Why Integrated Communications Are Better?

This morning is a perfect example of why integrated communications are better.  What do I mean by this?  I mean where a communication campaign is designed using rules to coordinate events across multiple channels.  Still too mumbo-jumbo…Where companies can interact with consumers across channels (e-mail, voice, print, web, call center) and create a seamless experience.

Here’s an example…

This morning, my kid’s school is closed due to snow.  [Although the snow has passed and they’ve already plowed the side streets.]  When I checked the Internet at 5:15, it wasn’t closed.  At 5:40, I got the call that it was closed.  BUT, the call comes on my home line, our home business line, and both our mobile phones.  Somehow it didn’t wake the kids, but it could have.

I don’t really care about the over-communication in this example, but in a professional setting, this would seem like overkill and potentially a waste of money.  In an integrated communications example, it might work like this:

  • An update was put on the Internet and everyone was sent an e-mail
  • At 5:50, the system would identify anyone who had either not opened their e-mail or had not visited the website (assuming they had cookies on their PC for tracking website visitors)
  • At 5:50, the system would call the primary number to play the recorded message by the principal
  • If there was no answer by a live person or the entire message was not listened to, the system would move on to additional numbers

This is always one of the big discussions we [Silverlink Communications] get in with clients in healthcare.  What are the rules for escalation of communications?  How do I track data in an integrated data set?  What is the right timing between communications?

This is critical.  Sending people a letter and a call or a letter or a call (for example) is pretty easy.  Determining the next action based on their final disposition in the initial outreach is not.

Of course, the other question this begs is how many companies actually track return mail.  I know a lot of companies don’t.  If it keeps getting returned, they’re not processing this return mail and taking the bad addresses out of their member database.

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