Staying on top of your vital communications can be challenging. Without the use of appropriate technology and clear guidelines, your workforce is exposed to work-related stress. The long-term result can be a disengaged company culture that lacks harmony. Poor communication is often cited as the source of work-related stress, so it’s important to nip bad habits in the bud and fix the issue.
In this blog post, we share our top five communication hacks that promise to relieve pressure and produce a less stressed workforce. You will find tips and hints about all types of communication from your average staff meeting to the delivery of your brand’s primary message.
Consistently creating content for all of your social platforms can be a drag. Don’t leave yourself short — schedule your posts in advance. We prefer calendar tools that allow you to share content to all types of platforms. This way you can see your posts side by side so you can get creative about how to promote the same message for different audiences.
For example, you might pick a monthly content theme that is all about being less stressed. The theme should remain consistent across all of your social channels (including your website’s blog). A content theme is like a golden strand that runs through every vessel of your business. You might write an in-depth article on work-related stress for your blog and then share a shocking statistic about it on Twitter.
Working from a content theme is a sensible way to organise your social profiles and create content that is cohesive and audience driven. Still having trouble getting to grips with social media? You can always hire an agency to take care of your posting schedule and content ideas.
Integrated calendars with shared updates are essential. These tools will benefit you if you’re either a small business that is short on time or a large business with many departments. Google Calendar is the most popular, which sends appointment updates via Gmail. This is perfect if you already use Gmail for your business accounts.
Shared calendars come in all sorts of varieties. Purchasing a virtual landline number will allow you to use a call scheduler that is shared across various devices. The primary benefit of a virtual landline is the ability to divert a professional business number to a mobile device.
Making use of a call scheduler will allow you to simplify your external communications. In this type of communications calendar, you can set up call sequences, set your availability to take calls and instantly check who is in charge of incoming queries. This type of clear communication plan is necessary to avoid confusion about who is responsible for customer queries.
To improve your communication and relieve the pressure of weekly meetings, you should spend less time in them. Instead of sitting through drawn-out discussions, set a time cap on your meetup so you can get through the points concisely. This prevents the meeting from steering in the wrong direction and ending up as a disengaging activity for your workforce. Cut your meeting time from one hour to thirty minutes to help stick to your agenda. You will be surprised how much information you can fit into a short time slot.
To make this hack work, there are a few things you can do to stay focused:
Take the stress out of communication by automating it. This can dramatically reduce your workload and remove human error from complicated processes. Of course, not every type of communication should be automated as you want to retain a human element in your business. But in some circumstances using this type of technology is suitable, and it saves a whole lot of time.
For example, if you are an eCommerce business selling clothing items, you might use a chatbot (as opposed to customer service representatives) to convey the basics to your customers. This can provide customers with regulated information, like a sizing chart or the shipping progress of an order. The truth is using a chatbot can take the pressure off both your workforce and your customers. Your sales team will have fewer interruptions and can focus on complicated matters that require human interaction. Your customers prefer chatbots as they can get the answers they need in a straightforward and timely manner.
Automation is best placed when there are heaps of data to uncover. You might find it useful to automate some of your financial processes since this can help you remain compliant and remove human bias. Doing this will relieve the pressure from a singular person who is usually held responsible for these actions.
When it comes to how your team represents you, they should be provided with a set of brand culture guidelines to adhere to when communicating externally. These guidelines should closely relate to your ethos and provide workers with an idea of how they should interact with customers. You might include your buyer personas in this document and ask your sales team to tailor their approach to each different type of customer. Additionally, you can add key phrases that you want your front-end staff to use to standardize your service across the board.
Some brand culture guideline activities are more hardcore than others. Let’s look at the USAA’s approach as an example. The front-end staff is told to read real deployment letters that soldiers get to develop a sense of empathy. This has been named a “Surround Sound” practice where employees are immersed in their customer’s most compelling issues.
No matter how you choose to write your culture guidelines, doing this activity will help your workforce feel less stuck for words. They will become informed about your expectations and their customer’s expectations too.
About the Author:
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Rory Whelan is a communications expert with over twenty years experience in consultancy, television, media, and telecoms. He frequently writes about the benefits of business phone plans for corporate leaders who are on the go and in need of increased flexibility or remote access.
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