Never before has clear, concise communication been so important.
After years of turmoil, mixed messages and confusion, I think we all crave honesty, clarity and transparency.
It is good to look internally at the communication you are putting out from your business and check that it is fit-for-purpose and appropriate to the current climate.
We know that many people are feeling the pinch, so it pays to be sensitive and tailor your approach accordingly.
Is automation damaging your reputation?
Have you ever been chased for not paying an invoice?
How did it make you feel?
What about if you had paid the invoice and the reminder was unnecessary? What did you think of the company that sent it?
That they were disorganised, uncaring or rude?
What can seem harmless communication in one situation can be perceived differently at other times. And those other times are now.
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, and they probably work from home.
Their priorities and pain points will have shifted, and you need to acknowledge and reflect this in how you communicate with them. If you don’t, you could quickly alienate them and even lose them as customers.
You have to adapt your words to the prevailing mood
Life and business go on, and you still need to make sales but you need to adjust your approach and messaging to be more sensitive to the prevailing circumstances. When times are tough adopting a warmer and friendlier tone in your communication will have a much better impact than anything that comes across as cold and official.
People want to know that you care about their situation and 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 companies. 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, company brochures and newsletters, emails and social media. What kind of language are you using? What is the overall impression that you are giving? What are your dominant messages?
Now consider whether you need to refine them to be more sensitive and in the moment.
How can you help?
If you look at your company’s output, how helpful are you to your customers? It doesn’t have to be in a physical way. It might be about tailoring your content to provide useful tips and advice or making your services available in a different format.
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 adjust 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 to 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 regularly as things continue to change every day and every month.
JP Writing Services
Published in July/August 2023 issue