Tips to Improve Your Online Communication

Whether you’re responding to a customer review on Google or sending an email to your parts supplier, the way you portray yourself, as well as your business, online can directly impact the successfulness of your company’s future. No matter who you’re communicating with online, it is important to evaluate your tone of voice, punctuation, grammar, and overall clarification of your message. Here are some tips to avoid common online communication mistakes and some things to look out for on several online platforms that will instantly improve your effectiveness to communicate.

Email

The ease of sending and receiving emails has made online communication a prominent aspect of daily business tasks. Within seconds, you can send a paragraph of text to someone halfway around the world, and they will be able to see and read the text instantly. It can be very easy to lose the quality, care and professionalism of your shop through email if this form of communication is not taken seriously. With that being said, here are some tips to avoid common mistakes that frequently occur in email messaging:

  • Use a form of greeting or salutation.
  • Form complete sentences and/or messages (What not to do: “Call”).
  • Provide contact information.
  • Use fonts and font colors anyone can read.
  • Use punctuation marks (What not to do: “I need to update my contact information I also want to talk about my marketing budget”).
  • Social Media

    Social media platforms – such as Facebook and Twitter – are great marketing tools for your business to utilize. Posting about new coupons, special hours, available jobs or automotive-related content will allow current and potential customers to interact with your shop online. Customers can leave reviews, write on your wall or even send private messages to your account. This, in turn, leaves room for you to respond to their positive or negative comments. Along with everything mentioned above when sending and responding to emails, here are some more reminders to avoid the multitude of mistakes that take place through social media interactions.

  • Respond to private messages.
  • Do not post argumentative responses or go back-and-forth with a user.
  • Do not use a defensive or negative tone (What not to do: “Our shop would never purposefully damage your vehicle like you are accusing us of doing to you”).
  • Reviews

    Google. Yelp. Facebook. Customers will use all of these platforms and more to post their honest opinions and overall satisfaction of service at your shop. Reviews are important to maintain as they are at the forefront of encouraging potential customers to take a chance on your automotive skills and expertise. Good or bad, the way in which you handle responding to each review reflects how well you handle your online presence and business as a whole. Similar to email and social media communication, here are some tips to keep in mind when responding to reviews.

  • Do not capitalize all of your words (What not to do: “YOU’RE A LIAR”).
  • Provide sufficient information, but not too many details.
  • Acknowledge the complaint, even if you did nothing wrong.
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    Just remember, online communication begins with a choice – how you are going to respond, either in a positive or negative manner. Even when the situation seems out of your control or full of passing unwarranted blame, the conversation can be guided in a fruitful direction simply based on your response. Let’s be proactive and practice positive online communication with those we interact with on a daily basis.

    Written by Kelly Miller

    In my free time, you'll find me watching movies, playing volleyball and hanging out with family and friends! My favorite movies are Mary Poppins, Robin Hood (the animated version), and Star Wars! And if my choice of movies didn't show it enough, I'm a huge Disney fan!

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