March 2, 2020
▷ Centralized Communications: the solution for B2C businesses
Find out why centralizing your company's communications will help you increase your salespeople's productivity, optimize your processes, and improve the purchasing experience for your clients.
A few weeks ago I participated in a seminar about the challenges businesses face when it comes to responding to clients' needs in the digital era.
Among all the experiences that the speakers shared, one general problem stood out for B2C companies in all industries: the majority of businesses struggle to centralize their client communications.
These days companies get leads from multiple channels: social media, marketing campaigns, advertisements, website forms, phone calls, emails, etc.
But because these channels are not integrated, the sales process becomes chaotic. Customer services is slow, teams can't monitor sales effectively, and contacts are lost in the shuffle.
Without a doubt, the client has a negative buying experience.
I can tell you that you'll probably find mistakes in your sales processes that will make you want to tear your hair out.
But don't despair.
I have been in the same situation of finding problems in my processes and I had to work hard to resolve them.
I guarantee that once you finish this article you will be prepared to improve your client communication and team collaboration.
Non-centralized communication: a structural problem
Think of it this way:
When you have a problem with your spine, everything hurts: arms, legs, back, neck, shoulders.
That's because our spines are what hold up our bodies and allow us to do all kinds of activities: walking, running, working, moving around.
A spinal problem is a structural problem for the body.
Well, communication is a company's spine. When a company doesn't manage client communications effectively (or communication among employees) everything starts to fail.
Isolated, poorly-distributed, or forgotten channels
There's a common belief among B2C businesses:
"More channels mean more leads and more sales".
Based on this premise, companies offer their clients as many communication channels as possible.
- Web forms
- Facebook messenger
And the list goes on.
Some companies decide to have a huge sales team divided into teams, each of which is in charge of independently managing channels. 🤦🏻♂️
The reality is that having multiple channels is a double-edged sword: on the one hand you are able to offer your customers a wide variety of contact options, but having multiple communication channels without an omnichannel strategy can jeopardize your ability to respond to clients in an organized way.
When a customer contacts a business, they expect a response. And if you have some channels that you pay less attention to than others, this creates a very negative client experience.
Customer service delays
In the digital era, customers expect to get simple, instant customer service.
That's why, when it comes to inquiring about products or services, people tend to choose familiar modes of communication: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, email.
In this context, the time a potential customer has to wait before they get a response determines the success or failure of the sale.
In short, responding quickly to a potential customer's question (regardless of the medium they use)has a direct impact on their decision to buy.
What happens if a customer doesn't get a response in time?
Other companies capitalize on the inefficiency of your customer service.
It's a maxim for B2C companies: the companies with agile, personalized customer service are the ones who get the sales.
Problems tracking the sales process
Salespeople don't get along well with CRM systems. No salesperson wants to waste time inputting information for hundreds of customers because it cuts in to the time they have for making sales.
At the same time, salespeople often contact customers using their personal phones, whether making phone calls or using WhatsApp.
And while this methodology is harmless enough for a small store with just one salesperson, it can become chaotic when used in a business with a large sales time and hundreds of thousands in sales every month.
There's no way to track the communication that is happening on the personal devices of each sales agent. Managers aren't able to see how their sales processes are being implemented and what they should change to improve them.
On top of that, there can often be problems when it comes time to transfer a customer from one salesperson to another. If a sales agent goes on vacation or gets sick, their colleagues aren't able to access the interactions the agent had with their customers and can't follow up on the sale.
Poor buying experience for customers
The main consequence of non-centralized communication is a bad buying experience for your customers.
And you know what that means: a frustrated client is a client who won't come back.
If you have any of the problems I talked about in the points above, you need to adjust your customer service and sales processes.
Centralized communication: what it is and why it's good for your business
There is a solution, and it's easier than you might think.
To make your sales process agile and organized, you need to centralize your communications. This means integrating all your communication channels in the same place and allowing your team to collaborate to optimize your customer service.
Technology plays a key role here. 👩🏻💻
In most cases you'll need some specialized software that will help you to organize your sales processes and manage and respond to prospective customers. But we'll talk more about that later.
Let's start with the main benefits of centralized communication for a company.
- Transparency in the sales process: sales managers can track all the interactions that their salespeople have with clients
- Quick, efficient customer service: no delays in customer service, regardless of channel
- Everything in one place: salespeople shouldn't have to jump from channel to channel to respond to customers. Everything is managed with the same tool.
- Shorter sales process, more sales: efficiency and agility in customer service mean that customers have a better experience and are therefore more disposed to buy.
Definition of centralized communication: everything in one place!
According to the Harvard Business Review, when it comes to buying a product or service, 73% of buyers combine the physical with the digital.
In other words, most people who go to a physical store to buy a product probably already researched the product online.
That indicates that we shouldn't opt for an entirely digital or entirely analog strategy. To meet our customers' expectations and provide customer service that is up to standard, it is necessary to embrace an omnichannel strategy.
The omnichannel focus has a fundamental mission: provide the best buying experience possible for customers.
That means that no matter which channel a customer chooses to contact a business (or if they choose multiple channels) the experience needs to be equally satisfactory in each of them.
According to Google, an omnichannel strategy allows you to:
- Generate greater loyalty. Customers who have a good experience through any entry channel are customers who will come back.
- Improve your band reputation. Brand reputation is also built in the physical realm, but today it has a lot to do with digital presence thanks to the ratings your business may have on sites like Facebook and Google.
- Generate better marketing performance. Return on investment is much higher with an omnichannel strategy.
Provide more information and better communication. Customers who have better information are undoubtedly less likely to be frustrated during the buying process.
But watch out! ⚠️
Having multiple channels for customer service isn't the same as implementing an omni-channel strategy.
The magic word: integration ✨
To implement an omnichannel strategy, the key is integration. Integration allows sales teams to work in an agile, organized, and transparent way.
But maybe you're thinking to yourself:
"My salespeople are already used to working a certain way, they make sales on their personal phones and they don't adapt quickly to using complex processes and systems. How can I change this mentality?".
Centralized or decentralized communication? That's the question
You don't have to change your salespeople's minds!
Nor do you have to introduce complex processes or multiple tools that will add tedious tasks to your employees' workloads.
What you need is a specialized software program that allows you to:
- Organize all the prospects you receive from different channels in one place and assign them automatically to agents in an organized way.
- Supervise the communication your salespeople have with each potential customer to make it easier to improve your sales processes.
- Store all the information in one place that is accessible to your whole team.
- Quickly and easily review all your communication and sales channels to maintain a high level of agile, organized customer service.
- Make a precise ROI calculation by keeping all the necessary information updated and accessible.
The centralized omnichannel solution for your communications
Would you like to be able to manage communication with your customers while also making your sales processes more agile?
You need a tool like Sirena.
Sirena allows you to instantly and automatically connect with your customers in an organized way. And that's not all. With Sirena you can monitor all your salespeople's communications in real time to improve your sales plan and results.
Let's look at how Sirena allows you to integrate your communications and improve the productivity of your teams:
- It's a mobile first solution. Sirena has versions for Android and iOS that allow salespeople to communicate with customers via their mobile devices, regardless of the channel they are using.
- Thanks to integrations with more than 100 Marketing channels, Sirena allows you to receive and organize all your prospects in one place.
- Sirena sends notifications to sales agents every time a customer wants to be contacted. The first agent who response to the request gets the customer and can initiate contact immediately.
- Thanks to the official integration with WhatsApp Business, Sirena makes it so sales teams don't have to make major changes to the methods they already use to contact their clients.
- Sirena is ideal for exhaustively tracking every customer: you can configure reminders, manage appointments, schedule calls, and tag leads to simplify the work of sales staff.
- The Sirena application includes a dashboard with each customer's information. This information is updated constantly so salespeople and managers can monitor the sales process at all times.
- Sirena adapts to the needs of each business. It's more than an online communications center: you can configure the dashboard according to your company's KPIs and the sales channels you use most.
If you have a CRM like Salsforce, Sirena integrates with your CRM to gather all the information from all the prospects you have in the system and facilitates the communication and sales process with those customers.
Are you ready to centralize your customer communications?
What did we learn from this article?
Decentralized communications are a structural problem for businesses:
- They lead to isolated, poorly-distributed, or forgotten channels.
- The create delays in customer service.
- They make it more difficult to monitor the sales process.
- They contribute to a negative buying experience for customers.
What is centralized communication and how can it help my business?
Centralized communication includes:
- An omnichannel strategy
- Integration of teams, communications, and processes.
Why is Sirena the ideal solution for companies looking to centralize their communications?
- It's a mobile first solution
- It is integrated with WhatsApp Business and more than 100 marketing channels.
- It allows you to track the sales process for each customer.
- It allows you to organize all your business's prospects in one place.
- It integrates with Salesforce.
- It adapts to the needs of your business.