How you communicate with your online clients on a daily basis matters (obviously). And it matters more than you probably realize. With so many options of communication platforms to use, there really isn’t a right or a wrong choice.
However, I do have some opinions around what’s the most efficient way to skyrocket productivity, keep everyone happy, and not lose track of important conversations or documents.
My entire job revolves around talking with clients (and team members) all day long, so I have used a lot of methods to converse with my people: Slack, Asana, email, Voxer, Facebook, Instagram, texting…the list goes on and on. Sometimes we get caught wanting to please everyone and allow them to message us wherever is most convenient for them, but we don’t realize we’re doing them a disservice when we allow this to happen.
This is how messes within your business begin, and why I suggest sticking with ONE main platform to communicate with your clients. Then, it’s your responsibility to make it very clear upfront that this is how you’ll be communicating from here on out.
Which platform do I prefer?
Easy answer. Slack.
I’m going to walk you through the pros and cons of this platform and compare it to another popular messaging system, Voxer. If you decide to make a switch with a platform, let’s talk about how to talk to your clients about the switch, and how to set general communication boundaries with them as well!
All team management EVER should go in Slack. Sorry Voxer, but you’re just not cut out for the group message life.
Slack can be used on a computer and is intended for business. It has group channels, threads, DMs, “mark unread” options, and “remind me later” options for messages. ⠀
Not to mention, you can create tons of integrations. I personally have my Slack set up so that when I “star” a message, it creates an Asana task (thank you, Zapier). ⠀
With Slack, you’ll never go searching through 10 minutes of voice messages to reference three words ever again. And if you do need to send or receive a voice message, simply record a Loom and drop the link. ⠀
To sum it all up…
If it’s important to you to be able to speak and have your clients speak to you via voice messages, Voxer is a good option for client communication. This is usually an option that online coaches prefer.
However, anything TEAM-related needs to be in Slack. Voxer too disorganized, in my opinion. If you’re a DFY service provider, again, I would not opt for Voxer simply because it is SO hard to reference things that you need to listen to.
I actually started out with clients on Voxer and ended up switching everyone over to Slack around two months ago. Once I began adding team members and my client list grew, Voxer just wasn’t cutting it anymore. It was way too jumbled and confusing to sift through messages.
I know it can be scary to make a big shift like that, but it doesn’t have to be as big of a deal as you might think.
So how do we explain making a shift to clients?
“I love working for you and value our business relationship. In order for me to serve you better, I’ve decided that the best communication platform for us is Slack instead of Voxer.
We will be making this change on (insert date here…I gave them all one month).
If you’re interested in switching over sooner, here’s the link _____.”
The key is we want to make sure we’re positioning it so they understand why and how switching communication platforms is to their benefit.
Since then, I’ve received tons of great feedback from my client on how smooth the process was and how much easier Slack is to communicate through for them as well. Wins all around!
No one wants to get work texts when they’re trying to cook dinner and walk the pup and unwind for the day. But it happens. This is why we need to be up front with our clients about communication boundaries!
When you are onboarding new clients and sending them their welcome packet or contract, be sure to include a recap of how to communicate with you, your business hours, where it’s not okay to communicate with you, etc. People only know the boundaries and expectations you set for them, so be clear from Day 1.
I would say 80% of the time, people are going to break your boundaries unintentionally. They don’t mean to disrespect – it just happens because they’re human and they don’t think about it. So when it does, we need to correct clients with grace.
Let’s say for example one of your clients sends you a DM on Instagram with a question, but Slack is your preferred method of communication which you stated from the beginning.
“Hey___, This is such an awesome question! Do you mind sending me this question over Slack so I can take care of it during business hours/doesn’t get lost in my DMs?”
The point is to be kind and also clear, making sure they know that this is to serve them better! It’s not that you can’t talk to them on Instagram about fun or personal things, but it’s because when you’re running a business and things are scattered all over the place it’s hard to keep track of everything.
This is for your benefit, and MAJORLY for their benefit, too.
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