Is your messaging appropriate?
By that I mean, the overall message that customers take away from your letters, emails and newsletters? It is both the content of your written communication and the tone in which it is written that makes up that message. Are your customers hearing what you intended to say?
Currently, customers are feeling far more sensitive to the messages that we are putting out. If you do not adjust your message to reflect the mood of the country you risk damaging your reputation.
It is a timely reminder to look at the quality of the written communication you are putting out and your processes. Double-check that every interaction your company has with a customer is appropriate. Is every piece of communication enhancing your corporate reputation or are there sections of the workforce that could do with some training?
Is automation damaging your reputation?
Do you have automated systems that send out letters to customers e.g. those who are late paying their invoices? What impact do they have on your customers? Is the language in the letters making the recipient feel uncomfortable or do you phrase things in such a way that they know you are there to help if they have any problems paying?
What about if the customer has actually paid the invoice and the reminder was unnecessary?
What can seem harmless communication in one situation can be perceived very differently at other times. And those other times, are now.
Is it time to review the quality of the messages you are sending out?
Many of your customers will be living and working in very different ways now to when you first took them on. Their financial situation may have changed, they are probably working from home, perhaps balancing their primary job with a side hustle.
Their priorities and their pain points will have shifted and you need to acknowledge and reflect this in the way that you communicate with them. If you don’t you could easily alienate them and even lose them as a customer.
You have to adapt your words to the prevailing mood.
Life and business still go on and recession or not, you still need to make sales. You just have to adapt your approach and your messaging to be more sensitive to the prevailing circumstances. We are all craving kindness which means adopting a warmer and friendlier tone in your communication will have a much better impact than anything that comes across as cold and official. Customers want to know that you care about their situation and that you understand what they are going through. Don’t be afraid of showing a more vulnerable side to your business.
People buy from people, not faceless businesses. That is why big brands are all over social media because they are trying to interact with their customers on a one-to-one basis and build human relationships.
Review what your words are saying about your business. Read the copy on your website, in company brochures and newsletters, in emails, letters and on social media. What kind of language are you using? Is it friendly or officious? Supporting or damaging to your brand image?
Now consider whether you need to refine them to be more sensitive and in the moment.
The companies that are going to come out on top are the ones that are adapting to their customers’ changing situations and are tailoring their messaging accordingly.
Embrace change or miss out on valuable sales
History is littered with stories of companies that failed to adapt their business model and the same is true for those that fail to adapt their messaging too. Don’t let that be you.
Analyse your customer base and reassess your customers’ current situation. What is likely to be important to them right now? Then consider how you can adapt your messaging to be more sensitive and appropriate.
Don’t be afraid to sell but do it in a way that shows you understand what they are going through and demonstrates how you can help.
Review all your external channels of communication including any automated email sequences to ensure that you are giving a consistent and clear message that is timely, relevant and appropriate.
And don’t forget to do this on a regular basis as every day and every month things continue to change.
For further help in determining what language your company should be using read my blog ‘Don’t speak to me in that tone of voice.’