Consumers have an option overload. There’s a multitude of channels to choose from, ranging from Facebook and Instagram, to Google My Business and WhatsApp. And they want to contact a local business on any or all of them. 

For business owners, this poses quite the problem. You want to be easy to connect with and show up where your customers are. But doing so means ping-ponging between three to seven different channels at any point in time. This is both stressful, exhausting, and not efficient. Not only that, it prevents you from responding quickly and impacts your ability to engage with new or existing customers.

So as tempting as it might be to juggle multiple channels, you need a solution that enables customers to contact you on their channel of choice without running yourself ragged.

Get Centralized

So, what’s a business owner to do? The answer is simple: use a centralized hub to manage all conversations and channels. 

Take Podium’s Interaction Management platform as an example. 

With Podium, all communications are consolidated into one inbox and the two-way messaging tool enables you to come back to a conversation at any point in time. In other words, you can quickly ask customers for feedback, reschedule appointments, or send anniversary reminders without jumping from tab-to-tab and hoping that nothing slips through the cracks.

How to Leverage a Centralized Messaging Platform

To best leverage a system like Podium, there are a few things you should prepare for.

  1. Identify lead channels—To start, make a list of the channels you use. Be sure to include all of them (even the ones you don’t use very often). This helps you plan ahead for integrations, which we’ll touch on in just a moment.
  2. Lean on integrations—Podium’s platform can be integrated with a wide variety of apps, channels, and other platforms. By integrating your lead channels through Podium, you gain access to all corresponding data and information (like messages, CRM data, etc) in one location.
  3. Make your landline textable—You don’t want customers texting your personal number during the wee hours of the night. A textable number lets customers contact you on their channel of choice, resume the conversation over text messaging, and reconnect at any point. On the other hand, texting allows you to respond quickly, close leads faster, gain insight, and solve problems in the moment.
  4. Respond quickly—Don’t let messages hang out in your inbox for days or weeks at a time. Otherwise, you might lose out on new lead opportunities.
  5. Include a call-to-action—You need to optimize every lead opportunity you get. Including a call-to-action (CTA) in a text message helps answer outlying questions or get customers in the front door.
  6. Directly address the customer—Calling customers by their name humanizes your interactions and lets the customer know that you’re not a bot.
  7. Templatize what you can—Questions about hours, business locations, or anniversaries can be templatized and sent out quickly, so you can divide and conquer with ease.
  8. Gather customer feedback and reviews—By centralizing customer interactions, you can easily identify trends in customer feedback or reviews. Applying these insights to your business strategy helps you provide better, more memorable customer experiences.

Leave the Ping Pong Paddle at the Rec Center

It’s time to say goodbye to days spent bouncing back-and-forth between tabs and devices. Rather than stretch yourself thin trying to connect with customers on a bevy of channels, let a centralized communication platform do the hard work for you. With a system like Interaction Management in place, you can chat with customers quickly and easily, allowing you to make the most of the time you’ve got—instead of trying to make more hours in a day magically appear.