When it comes to business communications, putting your needs and wants before the needs of your audience equates to a deadly sin. If you’re lucky, all you’ll do is offend them. Worst case, and more likely for unrepentant repeat offenders, you’ll lose their business.
Don’t let that happen. Check out this Seven Deadly Sins of Document Communications infographic or read on. Or don’t … at your peril.
PRIDE – People can’t wait to hear from you. Why wouldn’t they? You’re great. Send everyone everything. Twenty-five-year-olds love letters about joining Medicare.
Don’t ever become complacent with your documents. Make sure that you test and measure the effectiveness of you messaging and communications. Oftentimes what a company doesn’t know is that its disgruntled customers are getting fed up with inappropriate communications. They go away and the company never knows that the real cause was the communications.
GREED – Make sure everyone gets everything, all of the time. Even people you don’t know. Leave no stone unturned. Don’t worry about annoying anyone. Winning (spamming) is worth it.
To you, all of your information is important. But your audience only wants communications that are relevant to them. Having a repository of clear and concise documents approved to send to appropriate audiences insures that you don’t overstep your bounds or overextend your communications with irrelevant messages.
GLUTTONY – Great-grandpa loves your text. Recent college grads will appreciate your fax. Make sure that you use every communication channel available, all of the time. Because you can.
Today it seems as though companies are trying too hard to send their information through multiple channels in every available format. The question that really needs to be asked is, “How does my audience want to communicate with me or receive my message.” It might be e-mail. It might be direct mail. Or it might vary depending on the type of message, etc. Learn that first, then deliver the message through the channel they prefer.
SLOTH – Rules, shmules, who cares – or can keep up with the changes? Besides, they can’t really fine you $5 million (Sarbanes-Oxley) or order 10 years of hard time (HIPAA) just for mismanaging documents.1
Government and industry regulations change quickly. The penalties associated with becoming incompliant follow right along with these changes. As the organization or its reach becomes bigger, so does the risk and opportunity for error. Adding documents to an easily updateable repository can ensure that a company will remain compliant by allowing a single change to affect multiple documents.
LUST – You want them, need them, so bad because they’re perfect for you. How do you know? Because Sir/Madam has the perfect zip code, of course. That’s the key to a lasting relationship.
You want and need to grow business. Everyone does. But don’t let it become impersonal. The classic example is the (hopefully) antiquated “Dear Sir or Madam.” What does that really say to your audience? It says that you don’t know who they are and don’t really care.
ENVY – Competitor X sent an integrated multi-media introduction package. You have to do X one better – with sparklers – even if 100% of those that received X’s package loathed it.
Make sure that your communication strategy is not reactionary. That doesn’t mean that you don’t react appropriately to events or messages that need to be addressed. It does mean that you don’t send things out just because a peer or competitor does. Better to know your audience, stick with your plan, and address communications in a proactive way.
WRATH – Humans and documents provide huge opportunities for errors. Costly errors. You could yell about it. You could stomp your feet. Or you could eliminate errors and rework – and increase productivity by 200%.
There’s no doubt that rework and errors in your documents and communications can be expensive and expose the company to risk. It’s easy to be upset with the employees involved. Anywhere humans are involved has the opportunity for error and limited opportunities to scale. The fact is, most companies don’t realize how much they could be saving by automating their documents. In some cases, it’s millions.
Want to know exactly how much you could benefit? Cincom has a proven discovery method that will put you on the righteous path. Contact Tim Kearney by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call directly at 513.612.2034 to learn more.