Five requirements of dialogue

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Anyone can set up a Facebook page and call it customer dialogue. But creating a productive exchange between your organization and your audience takes a bit more work.

Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to make dialogue more productive and mutually beneficial.

In fact, we’ve found that creating worthwhile dialogue means paying attention to five intrinsic requirements:

1. Value

Your customers and prospects are not interested in having their business lives interrupted by marketing messages or non-relevant offers. To avoid being considered intrusive, your message should have an added value to the recipient.

For example, one technology company not only used email messages to invite prospects to their upcoming tradeshow booth, they actually linked them to tradeshow passes that had been pre-reserved for them.

2. Access

An essential aspect of dialogue communications is making it easier for people to contact your company at any time, from any place, for any reason. The more ways they have to access your brand, the stronger their relationship will be.

Your LinkedIn page, Facebook presence and ongoing Tweets should make it simple for people to take some sort of action in the same way a QSR code or a website URL does.

3. Human attention

Response is providing a company representative or system that can listen to your customer or prospect, put the conversation into a context of their profile and history, and stay with them throughout the dialogue. If I post a question on a company’s Facebook page, I appreciate somebody actually answering it there, too.

4. Personal recognition

Of course, once someone is a customer, he or she likes to be personally recognized. In terms of communications, that means much more than addressing them by name or by personalizing content. It means making solid recommendations based on purchase history, providing exclusive customer-only offers, even using specific customer input to drive innovation and new product development.

5. Brand reinforcement

Customers and prospects do not spend their days thinking about how they can break away for a few hours to talk with you online. Dialogue needs to be reinforced. Conversations should revolve around the customer or prospect and their relationship with the brand.

Reinforcement of your brand promises—as well as key functional and emotional buying criteria—should be part of any dialogue strategy. As you deliver the brand in each interaction, you’ll reduce buyer remorse and tie both customers and prospects closer to the brand in a way that makes them want to initiate further dialogue.

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