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Wednesday 19th June 2024

The Importance of Good Customer Communication in Your Online Marketing

Mon 15th Aug 2022
By Todd

In September 2021 I quit drinking (I’ve not mentioned it much!) and that has led to a change in lifestyle. One of those changes is that I’m now that really annoying **** on Facebook and LinkedIn who’s already put a workout in before you’ve woken up. Sorry.

Anyway, I recently went on holiday, and this presented me with a quandary. No, not whether I would work out! Of course, I did – I’m a full-on #GymWanker now. No, my quandary was – which gym shall I use in North Devon?

The Importance of Good Customer Communication in Your Online Marketing

Obviously, this involved a bit of Googling and searching Google Maps. I say obviously, but this is my proven tactic for finding businesses in a new area. This works because:

  1. I can see where the business is in relation to where I’ll be.
  2. I can see what others thought about the businesses by checking out the reviews.

So, I searched and found some local businesses and here is my lesson to you if you run a business – local or national – on the importance of good customer communication.

Now drop and give me 20 and read it…

 

The contact rules – communicate how the customer asks to be contacted

I have a rule. I don’t phone (cos I’m busy, don’t judge) so I use the digital means of comms as laid out on the website or listing. So, if they say, “PM us”, I do. So, I found four gyms in the area, and I contacted them.

I won’t name a shame the losers here, as that’s unfair. So apart from the gym I finally used, here are the others named only by number.

 

Gym number 1 – decent presence on Facebook.

I contacted these guys last time I stayed in North Devon, and they responded really quickly. They’re also an independent business and I like to support those (being one myself) so I contacted them again. It didn’t work out last time, but I gave them another shot.

They eventually replied in a few days, but it was already too late then and they simply gave me their opening hours which isn’t what I asked.

 

Gym number 2 – a website full of promises

Gym number 2 had a website link on the Google listing, so I clicked and went hunting. Clearly, I didn’t want to sign up for a year as I’m only there for a week, so I searched for membership options.

These were clearly laid out and on the navigation menu (win) and the page had clear options, with prices, and they had a monthly sign-up and cancel option. Perfect.

I clicked it. Nothing.

I clicked it again. Nothing.

I tried one more time and it promoted a mailto: link which opened up my email. A blank email. No pre-filled text, no direction. So… I emailed them something like “I’d like to join for one month please”.

No one replied. I’ve never had a reply to this email.

 

Gym number 3 – the national chain with simple sign-up

I’d tried to avoid a big chain, but this was my next option and actually, the gym I chose was Pure Gym. There were no complicated emails, links, or DM options, and the information was clear. I could actually sign-up online – even for the monthly option – and the onboarding was slick and fast.

I’ve still never spoken to a human at Pure Gym. The app was the onboarding process and the digital key to get in worked 24/7. It was easy to pay, easy to use, and easy to sign-up. And it was a great gym, too.

 

The lesson from the three gyms

Of course, Pure Gym has a national system and it’s had a lot of money spent on it. You’d expect it to have the best process for this. But I did try to avoid it. I tried to contact them via DM and even email but the smaller gyms weren’t fast enough or even bothered enough in their reply.

Pure Gym had a system just waiting to welcome me in and much like their gyms it was functioning 24/7 and ready to communicate with me when I was ready.

I’ve always told eCommerce clients to look at their design with an Amazon mindset. Amazon make it so easy to buy from them that you can almost buy by accident! Pure Gym made this sooooo simple.

 

You might not have something you can sell online, but this still affects you…

I also visited a restaurant when I was on holiday. I chose an independent this time. Why? Because they replied to my message… last time I went. They also ask you to book via Facebook Messenger and at Easter I did and was very impressed with their use of it.

This time around, however, despite it still being the main CTA on their website (Message us on Facebook to Book), they didn’t reply. Nothing. They still haven’t.

I went back anyway because it was brilliant last time, but I took the risk that they might not have a table. Fortunately, they did and we had a great meal again.

The point here is simple:

Make it easy to buy or contact you and then do what you say you’re going to do.

And the second point is, if you get it right the first time, you’ll win in the future. I went back to that restaurant and I’ll use Pure Gym again if I go back to that area of Devon. It was a superb experience and now I’ve used it, why would I try those independents now? They’ve been proven to be unresponsive and it feels like they don’t care about my business.

Harsh? Yes… but the world is harsh.

Lazy? Yes… but hardly anyone I know makes phone calls either.

The world we live in is busy and your customers are busy putting out the feelers on their time by their means and it’s your job to follow up or make it so easy online that they can do it all or nearly all of it without you.

Amazon does this. Pure Gym did it. The locals had a chance but blew it. I just wanted a reply… a timely one. Is that too much to ask?

I left it to the last minute and needed to book one so sadly the online automated giant won this time.

 

The other thing here is to realise that every single enquiry is a lead

That lead is yours to convert and that person might then buy from you again like I did with the restaurant and will do with Pure Gym.

I love this video of Grant Cardone calling a gym.

  • He wants to join.
  • He wants to spend money.

The guy on the end of the phone is helpless at sales and does nothing but push him away. Cardone is a billionaire. Take the guy’s money already!

Make it easy to buy and please reply to enquiries.

It’s not that hard, is it?


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