Getting Your Words Together: 10 Customer Communication Commandments
A List of Best Practices in Customer Communication, to Delight and Retain
1) Know the Value of Communication
The first commandment for good reason: many companies actually don’t understand how much communication impacts their success. Most customer interactions with a company are through documents, and still there is often minimal effort given towards perfecting them. It all starts with knowing that management of customer data and documents can make or break you.
2) Mean What You Say
Because any business has the ability to be virtually present with customers 24/7, going the “extra mile” today means more than availability. Omni-channel communication (phone, email, print, etc.) allows for more touch points, which is a great thing – but in a sense, it also depreciates the value of your time in a customer’s eyes, meaning they are more likely to seek added value in the character and meaningfulness of their interactions, more than in the mere fact that you are interacting. They are looking for authenticity above all in these communications.
3) Communicate as a Unit
It takes a village to reflect your brand optimally. The customer communication solutions you employ should allow seamless collaboration between different team members. Whether content writers, graphic designers, developers, or executives, your team needs solutions that prompt them to interface in the most productive ways. So, instead of a legacy template management system siloed-off to the IT department, you could implement a Customer Communications Management (CCM) solution that any one of your stakeholders, technical or not, can navigate. Their processes will result in a uniform, consistent brand image for customers to grow familiar with.
4) Communicate as a Unit…to Individuals
Business communications, while necessarily broadcasting a brand, are also supposed to reach unique individuals where they are. Again, with omni-channel communication capability, and all of the instantaneous digital ways to interact, more customers are looking for more than just “touching base”. They are more likely to stay in business with you – even recommend you to others – if you can learn what they want in their communications, and deliver on it. The way that CCM solutions combine data and document management, there are no limits to the precision of your targeted messages, to the delight of the customer.
5) Be Engaging
Customer communications can now involve your creatives like never before. Writers and designers can access an all-in-one CCM solution just as easily as your technical team, leaving little excuse for less-than-perfect content and graphics. You can engage each customer to the core with professional, engaging letters and statements, accompanied by the most appealing colors and graphics your creatives can produce.
6) Use More Visuals
Visual communication is on the rise. You can say significantly more with a graphic than with a block of text, so businesses are continuing use this to their advantage. Graphical representations of customer data mean a more concise document overall – they take up fewer pages – and paired with the right colors and shapes, make for a more pleasant customer experience. It’s known that customers are three times as likely to pay attention to text with images associated, so engaging customers has much to do with the quality of your visual content.
7) Learn More from the Customer
Managing customer data and documents together is a never-ending process. To get the most out of every touchpoint, you need to communicate based on the state of the customer right now, not two days ago. The higher frequency of touchpoints allowed by omni-channel communications gives you greater agility in staying on top of customer needs and preferences, so you can stay current in your knowledge of how to best engage every customer.
8) Keep Track of Customer Data
Data and metrics are key to knowing how to best engage a customer. With CCM, you get customer dashboards to observe the projects of your document projects, where they are being sent, who is reading them – what works and what doesn't. It even provides interactive documents that track how customers interact with digital assets (graphics, ads, text blocks), for you to fine-tune the communications to their liking. Front desk agents, even customers themselves, have an easier time updating their data with interactive forms. Don't miss a beat!
9) Protect Your Data
Security should always be a given in any business operation, especially if you’re managing personal customer data. The way that CCM integrates CRM and document management tools ensures that no data is lost, nothing is altered without authorization, and communications are not intercepted as they travel to their destinations. Businesses and their customers can be sure of who the signers are when moving business processes forward, and digital signatures can be stored for future use.
10) Keep the Conversation Going (Targeted Promotions)
Customer communication is all about seeing the customer relationship through the entirety of the Customer Life Cycle: you can have documents targeting customers first considering a purchase, purchasing, or patrons that are wholly committed to your brand. CCM lets you keep the cycle going with not just targeted content, but relevant ads for any next steps the customer might take in their journey with you.
The customer journey doesn’t stop there! Customer Communications Management (CCM) is ever-improving to help businesses continue to build on fruitful customer relationships!