As the workplace becomes increasingly digitised, the way businesses communicate with their customers and partners is evolving – from the traditional physical posting of documents and faxing, to more modern methods of digital communication, such as emails and social media. A big problem is that failure to manage these channels effectively can have a very negative impact on the bottom line – something that is often under-estimated.
Here are three top tips on how you can optimise your business communications to enable business growth:
- 1. The customer knows best
This is a well-known saying that may seem obvious, but asking a customer how they wish to be communicated with is an essential step in creating and maintaining good customer relations. Some may want to be contacted through traditional means, however, as the office becomes increasingly digitised, more forward-thinking companies may want documents to be sent electronically. What’s important is that a business recognises the customer’s preferred method of contact. Businesses risk alienating customers if they disregard traditional post and solely implement digital communications – or vice versa.
- 2. One size doesn’t fit all
When creating a communication strategy, many businesses adopt a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. It often appears to be the most straightforward route to take, but it’s riddled with inefficiencies. Basic email applications are often included as part of a standard business package, which means many businesses use them as the primary tool to communicate electronically with their customers. These are certainly suited for day-to-day communications, such as status updates or queries, however when they are used to send more important business documents (invoices or contracts) they can fall short both in terms of efficiency and compliance. Organisations need to consider tools that can manage all of their communications – regardless of its importance – in all formats, across all channels, effectively and securely.
- 3. Save time and money with automation
Managing multiple channels and making sure processes are replicated regardless of the document format – whether it is Word, Excel or pdf, for example – or the channel chosen often means additional labour-intensive tasks. Too often we under-estimate how much time can be spent creating and sending documents manually, as well as the significant risk of human error. Companies that centralise and automate the preparation, processing and sending of various forms of outgoing communications, spend much more time on business-critical activities and are safe in the knowledge that every document sent out is error-free; thus reducing the risk of potentially damaging relationships with new or prospective customers.
Adopting new technology doesn’t have to be disruptive or cumbersome. As long as existing (efficient) processes are not affected, adopting new technology that helps to reinforce and speed them up delivers visible benefits – none more so than the ability to allocate valuable time where it is better spent.