Modern technology enables us to communicate in different ways than anyone a hundred years ago could have imagined. This has affects the way we work and that also credit management. For many people this is nothing new and yet sometimes it is good to step back and look at it. As a result, it can change your view or you might gain new insights.
What is communication
WikiPedia gives us the following definition of communication:
“Communication is an activity in which living beings exchange meanings by responding to each other’s signals. The Latin word communicare refers to “making something in common”. This page deals with the interaction between people, but there is also animal communication and plant communication. Communication is not only a social activity, but also the result of contact: the sum of mutual meanings, also known as communication effect.”
In addition to the communication between living creatures, we also want to add communication between people and systems (computers, software), due to the fact that an increasing proportion of the contacts between organizations and people are processed by computers at those organizations.
Non-verbal with emoji
The most common forms of communication are: personal (face-2-face, verbal and non-verbal), e-mail, sms, chat apps (WhatsApp, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Telegram, etc.), social media, traditional mail, phone, chatbots, portals. New communication types, such as chat apps, also have different options like individual or group chats. In addition, a new form of non-verbal communication has emerged with emojis.
When you see someone, you perceive what the impact is of what you say. This applies both to the words someone pronounces and to the non-verbal communication. As a sender you can adjust the communication accordingly when a person looks upset. With written communication that is a lot more difficult. You have emoji, but they are mostly used in chat apps and on social media. If you send a message by mail, you miss that element and you will not see the reaction from the receiving party.
Communication is a written challenge with technical possibilities
A large part of the communication between companies and customers is in written form. As a result you often miss the non-verbal component. In addition, you often don’t know the customer in person. That makes communication challenging, because how do you determine the tone, choice of words and the level of thinking of the receiving party? And besides that people often read poorly, with all its consequences.
Due to new technologies and the accessibility of data, you can distinct the way of communication between customers relatively easy these days. The data that organizations have can be used to divide customers into groups based on age, geographical location, language and more. We have customers that use this information to differentiate communication between customers. They adjust the message, time of sending and channels. For example, some groups are contacted by text message and others by email or telephone.
These new techniques offer opportunities to make life easier for customers through communication. Just by clicking a link a customer can do a payment or is redirected to a portal for managing information or other matters. People get used to these options rapidly with the result that they will experience the lack of these options as a bad customer experience. This implies that you as an organization are more or less forced to follow this trend.
With data you can start segmenting customers and by using different channels you can approach each group in a different way. Both in content, form and time. And since you also bear a great deal of responsibility for customer data, in part because of GDPR, you can better use it in a way that benefits both you and the customer.
We see the following steps when customers start with targeted communication:
- Divide customers in groups.
- Determine for each target group what the default means of communication are with the option to adjust it per customer.
- Prepare default texts that match the target group.
- Use deviating texts for customers based on behavior.
And not unimportant: step one is to ensure that you have software that facilitates this communication strategy. Our customers have a platform that offers this. Feel free to contact us to discuss the possibilities.