As we end another year, it’s time to start planning for the future of your company’s communications. Since the pandemic of 2020, many businesses were shown their communications were not prepared to offer remote and hybrid work options for employees. As business owners scrambled to keep their employees connected, some businesses created a patchwork solution to support these needs. Now that we are continuing to see a rise in remote and hybrid work, it’s time to come up with a more solid communications plan that can bring you and your business into the future.
A great communications plan not only considers the goals and budget of the business but also the needs of both employees and customers.
Creating a Communications Plan Committee
As you create the perfect communications plan, it is easy to build a plan around your wants and needs. Therefore, it’s important to involve other employees in the planning process. They may see complications or issues that you do not see. A great committee should be made up of someone at the management level, an IT person, as well as one of your customer service representatives.
As the planning process is underway, it is important to keep decision-makers informed. If the committee is not considering the goals, needs, and wants of the decision-makers, all their hard work could be disregarded quickly.
A Communications Plan for Everyone
Your communications plan needs to be focused on who it will impact. This may be best accomplished by setting up different goals for different stakeholders. For example, your employees may have different wants and needs than your customers. Therefore, creating both external and internal communications goals and plans is a great idea.
Internal Communications Plan
The best way to start focusing on an internal plan is to talk with your employees. Ask them questions. Find out what is working best for them and what areas need improvement. Some of the best data comes from the people who understand any issues with your current communications solution.
External Communications Plan
One way to improve your customer service or customer experience is through great communications. Your committee should take some time to research what type of communications your target audience prefers. Do they prefer voice, email, text messaging, chat, or something else?
The committee should also research what communications avenues your competitors are offering. Would your customers prefer 24/7 service or are they happy with your current hours? As your committee finds these answers, they can create a communications plan that better serves the wants and needs of your customers.
Big Picture Goals
As you start to focus on communications goals, it is a good idea to generalize your objectives. Make sure goals are broad to begin with, so as you start to problem solve, you can look at a variety of solutions instead of being tied to one strategy due to your goal being too specific.
For example, a great customer-focused goal could be: decrease the amount of time customers spend waiting for customer support. There are many ways to accomplish this goal. You could offer more communication avenues or extended service hours. An example of a goal that is too specific would be: offer clients text messaging to contact customer service. There is only one way to resolve this goal and it does not offer much flexibility to accomplish.
Keep Your Budget in Mind
One important aspect of your communications plan is your budget. As your committee works on a plan, they need to remember that there are limits. If the committee comes up with a plan that adds more bells and whistles than the budget allows, they could need to start over with their process.
This brings up another issue. As the owner or leader, you need to make sure that the committee has a timeline to accomplish its goals. If your committee is spending too much time working on a communications plan instead of doing their normal job, it could affect your bottom line.
Advanced Communications Can Help
Advanced Communications has plenty of budget-friendly solutions that can bring your communications solution into the future. Contact us today and we can discuss how our solutions fit into your communications plan for 2022. We can answer questions and offer guidance if you are still unsure of how to implement your communications plan in the best way.