A new year means new, and better business strategies to cement your legacy for your customers. But you cannot achieve this feat without carrying your customers along. We have curated this walk-through to help sharpen your corporate communication strategy.
The giddy rush of a new year customarily fuels new ambition to raise the roof on last year’s achievements—those little, and quantum leaps that will gloriously yield a pool of happy clients, productive employees, and a credible legacy! Fortunately, it’s still the early days of the year, and you can strike while this iron is still… hot!
The old chestnut of corporate communications strategy has found its way into CRM, and it’s not by mere happenstance. In fact, an effective CRM strategy derives in no small measure from communications plan. Think of it as putting your house in order to facilitate internal impact-driven collaboration across teams. This internal harmony will no doubt translate to quality client communication you need to market, sell, and support clients.
A survey by BIA/Kelsey reported that over 50% of revenue gained by businesses was generated from repeat customers. So, it’s vital that business owners focus not only on customer acquisition but also invest heavily in customer engagement.
This then throws a question up in the air, “How can you turn prospects into repeat customers and build customer loyalty?”. The answer could lie in something as commonsensical as making sure your ducks are in a row when it comes to your communication.
But how does communication flow seamlessly within and outside your organisation if there is no clear-cut process? What do you say to whom, and when? That’s where communication strategy comes in.
But before tiptoeing to the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of communications plan you must first deck the halls of your ‘what.’
What is the meaning of Corporate Communication?
Simply put, corporate communication is how a company interacts with its internal and external audiences. Communication is harnessed within and outside a company to bridge the gap between management and employees, the company, and the public.
You can think of it as the building block for any other innovation made by a company. In fact, effective communication is at the heart of every marketing effort. Without it, there may be a misalignment of missions, and your organisation will be thrown into a frenzy.
It can also be your get-out-of-jail card when managing your brand reputation. In an unforgiving digital age where being thrown a curveball is not unthinkable, your corporate communication strategy can help you manage whatever crisis is looming.
Business communication exists at the back-end (Internal Enterprise Communication) and the front-end (External Business Communication)
Internal and External Corporate Communication
So before you set out to work on your communication strategy, you first need to figure out which of these audiences have been getting the shorter end of the stick.
Internal Enterprise Communication
With internal corporate communication, the goal is to tailor the activities of each department within a company to ensure that they align to a common goal. It could be a target for that specific quarter of the year or the company’s mission statement as a whole.
The target audiences for internal business communication are the management, employees, stakeholders.
External Business Communication
On the other hand, external corporate communication is the way a company presents itself to the public (prospective clients and government agencies).
With a solid communication plan, you can effectively communicate what makes your brand jump out in a jumble of other brands, why you value your customers and why they should stick with you.
Corporate communication can flow through various channels, including:
- Visual: Commercials, Video Sales Letters.
- Verbal: Telephone conversations.
- Written: Newsletters, SMS, and social media adverts.
To build a strong brand identity and lasting corporate credibility, the visions of internal and external corporate communications need to come under a single source of truth to deal with your target audience, the media, employees, and other stakeholders.
With the external communication, you state your company’s mission and objectives, while with the internal communication, you dissect how the various departments will fuel the achievement of these goals for the company.
Why is Corporate Communication Strategy Important?
A company may have a great vision, passionate employees, and even make actual efforts at business communication. Still, without a strategy, all you have is ‘busy work’ that yields no tangible results.
Your corporate communications strategy should pull double duty as that string that hems your internal team efforts together as a coherent customer-facing unit on the one hand, and your go-to channel for corporate messaging towards your customers on the other.
If you don’t have one yet, here’s why it should be top of mind for your business:
Creating a Corporate Identity
The phrase above is just a fancy way of saying brand awareness. A productive communication strategy will drive awareness of your brand both online and offline. As a result, it becomes easier to build a unique brand identity that your prospects can relate to.
Think you don’t need street cred on Wall Street? Do think again. Your corporate reputation, otherwise called brand credibility, is the reason your customers keep coming back.
An effective communication strategy is one that includes your clientele and indeed the general public– as such, they become a part of your process. Most people will only invest in businesses they trust.
Without a solid strategy to facilitate enterprise communication, what happens? You bet miscommunication will ensue!
With a clear-cut strategy for corporate communication, figuring out the message, channels, and the time/frequency of dissemination is just another walk in the park.
How to Improve Your Corporate Communication Strategy
If you’ve read up to this point, then you’re probably seeking out new and exciting ways to nudge your communication strategy game up a notch (or two)
Not to worry, we’ll help you develop a foolproof corporate communication strategy for this year and beyond. But first, here’s what you must do:
Evaluate the Situation
It’s time to get out of the box and see the big picture. For starters, your communication strategy has to align with your short and long-term business goals. It’s at this point; you need to ask introspective questions like:
- Why do we need a communications plan?
- What strategies were previously used for corporation communications?
- On whose part did the system fail—with the employees or the prospects?
- How would a better corporate communication strategy help us reach our goals in record time?
Figuring out what areas of your previous business communication need improvement is already half the work done. Because, to be fair, it’s one thing to have a problem, and it’s quite another to identify what it is.
Learn from the Greats
Many companies want to find their path when it comes to implementing a unique communication strategy. While that is great, sometimes, you need to emulate other companies with stellar corporate communication systems to learn what works and what doesn’t.
However, note that each communication strategy used by a high-flying company is uniquely tailored to their audiences. So, you study their strategy and adjust it to fit yours.
Crunch Some Numbers
From the days of hand-delivered mails to the current digital world we live in, statistics have been vital to understanding the success rate of every communication effort. You don’t even have to pore over heaps of papers or draw Venn diagrams to get to the numbers. Analytical tools to the rescue!
Studying all the statistics related to your business communication efforts (including the communication channels used by employees, frequency of clients’ response, email bounce rate, and even their general reactions on social media) will inform your new communication strategy.
As we know, the stats don’t lie. The numbers will guide you to better structure the tone of your message, the format, timing, and frequency. All of these will ultimately make for a better corporate communication strategy.
Efficient Tooling (Hint: Try Efficy—The Most Reliable CRM Tool)
According to a Gartner research study carried out in 2001, 50% of all completed CRM systems performed poorly. This report suggested that CRM tactics were reliant on technology rather than the other way around.
In eight years, there has been little change, with a Forrester survey in 2009 revealing that 47 per cent of CRM systems are still failing to meet their projected goals. In the end, three main areas were tagged to be vital for stronger CRM systems, which are:
- Taking out systems that flunk the task of delivering exceptional customer interactions.
- Paying more attention to technological innovation that has human interaction at the heart of its operation.
- Using smart gadgets and social media to implement a consumer personalisation strategy.
Clear and timely customer communication is essential for effective CRM. From this, we can glean that businesses that do not personalise their customer interactions will struggle to sustain customers and attract new prospects. As a result, your CRM system must provide a 360-degree customer view through a dependable database in order to facilitate successful enterprise communication and, as a result, long-term trustworthiness.
Managing communications between a company and its various customer demographics was once a scary prospect. Not anymore. A standard CRM customer care platform is where all corporate communication strategy comes to roost.
With features such as centralised communication and timely dissemination of information based on a reliable customer database, Efficy will shoot your brand credibility from 0 to 100 real quick!
It’s simple. Efficy allows you to build a solid customer knowledge base, address concerns/complaints and disseminate information in one easy-to-use platform. And if you’re in marketing, you know how personalised, targeted communication rocks the boat of any customer!
There’s no one-size-fits-all process to improving your corporate communication strategy.
To sharpen your business communication chops, you need to iterate—test, test, test, and implement insights gotten from these tests to serve up a comprehensive strategy.
A great CRM tool/platform not only allows for easy identification and targeting of the ideal customer, but it’s also a communication strategy on its own. With its data management tool, where you have a rich knowledge base of your customers, it’s easy to address complaints, centralise communication and strengthen customer relationships across every interaction!
That’s what Efficy does for thousands of business owners globally. Why don’t you book a demo today and see for yourself?
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