The key for small businesses who want to communicate with their customers is to have good data so they can use it to make decisions, says Hutchison:
“You’ve got to use the channels that suit your customers, and you’ve got to measure the response and effect of your communications on a day to day basis, that way you can make decisions based on what actually works in terms of marketing.”
Historically everything was sent physically, but now most companies want to use a mix of physical and digital communications. This can be tricky to get right, and it can be easy to annoy customers who become jaded with excessive contact. According to Hutchison: “You have to know how your customers want to be contacted, and you need to avoid some key irritants such as failing to provide a way to opt out of marketing emails. We can help companies avoid the pitfalls and work out both what to do and what not to do. It’s important to get it right, because research tells us that 90% of customers are irritated by poor communications.”
There’s no doubt that customers expect multichannel communications these days, and that they appreciate being given a choice of how they’ll receive information. The most effective approach is to use a mixture of physical and digital communications. Some companies think they can concentrate solely on digital communications, but over half of European firms surveyed said that when they switched to electronic-only communications, their lead generation was damaged, according to research by Pitney Bowes.