Building Relationships with Communications Strategy
Communication, on the face of it, has evolved a lot since the days of carrier pigeons or smoke signals. The irony is however, that the easier it becomes to communicate, the more channels available, the increase in frequency and message types; the more difficult it has actually become to communicate effectively. Particularly for a business; how can you make sure your communication is strategised and resonates with your target audience?
Ok, so we’re not talking about running a string and paper cups across the road to catch up with Pat about what Dr. Karl Kennedy has been up to in Neighbours, nor using an electric telegraph to pulsate Morse Code to let the kids know it’s time for dinner. There is similarity however, whether communication to an individual, or to a collective audience, in that messages can be lost in the ether, there can be an inability to allow response, or to personalise or privatise a message. For an organisation of any size, an incapability to manage internal and external communication can create conflict, confusion, and contradiction and erode effectiveness of vital channels, not only betraying unique brand personality and tone, but potentially resonance with key business stakeholders; your customers.
Communication is vital in developing and maintaining a relationship with any stakeholder in a business, whether that’s hundreds, thousands, or millions of customers or whether data isn’t yet being retained. Strategy in how, what, where, when, and why you are speaking to people must be married with insight into their needs to maximise engagement. Integration with campaigns, concurrent product or service offers, reactive media, or industry developments can fracture overall communication - be that by conflicting information or a lack of segmentation or data cleansing - and evoke disharmony in message. Ultimately, communications should be complementary, based on journey and relationship development to produce high customer satisfaction and a positive return on investment. Regardless of your music taste, (for context, I currently have Metallica’s ‘Master of Puppets’ on…) the communication strategy should be harmonious - whether that’s the underlying drum beat of native social content intertwined with the powerful lead guitar solo of PPC advertising, or the rhythm-setting stability of bass guitar in email marketing - it should all come together as one, and with the appropriate tone and personality of an organisation. Even the humble triangle plays a part in some symphonies, so even if one method is lesser-utilised; effective relationship management doesn’t discriminate! Think of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems behaving like Spotify to continue the analogy; they keep all these congruous messages organised and together, easy to manipulate, to create segmented lists, to isolate different elements and leverage data and insights to meet a customer’s needs.
Multiple communication channels are available to businesses these days, such as websites, telephones, mobile applications, email, SMS, social media, or other marketing materials. CRM software can bridge these technologies to aid digitising processes, to automate tasks, to develop efficacy in customer relationship and to streamline and standardise communication. You could set up processes to harvest email data, but what do you do with it when you have it, what messages are suitable, how does this data lend itself to your typical sales process - are there exclusive benefits to a customer engaging on multiple channels, are they vehemently against contact by one particular method; I don’t think anyone hasn’t heard in passing at least of GDPR regulations, Cambridge Analytica & Facebook’s data scandal, or British Airway’s record-breaking data breach fine. Customer relationship management is as protective as it is pioneering. Managing data becomes more efficient and responsive, allowing organisations to focus marketing efforts to an audience aware, ready, and waiting.
CRM can be technology, but it’s also a process and strategy; one can’t work without the others and developing this synergy is imperative in accomplishing the communication and internal & external goals every organisation, big or small, strive to achieve. With effective CRM management, the possibilities for internal collaboration across departments are endless, and can be limitlessly beneficial in augmenting productivity. Increased data retention also leads to accuracy in forecasting both customer needs, and KPI outputs, leading to enhanced ROI. If your customers are satisfied and being indulged at a balanced rate and tone, your opportunities for customer retention will also rise significantly. CRM helps build and manage relationships.
Parachute have expertise in various CRM softwares, but above all else, we are in the relationship management business. Every element of our communication is to develop, manage, and retain an attentive audience, and conveying our (very unique!) brand personality is important to how we work and the services we provide. With experience across a vista of communication channels, and integrating these into wider campaign and business strategies, we are well equipped to bridge your communication needs with effective Customer Relationship Management. Get in touch today, we’d be delighted to discuss your next project and how we can help - we’re a friendly bunch, and turns out we’re pretty good at this relationship building business!
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