In competitive markets, it can be tempting to bombard customers with messages across all channels to build brand awareness and stimulate sales leads. Yet, it’s unlikely poorly targeted, untailored messages will receive a positive reception from customers. They could even lead to a withdrawal of contact consent. Instead, communications strategies that take account of customer preferences on contact channels and that deliver personalised experiences are more likely to deliver results.

Brand loyalty is hard to come by in a marketplace where customers have lots of choice and access to information about products and services is just a couple of clicks away. Customers will vote with their feet (or digital wallet) if a company fails to live up to expectations, including around the way they establish and maintain customer contact.

Communications must not only be engaging, they must also set an expectation that the company will be easy to do business with and will meet customer expectations.

Contact preferences

To do this, communications must first of all reach customers through their preferred channels.

Businesses that have digitised and wish to receive invoices electronically for rapid processing and efficient digital filing won’t welcome paper-based documents sent by post. On the other hand, customers who prefer their bills on paper will be irritated if these arrive by email.

Customers want information to reach them at the right time and in the right way. Not only will this help with their satisfaction of a service and company, when the information in question is an invoice, it is more likely to be addressed in good time if it fits in with the customer’s processes.

Customers should get to choose how they are contacted, and their decision should be respected and adhered to.

Tailored, personalised communications

Communications that show a lack of knowledge of the customer or their situation are sure to annoy. Personalisation is not only polite, but also more engaging for the customer. What’s more, marketing mailings are more likely to be opened if they have correct addressing.

Tailoring communications is also a must-do if a company is to make its mark and stand-out against competitors. Blanket messages fail to capitalise on the opportunity to add value with each communication. The opportunity is there to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the customer’s situation and to promote only products and services that are likely to appeal.

Undoubtedly, companies feel pressure to have a presence across all channels – online and in print as well as through social media. Just communicating through all these channels is a challenge in itself, let alone tailoring communications for customer and channel and meeting preferences on how customers wish to be contacted.  

Stove-piped, manual processes that manage each channel separately will make it hard to achieve the communications objectives. What’s more, they will be time-consuming and possibly error-prone too.

Multichannel output management software centralises communications to better meet customer contact preferences and manage the distribution of communications. It also automates aspects of the process - such as addressing – to reduce the risk of errors. To find out more, take a look at what output management software can do.

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