Monday, April 18, 2005

Contextual Communications Keys on Relevance

Contextual communications reflect the realities and idiosyncrasies of the targeted customer. Contextual communications leverage off of the human quirks of their audience. The relevant perspective is that how you communicate is more critical to revenue generation, customer acquisition and customer loyalty than are your back end processes.

Back office is important but unless it improves communications it can only save you money. It can’t make you money. It’s pretty simple: if choices are presented to customers in the right way you improve the odds on their making the decision you want them to make, The trick is to enter the dialogue from the optimum context and, with a clear understanding of where you are in that context, to control the conversation relative to the context.

Structure your communications models in a way that treats customer relevance as a high priority.

Alter your company’s transactional messages so that they are contextual and build the relationship not simply talk tat the customer.

Understand that every message contains implicit as well as explicit information and make sure that its supports the objectives of the communication.

Asking a customer to do something is much more likely to elicit an interaction than not. Even if their response to the requested action is negative, it at least brings out the barrier and provides an entry point for identifying it and eliminating it in future.

Contextual communications are by definition 1:1 communications. They play to the customer’s ego, imply that he or she is important enough to warrant that extra touch on your part. In a word, they get favorable attention for your message much the same reason that you are likely to pay more attention to someone who calls you by your name than you would someone who essentially says, “Hey you!”

And how can you get the maximum benefit out of your contextualization? By acting in a way that affirms your concern and interest in the customer; by responding with the product or service change, delivery preference or other specific that the customer has indicated that they prefer. It comes from walking the walk not just talking the talk.

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