ‘Ma’am’ or ‘Sir’ or whatever title and term of regard. Use proper honorifics as well.
5 – BE FRIENDLY AND APPROACHABLE.
Though social media is a productive means of communicating, there are inadequacies too. Emotions are not fully expressed, and tones of voice cannot be precisely conveyed. However, you can do your best to do so by being friendly and approachable.
Make potential customers feel like they are just talking to a pal who wants to help them big time. With the right choice of words, you can do that. What’s more, there are emojis, stickers and GIFs you can use to make the conversations more snuggly and congenial!
6 – RESPOND QUICKLY.
Lastly, do not skip responsiveness. This is very crucial because late replies can make you miss opportunities to serve people. Do not make potential customers wait for so long before they get a reply from you. If you take more than a day to answer, they might have already contacted a new store by the time you send your message. Write back quickly to every inquiry. It’s for your business and for those people who need you.
POTENTIAL TO ACTUAL
Bonus tip! As an online business prone to cyber attacks, make sure you have business insurance called cybersecurity insurance. It’s for the safety of your brand, of your staff and of your customers. This gives you credibility too!
Going back… The first step to get customers is to gain the attention of potential customers. These potential customers are to be treated highly because you are, in a way, trying to convince them that ‘Yes, you’ve made the right decision in reaching out to us.’
Your first conversation with them should leave a positive impression on them. From beginning to end, make them feel valued. Even when you feel like they may not totally be converted into customers, still do your best to give them a pleasant ‘potential’ customer experience. Who knows, your business might be the one they go back to, to check again in the future. Because of a satisfying response and a delightful vibe, even when they don’t become actual customers yet, they will see that you are a brand to trust and to recommend.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nicole Ann Pore is a writer, an events host and a voice over artist. Quality and well-researched writing is her worthwhile avenue to enlighten and delight others about things that matter. She is a daytime writer for Insurance Advisernet, a quality business insurance provider and adviser in Australia. Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.