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Guest blog: Seamless communication for AGMs

How can building societies ensure they are engaging with customers for an AGM?

For some societies the AGM ‘season’ has just finished, however, depending on the complexity and size of your member communications, planning for 2019 may only be a few months away before the cycle starts again. The important lessons of what went well and what could and should be improved are fresh in the mind. So, now is the time to consider how you communicate with members in the most efficient method in order to encourage the maximum engagement.

AGM.jpgGiving consumers a say in how the society is run, from voting for board members to reappointing the society’s auditor is an essential and inevitable part of your annual calendar,  regardless of the size of the society. Therefore, the process in which this activity is managed should be both cost-effective and “stress” free, while maintaining as many “business as usual” processes as possible.

For both large and small societies this poses a wide variety of challenges ranging from disparate data sources to managing various internal stakeholders and external suppliers. The amount of organisation and control required can be extremely demanding, particularly more so for some of the smaller organisations.

Alongside these processes, a further challenge surrounds whether societies are communicating with their members in an appropriate manner, with the relevant content and through the right channels. When it comes to customer communications, one size most certainly does not fit all.

The key to long-term effective communication at any time, but especially around an AGM, lies in identifying the right channel to use to contact members.

Some potentially longer standing members may understand the importance of voting for specific resolutions when it comes to the AGM "season". However, some may also not see the benefits of engaging with a society. Therefore, aspects of variable content must be taken into consideration when engaging with a member - personal content based on individualised behaviours may deliver better results for both the society and the member.

For example, current analysis trends taken from a range of sources, from digital-first challenger banks to smart-home technology users, shows that many individuals across a wide range of demographics are now choosing digital interactions as their first port of call.

Partnering with an expert communications provider can help organisations address these issues; ensuring messages are timely, relevant, creative and – vitally important, with the introduction of the GDPR in May – legislatively compliant.

Providers such as Paragon Customer Communications are able to provide insight and analytics to deliver the right content and delivery channel as well as manage, digitising inbound documents online and offline vote management and establishing customer contact preferences with the aim of cultivating meaningful and relevant communication channels and ultimately improving member engagement across all demographics.

Using the right provider for a cost-effective end-to-end AGM campaign management solution can help achieve the society's objectives. Working with a specialist can help organisations formulate innovative, relevant messages for customers, delivering them through a multitude of channels and within the latest regulations.

Posted by Peter Toole on 16 April 2018