Choose your channel to suit your message
We send and receive information in many ways. Customers and potential customers are positively bombarded with messages all the time, some from you, from your competitors and elsewhere. How can you ensure your message is heard through all the noise?
One way is to choose the right channel for each communications piece and to send the information at the right time to the right person.
While that sounds simple, doing it consistently and well can be a challenge if your business handles each channel in a different way and creates and sends messages manually.
Ideally, your business will communicate through all channels, and will let customers decide which they wish to be contacted through. Some channels work better for certain communications, while others are good all-rounders:
- Postal mail – many customers still like to receive information on paper, particularly brochures and catalogues which they might want to refer back to
- Email – a very popular channel and for good reason as it’s quick, can convey short and longer messages and easily carries attachments that can be printed and saved. It’s effective for sales messages, not least because it can link to other information such as a website, and useful for getting quotes and invoices to customers quickly
- SMS (text messaging) and mobile – a quick and direct way to reach people as they tend to look at a text message soon after it’s come in. Best for short messages such as reminders and alerts
- Social media – it’s all but essential now for businesses to have a social media presence for brand awareness and it’s an effective way of generating sales leads and promoting campaigns. It can also help build a dialogue with customers if feedback and comments are handled well.
A good communications strategy gives customers choice over how they interact with your business and optimises each channel for the best customer experience. Effective multi-channel communications can open up new ways of reaching more customers and increase satisfaction with your business’ communications.
Digital solutions can help you manage multiple communications channels so that effective and consistent messages reach the right customers at the right time. They can also deliver cost and efficiency savings by reducing reliance on manual processes, cutting the time it takes to get communications out (in the case of invoices, this can also reduce time to payment) and, where appropriate, migrating some printed mail to email.
Tackling the late payment problem
Late payments are a problem for many UK businesses. In fact, 2018 research revealed it costs small businesses an average £9,000 to recover overdue payments. When incoming invoice management is inefficient it can contribute to this problem - so much so, that the same research found that 11 per cent of SMEs...