You will be familiar with KPI’s as Key Performance Indicators. They are crucial for any business, but I believe there’s another type of KPI and that’s Keeping People Informed, which is the basis of good communication and it’s incredibly important.
The success of any business is often down to the relationship they have with their customers, staff and suppliers; which will often come down to communication. Keeping them informed about your business will absolutely pay dividends.
Never has it been so important to communicate reassurance in a time of such uncertainty.
The problem is we are often so busy dealing with an issue, we forget to let the most important people know what we’re doing. We assume that people either know already or that they think we are doing everything they’ve asked for.
There’s a saying about assumptions that I don’t need to repeat here! Anyway, when it comes to communication, I think George Bernard Shaw put it much better:
Here are five reasons why it’s important to keep customers, staff and suppliers informed:
People might come to their own conclusions.
You can’t expect people to spend time and energy searching for the information they need and find it on their own. Therefore, they may think something that is often not the case. I always feel that if people have to chase me for information I’ve failed in my customer service. Being ahead of the game is what I call my “Head ‘em off at the Pass” moment. This is particularly true if there’s a problem; it’s so much better to let them know before they find out for themselves, at which point you’re forced in to a damage limitation exercise. By keeping them informed you are proactively showing them that you are aware of any issues and you are doing something about it.
They have the ability to influence others.
Your business’s reputation depends on good communication and the way you deal with your customers, staff and suppliers will have a huge impact on the way they talk about you and your business. By keeping people informed you’ll build brand loyalty and advocacy. We all know that even if your relationship isn’t direct, word of mouth spreads very fast.
Negativity spreads quickly when people don’t feel informed or feel that they are left out of the loop, and their actions can be devastating for to your business.
It’s a great way to reconnect
No news doesn’t necessarily mean good news. If you are not in contact with people on a daily or even weekly basis, your business relationship can suffer with a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ Setting up social media pages and updating them regularly, blogging and sending out emails about your company can remind people that you are there.
However, don’t just rely on generic forms of communication, make your communication personal wherever possible; a quick personal email, direct message or handwritten note can be really effective.
People like to know what’s going on
We are all curious by nature and we like to know what’s going on. Keeping people informed about your company news and latest offers will help people to feel engaged. It shows everyone that your business is active and it will make sure people don’t feel left out. This is particularly important at the moment with so much uncertainty around.
You can’t expect people to spend time and energy searching for the information they need and find it on their own. Therefore, they may think something that is often not the case. I always feel that if people have to chase me for information I’ve failed in my customer service. Being ahead of the game is what I call my “Head ‘em off at the Pass” moment. This is particularly true if there’s a problem; it’s so much better to let them know before they find out for themselves, at which point you’re forced into a damage limitation exercise.
By keeping people informed you are keeping the focus on them; showing them that you value them and you will do what it takes to keep them with your business. If done right, keeping them informed can make them feel special and they will reward your business for it.
When done in moderation, keeping people well informed about what’s going on in your organization is key to a healthy business relationship.
So, when you consider your communication don’t forget your KPI’s. Are you keeping people informed? Of course, you’ll be keeping a close eye on your key performance indicators, but don’t forget the other KPI’s; in these challenging times people will remember how well you did.