Imagine a supplier hasn’t responded to your email or calls. Have they processed you order? Has your colleague sent a key customer their quote? For many small-business owners, liaising and following up stakeholders is a time consuming and frustrating process.
Effective business coordination is key to improving operational efficiency and productivity as well as enhancing customer experience and the bottom line. With COVID-19 restrictions continuing to limit physical interactions, two-way communication across multiple digital channels is now key to managing this coordination with employees, customers, and suppliers.
In today’s digital age, businesses can implement easy-to-use technology platforms to send personalised and contextually relevant communications to their stakeholders at scale and across multiple delivery channels, such as email, SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook or even video.
While most platforms will provide information on whether your email/WhatsApp/SMS has been delivered or opened, more sophisticated platforms are now providing businesses with insights into engagement levels and the effectiveness of their communications.
This reporting functionality enables insights into a businesses most engaged staff or customers, interactions the audience had with their message, and when, as well as how the message performed compared to previous communications.
Recipient insight reports also include the status of the message (sent, received, failed, replied) for each recipient as well as an individual and average engagement score. The level of a recipient’s engagement is derived using data science algorithms from the specific communication and their previous engagement with the company’s communications.
An additional layer coming very soon will be AI-inferred intelligence that understands the nuances of language (more challenging than crunching numbers). This will suggest the type of tone to use in a communication and predict things that will make it more effective – when to send, the type of channel to use, and how a person is likely to react.
Being able to ascertain if your communication has been consumed and action taken is far more valuable for businesses than just knowing whether it was opened. This level of detail is critical for effective interactions with your employees and suppliers. For example, an employee might not be opening or responding promptly to your internal messages because they don’t frequently check their emails and would prefer receiving urgent communications via text. Or your emails to a supplier might be going straight to their junk folder.
As an aside, the average open rate for B2B emails is only 15 percent so you might want to consider other digital channels when communicating with your suppliers, such as text or WhatsApp. By leveraging recipient insights, companies can work out where communication is breaking down to ensure the business is running an efficiently as possible.
Recipient insight reports also enable businesses to improve their communications and engagement with their customers. Businesses can utilise reporting features to view their most engaged and disengaged customers. This information enables you to tailor future communications to customers depending on their engagement with previous messages.
For example, you might want to send your most engaged customers a special offer as a thank you for their support. Or you might want to reduce the quantity or type of communications you send to your most disengaged customers.
Or if your average total engagement score is low, you might want to rethink the style and length of your communications as well as the digital channel you’re using. Remember, if you’re sending an email, an engaging subject line is key so keep it to within five to eight words. For SMS, WhatsApp and other social channels, it’s important to keep communications short, personalised and to the point.
Clear communication that suits the needs of the recipient has always been key. It’s now possible to have technology automate the backend of your communications at scale, allowing you to concentrate on meeting your customers’ needs.
Ben Erskine, Head of Content, communications workflow platform Whispir