Your customer communications, whether print, email, or mobile, are the face of your business. If your conversation isn’t meaningful, your products never get noticed. That’s why making the customer central to every interaction is critical to your success. Here are five steps to making sure that you are speaking the same language as your customers throughout their entire journey:

1. Think as they do. 

Customers want to be understood. When creating your messaging, think like your customers and create messaging that causes them to say, “Hey! They understand me!” Think about the types of things they care about, what things they consider when purchasing, and even the lingo they use (ex: is it technical or laid back?) when speaking to them.

2. Use empathy.

Put on your customers’ shoes. Understand where they are coming from so that you can craft messaging they can relate to. This is always important, but it is particularly so during these challenging times associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Don’t always try to hard sell them. Instead, offer up resources and also let them know you are here for them. This can even mean emphasizing things like curbside pick up to make their lives easier.

3. Track the customer journey. 

How do your customers arrive at a purchasing decision? Do they research products online? Rely on customer reviews? At what point in the journey do they visit your website to purchase or walk into a store?

Understanding the customer journey requires connecting all customer touchpoints, both online and offline, to know how they go from product awareness to making a purchase. This enables you to create messaging that resonates and is relevant at each stage. Don’t forget the small touchpoints such as messaging on a receipt after they purchase.

4. Break down silos. 

Most customers interact with you using multiple channels, so integrate your customer information so you can get a complete view of each customer. You should be able to know when a customer visits your website and when they walk into a store. Do they ship certain items or always interact with your Facebook page? Tie together all of the points of connection to improve consumers’ overall experience with your brand. This also allows you to craft more targeted messages that resonate with your customers.

5. Talk to them, not at them.

Interact as if you are only speaking to them on a one-to-one basis. The more your customer can relate to you; the more effective your communication will be. 

Direct marketing is critical to driving your sales efforts, so be personal, relatable, and human. People like to buy from brands they love and admire on a personal level. Be a brand they want to buy from.