Unless you’ve been under a rock, you already know that the markets have been experiencing turbulence lately. And you don’t need to be told what’s happening in the U.S. and world economies—with a trade war underway and instability rampant, we could be in rough seas for some time.
What can your business do—what must it do—to survive and even thrive in turbulent times? Consider these topics and tactics.
When it comes to customer communications, your first impulse may be to slash costs. Not a bad idea, but only if you do it right. If your business is like many, various internal groups have been producing printed materials for years, often without coordination. This can cause redundancy and a significant amount of waste.
Tactic: Conduct a top-to-bottom communication audit to determine what’s being produced, what’s effective and what’s not. Based on the results, you can create new, consolidated materials to fill gaps while eliminating any communications that don’t continue to add value.
How is your customer experience? That is, how positively do your customers experience your business, your products or services? How do they interact with you? Is it working, or could it stand improvement? In good times, satisfying customers is important; when times get tougher, it becomes that much more critical.
Tactic: Assess how you interact with your customers and how they prefer to interact with you. You may find ways to improve your customer interactions and improve your bottom line.
What about e-engagement? “E-engagement” is shorthand for a whole range of digital interactions that touch your customers and connect them with you. If you have a customer-facing website or use e-mail, you’re already e-engaged to an extent. But chances are that you’re not as e-engaged with customers as you should be.
Tactic: Develop and implement an e-engagement strategy. If you’re not already, start using interactive technologies to deliver statements, invoices and required regulatory documents, online and on demand. Or maybe there should be an app for that. If that’s how your customers expect to interact with you, develop a robust app for the major mobile platforms.
Your e-engagement strategy should start with a communication audit. Look at all the ways you currently communicate, and see which communications can be delivered digitally instead. Next, determine how to integrate your digital and offline communications, and how to encourage customers to take advantage of e-engagement.
Sound appealing? There’s no time like a downturn to get started. E-engagement isn’t free. But compared to traditional printing and mailing costs, an e-engagement investment can pay real dividends in cost savings and increased customer satisfaction.
Ready to learn more about communication strategy in turbulent times? Ask Andy.