Why Small Business Messaging Is More Important Than Ever

small business messaging

In normal times, the way you communicate with your customers says a lot about your small business. But in case you missed it, these are not normal times. Now, people expect more – not less – communication than ever.

But with the current economical situation being what it is and small business owners trying to stretch every marketing dollar to the max, that communication often falls by the wayside. And customers are left out of the loop.

Big mistake.

Most people are crankier these days. They’ve lost their jobs, been forced into isolation, and told they can’t dine in at their favorite restaurants. Add that to growing civil unrest, and you suddenly have a corral of customers who are hard to please and incredibly easy to upset.

That’s what makes small business messaging more important than ever right now.

If you’ve gone totally radio silent, it’s likely you’re doing irreparable harm to your customer relationships. But you shouldn’t be talking just to hear yourself talk, either. How you say something matters just as much as what you say.

Your small business needs to thread the needle in this moment, and we can help. Here, we’ll give you a few tips about messaging in the here and now.

Be Clear

Now is not the time to beat around the bush or hide your message in a bunch of mumbo jumbo. Say what you need to say in a way that everyone can understand. But more importantly: Be receptive to what your customers are saying in return.

Let’s say you’re experiencing a shipping delay. Lay it all out on the line. Explain why it happened, what you’re doing to get back on track and give an accurate timeline, not an overly hopeful one. Apologize for the inconvenience and throw in a goodwill gesture, such as refunding their shipping costs or including a discount code for their next order.

Be Understanding

No one loves dealing with an angry customer. And you certainly didn’t start your small business to play psychiatrist to the person on the other end of a phone. But in a crisis, a bit of kindness goes a long way.

Try to meet people where they are. Consider this response:

“We understand that many of our customers are upset about (insert gripe here). We believe this is the best course of action because (reason). We always welcome your questions and comments and want you to know that we take each one seriously.”

Think about how you feel after reading that. Reassured? A little calmer?

You won’t be able to please everyone. But taking an understanding tone and making people feel that their voices are heard can diffuse difficult situations.

Be Positive

There’s enough doom and gloom in the world without your small business adding to it. Whenever possible, keep your messages upbeat. Yes, it might occasionally be necessary to convey bad news, but try to ease the blow however you can and accentuate the positive.

“Due to rising COVID cases in our area, the governor has ordered all restaurants to cease dine-in service. We hate that we won’t see you tableside, but we can’t wait to give you a socially distanced hello when you try out our brand new curbside service! Here’s a coupon for 25% off your first order.”

Be Human

In a world of form letters and automatically generated emails, be a human being.

Your customers are going through the same pandemic as you are. Like you, they’re frustrated, anxious, scared or angry. And the last thing they want is a robotic response to their valid questions and concerns.

Put some personality in your messaging. Make your customers feel like part of the team. We really are all in this together.

What Does Your Small Business Messaging Say?

You might not be able to see your customers on a daily basis right now, but don’t let them think you’ve forgotten all about them. When your small business messaging is up to par, the channels of communication stay open, even if your doors don’t!

Need some help getting your message across? Mischa Communications is up to the task! Let us know what we can do for your small business.