How can I communicate with my clients more effectively?
by Clare Brown on January 16, 2019
COVID-19 has put newsletters back in the picture. How do you ensure that your current awareness alert is the one that is read? Once upon a time a single organisation-wide internal newsletter was good enough. However it is increasingly apparent that basic daily alerts are old-fashioned and inadequate. Not only that, but businesses need to connect and collaborate with their clients.
We all want to do more with the same information; how can it be repackaged, reimagined and relevant for everyone connected with the organisation - and beyond?
One way of doing this is through easy-to-manage, intelligent, and targeted news updates. A review of your news information flow - both internal and external - could have beneficial consequences. Let Vable bust some jargon and help you to start thinking about putting client needs first.
News Alerts, Daily Index... What’s in a name?
Business development and client relationship management departments face a language barrier when looking for specialist solutions. So-called “Current Awareness Services” (CAS) were originally developed by librarians to cut through information noise and deliver key information to end-users. These terms might be familiar:
Some synonyms of "Current Awareness"
The list is endless. To add to the confusion, not only can names be industry specific, but departments within the organisation might call their updates something different. For example, Business Development might adhere to a firm-wide brand, whilst the finance team has a simple text email.
Putting the jargon aside, the most important thing to think about is this: what is your organisation looking to achieve with the information that is being distributed?
Are ‘Good Enough’ news alerts enough?
What are you and your clients missing out on? You might rely on a combination of high quality sources, for example from the FT, Economist, Wall Street Journal, or similar, and specialist publisher alerts. Client information could be coming via Google Alerts. If you are fortunate, your colleagues will share information with you and others on an ad hoc basis. But...
Think about it - never settle for ‘good enough’! As we head into a new era of information, you might have read about new business development and client satisfaction technologies. Innovative use of collaborative information - both inside and outside your organisation - can enable meaningful dialogues between you and your clients.
Not only that but they can increase productivity and reduce inbox overload, as well as create new business opportunities. Let’s start addressing practical concerns.
Are you ready to invest in an organisation-wide news dissemination solution?
We have listened to people across various industries and we know that they face blockers in their organisations; this could be lack of management interest, or a resourcing or knowledge issue.
Innovative use of collaborative information - both inside and outside your organisation - can enable meaningful dialogues between you and your clients.
However in this new era, take the opportunity to challenge status quo, especially if innovation managers, chief knowledge or client value officers - or similar person - have been recruited.
Project Planning and Management: The success of any project depends on authoritative leadership and a clear brief. Fact finding is a vital part of the project - do your research and find out what is available. Ensure success criteria and establish timelines
System Selection: Consider trialing a premium news aggregation system across a small diverse group of users, including business development and a key client. A company like Vable will work with you, offering professional support and advice, and provide a bespoke package to ensure your vision is realised
Outcomes: Ultimately you’ll want to automate internal and external newsletters with easy and flexible self-service / dashboard access for all end users. They might need to build their own newsletters, request topics to be created, and also have the ability to share relevant information with clients and colleagues
Communications: Feedback and review can be channelled via the project manager to assess success, potential ROI, and oversee engagement in the project generating interest in a wider roll-out
Ask your clients what they need
We want to ensure that business development and information departments - and other relevant teams - are speaking the same language to achieve best practice and smooth internal communications. Many of the points mentioned above will uncover existing blockages in communications and processes, but embrace this an opportunity to make a real change.
We know that it is possible to deliver competitive and/or market intelligence with increasingly sophisticated systems. We are listening to our own clients who are demanding more system functionality, for example shared dashboards, information sharing and trend spotting. We all want to do more with the same information; how can it be repackaged, reimagined and relevant for everyone connected with the organisation - and beyond?
What do you call ‘current awareness’? How are you currently sending news updates to clients? What current awareness problems are you looking to solve during this crisis?