How Best to Communicate with Agents and Students online
It is a vital business process to keep in touch with your agents and alumni students. This should happen regularly but without being too invasive. Consistent communication should occur via email but also in other ways. Times are changing, and so should the way we communicate. Here are some ways which can help you enhance your communication methods and prepare for further changes in the future:
1. Stop cold emailing – Apart from being unethical, recipients will unsubscribe and black-list you if they have never given permission for you to contact them. Even if you have access to agent or student databases, ask the person who gave you the contacts if you can contact these people directly or if it is necessary for them to them to firstly send an introductory email on your behalf.
2. Stop sending bulk emails – Unless it is a newsletter to which people have subscribed, bulk emails are an annoyance to everyone. Clients and business people in today’s world want to feel more special than ever before. A bulk email simply tells these people that they are just a number and one among many. Your email will likely be identified as spam and never reach the recipient.
3. Be present on social media – Having a Facebook page to post content is not enough. Both students and agents who find you on social media expect you to reply to any questions they send you through these channels. If a new business partner or a student asks for information via social media, respond in a timely way (do not ask them to send an email). They are likely speaking to other educators too and will forget about you if you don’t engage quickly.
4. Brand Awareness – Make sure people know about your brand before you contact them. When reaching out, make sure there is content on your website and social channels that can inform the person you are connecting with about your brand.
5. Content – Having posts about ‘word of the week’ or your social programme images will not be beneficial to a new client. Also having content mainly in English can be a barrier. If a student wants to learn English, assume their level is currently low and tailor posts in English or have posts in multiple languages. Information needs to be genuine reviews, how to get to your school, places they can visit nearby, the lifestyle in your town or city and what is the cost of living.
6. Attachments – Do not send too many attachments. When you finally get in touch with someone who is willing to listen, do not scare them off by sending too much information. It can be difficult and time-consuming to send personalised emails…but you really should!
Treat your business partners and clients as individually as possible. Having a person who specifically deals with communication for new contacts or allowing yourself time to reply to each query can bring far better results.