Australia’s economic recovery, since the pandemic changed the world of work, has been remarkable. However, each new month still brings with it new changes to adapt to.
This is especially true in regards to working conditions, which have shifted from predominantly in-office to mainly at-home and now, ‘hybrid’ half-in-half-out working setups; all within 12 short months.
This hybrid model is one that’s expected to stick around long-term, as businesses and their customers continue to settle into a Covid-normal Australia.
Indeed, Zoho research found that 50% of Australia’s over 2 million small businesses intend to continue working remotely even after all COVID-19 restrictions have lifted.
What this means for business owners is an unequivocal need to strengthen and perfect communication tactics, not only internally but externally with customers.
After all, customers are the core of any business, and maintaining trust through communication is crucial for survival during challenging conditions.
Strong communication: a necessity, not an option
Implementing remote-work operations was on the minds of many business owners well before the pandemic, just on a more gradual scale. While those that were embracing it then were doing so out of choice, last year it became a necessity.
Australia, thus far, is ahead of the curve in its handling of the pandemic – with many offices nationwide busy again – a hybrid model, which presents both challenges and opportunities, has taken over.
Therefore, building a business with strong communication weaved into its fabric is crucial.
MIT found the annual cost of poor communication for small businesses was over half a million dollars (AUD), while communication was attributed as the single most important ingredient to successfully manage a transition to remote work.
So whether you’re a small accountancy firm without a high-street office front or previously-bricks-and-mortar retailer now selling eCommerce only, external communication is just as essential as internal.
Every customer, interaction and invoice matters. The difference between savvy or sub-par communication is the difference between sink and swim. The long-term transition requires businesses to adopt tactics to support efficient communication with customers.
If your policies, offerings, contact details or anything else – big or small – has changed, communicate it. Customers are core to every business, but if they find it difficult reaching or interacting with your business, there’s nothing to stop them using a competitor.
The root of delivering strong communication, today, is implementing effective software.
Elevate the customer experience through software
When working remotely, creating a meaningful and lasting relationship with new and existing customers can be complicated. However, implementing the right software to streamline and simplify processes can make a world of difference.
Supported by digital technologies, you can easily build trust despite uncertain situations by remaining accessible, responsive, and committed to staying in touch.
Few things can replace face-to-face interactions, but if that’s no longer an option, virtual consultations or website chatbots can be far more effective in delivering fast, strong communication and building more meaningful relationships than, for example, email.
To guarantee a smooth experience for your customers, and powerful, strategic capabilities for you, integrated technology like for example, Zoho, can be far more effective and streamlined than running multiple siloed platforms.
Leveraging the right software can strengthen long-distance customer relationships, allowing connection on a deeper level, beyond what can be seen or felt.
Internal communication aids external communication, and with software like a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) as the heartbeat of your business, you can understand every customer, and communicate through the most effective channels.
When adopting new technologies, consistency is the key to success. If everything is seamless behind the scenes, it enhances ability to deliver to customers.
Develop good habits in communication with customers, share business updates, request feedback and assess what you’re doing, and whether it’s resonating, regularly.
These habits build trust with existing customers, and strengthen acquisition of new clients as well. Despite the changes and uncertain environment, connecting with customers on a meaningful level should be at the forefront of everything you do.