How technology can improve communication
Technology as a communicative tool isn’t new - we had smoke signals and drums and then we worked our way from telegraphs and fax machines all the way to smartphones today. The extent to which we can communicate now, though, is unparalleled to anything we’ve experienced before; even within the last 10 years, there’s been the rise of WhatsApp and Telegram making non-stop communication a reality for a lot of people, especially younger people who are essentially growing up in an instant world.
This can be a double-edged sword though; while people can communicate at any time, from any place, it’s led to an expectation that people WILL communicate at any time and from any place. Two-three business days seem like an eternity now, we can barely wait for our deliveries to take that long thanks to Prime shipping let alone responses to emails and phone calls.
So, how can you use technology to improve your communication?
I know, this seems counter-intuitive, be a better communicator by setting up a computer to do it for you? But, here’s the thing about waiting, people are generally very patient when they have a time window.
An email with no response could mean anything, it hasn’t been delivered, it’s sitting in a junk box, or it’s been open and forgotten about.
However, a simple response acknowledging the email has been delivered and will be dealt with within a certain period of time alleviates that fear.
Even better is if you have a system that can send automated quotes and live pricing for bookings, like Switch offers. Or can send out menu choices, service invoices, chase late payments, ask for feedback then you have the time to really tailor the rest of your communication.
Targeted campaigns work on a number of levels - they can be used for more generic booking occasions like Christmas, Easter, Valentines Day as a marketing tool but, they’re also a great
way to build loyalty with customers.
Have a customer who threw their birthday party at your space last year? A targeted campaign offering them a discount if they throw it again goes down a treat and keeps you in their mind as the kind of place that pays attention to details about their customers.
Or hosting ticketed events similar to an event you’ve previously held? You can offer customers who previously attended events with you first dibs on tickets, or free drinks to encourage loyalty to your brand and space.
Less admin time means more customer time
Technology frees up time - if a customer can choose their menu online and it doesn’t need to be manually entered into a system, that’s time saved right there. These small tasks that end up snowballing and taking up your day also take away from the attention that can be spent building relationships with customers and executing exciting new plans.
It also means when you are with customers, you’re less stressed. If you know any emails or phone calls that come in are automatically responded to, invoices and menus have been sent out as part of your booking system and function sheets are creating themselves, you can give your whole attention to customers and create the perfect experience. That’s the ethos behind Switch. We believe in the offline and the importance of human connection, but we also believe in efficiency and making the human connections as meaningful as they can be which, we think, means bringing the offline, online.
How else has tech helped improve your communication?