The DO’s and DON’Ts when Dealing with Increasing Outgoing Communications
As businesses grow, they are faced with managing large volumes of outgoing communications. Indeed, not only do they have to manage documents from different sources, but they also need to send them via numerous channels. This can be difficult to oversee effectively, particularly for businesses with limited manpower, time and money. It’s therefore no surprise that many end up making errors, wasting time and losing track of what’s been sent.
Often overlooked for more obvious challenges, effective management of outgoing communications is key for growing businesses – not least because any communication is a reflection on the company itself. In other words, bad management could lead to unimpressed or alienated customers, and subsequently, lost sales.
With this in mind, here are some do’s and don’ts when dealing with outgoing communications:
Do: Give your Customers a Choice
As the office becomes increasingly digitised, it’s likely that more documents will be sent electronically. However, this is not always a customer’s preferred method of contact. Indeed, businesses risk alienating customers if they disregard traditional post and solely implement digital communications - or vice versa. The recent Keep Me Posted campaign highlights strong feelings some have about their right to choose.
Do: Consider a Paper-Light Approach
While SMEs are aware of the benefits of eliminating paper - reduced costs, accelerated business processes and improved environmental footprint, to name a few - "going paperless" is often viewed as a complex task. Instead, managing multi-channel communications that involve both physical and digital mail is much more realistic.
Do: Automate Communication Processes
Because of the constantly evolving nature of technology, there is often a lack of know-how when it comes to managing a multi-channel communication strategy. For example, manually creating and sending documents takes up time and is incredibly susceptible to human error. If companies automate these processes, they can spend more time on business-critical activities.
Don't: Always Rely on Basic Email Applications
Many businesses adopt a one-size-fits-all approach to communications. The most common applications are programs such as Outlook, however, while these are good for day-to-day correspondence, their lack of integration and traceability can make them unsuitable for more important documents, such as invoices. This could leave SMEs non-compliant with existing regulations.
Don't: Ignore the Benefits of New Technology
New technologies, such as the cloud, are changing the way SMEs communicate. Indeed, documents can now be sent, received and accessed from anywhere, meaning location is no longer a limitation. By failing to recognise these technologies, businesses will undoubtedly find themselves one step behind everyone else.
In an uncertain economic climate, it’s more important than ever for businesses to address all aspects of their communication strategy and ensure they have the most efficient processes in place. This will save time and money, and ensure the company portrays itself as a capable, professional business from the offset.