Effective internal and external communication can transform customer relations and employee engagement.
There are two main areas of communication that are vital to get right – external communication to customers and clients, and internal communication between individual workers and teams.
Businesses must aim to reach everyone, both externally and internally. Often, a business will rely on a limited number of communication tools. Typically, these are a website, social media pages, emails, text messages and phone calls. These are effective channels, but the more of them, the better.
SharePoint and a company app can be the focus of internal communications. Office 365 has many collaboration features for teams to work on shared files.
The importance of mobile
Recent research found that employees are three times more likely to interact with their phone than a company's intranet. Many people find using a company app on their phone easier and faster than other channels. Mobile apps have been found to be particularly useful for those working away from their desks.
Microsoft PowerApps is the ideal platform to quickly and easily build company apps that can incorporate data from Office 365 and SharePoint.
Many companies primarily communicate with text via emails, newsletters, intranet and text messages. However, video content has been shown to be more powerful than text and can result in click rates three times higher than other content types. The top performing videos are usually between 30 and 90 seconds long.
Many workers have a short attention span and do not respond well to long text content or lengthy videos. This suggests that content should be shorter and perhaps sent out more often. Content should be broken up with headlines, subheadings, images, infographics and links. Headings and sub-headings quickly tell readers what the content is about.
Whether published in an app or on SharePoint pages, content should be easy to view on small screens.
Content should not be all about the company, the CEO and how great he or she is. External content should address the reader or viewer directly, reflecting their concerns and the issues they are interested in. Similarly, internal content needs to address employee issues; it should praise achievements and address any issues workers are worried about.
Content should also vary, covering personal and professional productivity tips, awards, alerts and short CEO messages. Of course, it must be relevant and engaging.
Microsoft is using artificial intelligence to personalise content for employees using SharePoint.
Personalised content can also be part of content targeted at customers. Google is a prime example of this; its search engine considers previous searches and location when displaying results. Google Ads are influenced by the webpages a user has previously visited.
At WM Reply, we can advise you on communication channels and help you create a digital policy that drives sales and improves employee productivity.
Peter Hall is marketing manager at WM Reply
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