Public relations (PR) has long gone beyond just drafting press releases and getting your business featured in the media. The industry is all about integrated relations, where all the stakeholders are taken into account when it comes to providing quality service. Here are some handy customer service tips from the PR industry for your small business. Listen, educate and then troubleshoot When it comes to disseminating information in the Public Relations industry, it is rather methodical than randomly screaming out messages. In most cases the true purposes of communication generated by PR professionals is to increase visibility and also to educate the target audience. Even this education comes only after keenly listening to the stakeholders or target audience. If any issues need to be addressed, the industry professionals will do so, only when the audience is educated about the various contributing factors. So, listen, educate and then troubleshoot. Use several channels and tools For an industry that was traditionally restricted to the print medium – increasing client visibility mainly through newspapers and magazines, PR professionals were quick on their feet when it came to embracing broadcast and digital media too. Today, the right channels of communication are chosen in accordance to the kind of message and target audience. When it comes to customer services for your small business, try e-mailers, social media sites, direct mailers and more. Be an influencer The main aim of public relations is to influence a select group of people through set strategies. PR influences thought and indirectly or directly, the actions of people through targeted campaigns. Be an influencer when it comes to your customer services too. Create conversations and messages that influence the way your customers perceive your products or services. Positive does it! One of the best things to learn for the PR industry is positivity. Majority of the times, PR uses positivity and positive emotions to communicate with stakeholders. It is widely known and proven that people react better to optimistic or positive emotions rather than negative ones. Tweak your messages to sound positive and you’ll see a world of difference when it comes to customer service. Limit the usage of words like “no”, “can’t”, “problem”, etc. Go beyond existing customers When you think of customer services, look at it holistically, just as a PR firm would. Address the needs and concerns of all your stakeholders and not just your existing customers. Doing this will add to your small business image and increase overall goodwill. Besides, you are impressing a whole cross-section of potential customers by addressing all your stakeholders.
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