With the digital revolution, traditional marketing channels have also been undergoing a transformation. In order to reach your target customers, your business needs to utilize the communication channels that they most prefer. Developing your managed services marketing strategy must come from a deep understanding of who these target customers are and how effective each communication tool is for that group. You may, for example, focus on small and medium businesses or on a specific industry. It is also necessary to have a multi-pronged marketing plan that uses two or more of these channels:
Real-time Communication Channels
When your business makes use of real-time communication methods, you have an opportunity to produce measurable results there and then. Perhaps, you get to suggest the right IT service that solves your customer’s dilemma, or you schedule an appointment or close a sale. The benefit to the customer is that they get answers when they want and need them. They don’t have to wait for a response that may or may not come in good time.
For the reasons outlined above, there are tremendous benefits to using the telephone as a preferred communication channel. It’s easy for potential clients to dial you directly and get immediate service. On the flip side, you are also able to use cold calling to sell your services directly. It is, therefore, important that you maintain a working number and answering machine, as well as returning calls in a timely manner.
Web chats are also great tools to offer direct support to those that are browsing your business website. It’s a great method to offer help and answers that might arise about your services. Another real-time communication channel is direct in-person interactions. Whenever these invaluable opportunities arise, you can sell your services, answer questions, and build a one-on-one relationship with a potential client.
Delayed Communication Channels
While real-time communication is superior to delayed channels, it is not always possible to be there right when you’re needed. Many customers are also often just scouting and do not have an urgent need. Others may not like telephone communications, such as cold-calling. Your managed services marketing efforts must cater to these different preferences.
Email is a professional means of interacting with clients. You can make use of auto-response messages to acknowledge receipt and give an estimated time of response. It’s very important to be timely about responding because this demonstrates your commitment to customer services. Email is also an excellent way to market your services through newsletters and promotions to your existing clients and potential clients who may have shown interest in your services. An excellent alternative or initiator to email communication is using web forms. Here you can collect the email addresses and other contact information of people wanting more information after browsing your website. It’s always important to make sure you are receiving these completed forms and responding to requests and inquiries. Auto response tools can help simplify this process.
More and more customers are opting for social media as a means of interacting with clients. You may be able to reach different small and medium business networks by maintaining a business Facebook page. This can be easily shared in business groups. Another social media channel you could use is Twitter. Some customers appreciate an active social media presence. It gives them a glimpse of the kind of services you provide and the kind of reviews you are receiving.
Using a number of the communication channels outlined in this article can help you reach your clients on their preferred platform. Your managed services marketing plan should also look into assessing the success of each method in order to tweak what doesn’t work and better serve your customers.