John Iandolo, Chief Sales Officer at Adare SEC, says:
With today’s fast-paced, market and industry transformation, businesses are adopting more flexible ways of working to support their business eco-system. From technology developments to the many ways in which we operate, effective communications are evolving all the time.
Agile businesses should have a contemporary customer communications strategy in place that is regularly reviewed in light of the high speed of change.
Many businesses will have adopted a singular approach to their customer communications strategy and that will have worked for some time. But the reality is that companies now have to accommodate everything and everyone when putting together strategies. It’s no longer a ‘one size fits all’ methodology.
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You’ve got to accommodate for the different demographics of customers and the various ways in which people prefer to receive their communications. Companies need to cater for the time-poor, the attention-poor and the technology-savvy, equally as much as those that choose paper-based methods over devices.
When it comes to pulling together a customer communications strategy, businesses have to keep their options open. It is not an ‘either/or’ strategy but one which is ‘as well as’, putting its communication arms around its whole business eco-system. The customer communications strategy has to be full of options so that businesses can select different channels as they see fit.
An effective way of doing this is to have a suite of alternatives available as required and it’s the fact that they can use them, and access them very quickly that makes the strategy work. This multi-channel communications strategy should incorporate channels such as email, phone, SMS and post which will put businesses into a powerful position ensuring each and every message is consumed.
As well as having a communications strategy which is economic, agile and responsive, it also has to be integrated. It has to have a consistent look and feel. If it’s too clunky, it won’t work and wastes valuable resources, time and budgets.
There is a massive risk when it comes to not having an adaptable strategy in place. Businesses that don’t take the opportunity to review their customer communications strategy could lose out and who can afford to lose customers, prospects, contracts, and so on?
In terms of timescales, the reviewing of customer communication strategies should be built into the business calendar as a regular activity. If the company’s strategy is working, that’s great, but there must also be scope to react quickly and effectively should external or internal factors dictate.
With GDPR now in force, it highlights a classic example of an external factor which has triggered change for all UK businesses. Companies have to be aware of how they communicate and evolve their strategies in a way which is of benefit to their organisation and, just as importantly, ensuring it is GDPR compliant.
Agility is not a function of size, it’s a function of ethos and style. A communications strategy underpins that agility so it makes sense to constantly review it, whatever your speed of business change, to ensure your communications are effective, relevant and contemporary.