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Improve communication consistency - a 6-step plan

Published on 23 Jul 2020

Someday, we’ll look back on 2020 as the year that digital transformation went from the speed of a steam train to that of a bullet train. In a matter of weeks, organizations were forced to make changes that might have been planned but certainly weren’t prioritized.  Apart from replacing face-to-face interactions with digital alternatives, businesses had to accelerate the migration of all communications to digital. 

When in crisis mode, simply getting the communication out by email, text or similar was the first priority.  

However, now that the world is settling into a strange new normal, customer communication needs to be revisited to ensure that those which were hastily converted to digital, are not contributing to a fractured customer experience.

Here is a 6 step plan to fix a fractured communication CX:

1. Audit 

The very first step is to do an audit. Literally get every email template that is being sent out to customers and put them up on a wall/screen. You will end up with a very large section of the wall covered in onboarding messages, newsletters, welcomes, bills, confirmations, updates to your terms and conditions, password reset confirmations, and the list goes on and on and on.

Only once you look at all of these types of communications as a whole, will you consider things such as: Are we addressing the customer in the same way? Do we use their name? Or do we use “Dear Customer”? Why are we using different salutations with different communications? Is the tone the same across all email types? Or do we change that tone for the message? Do these communications look like they are coming from the same company? As you go down this path, many insights will be gathered – one being that you are likely missing communications altogether, which is causing huge gaps within the customer journey.

2. Examine customer touchpoints

Once you have completed your audit, you can now look at your existing customer touchpoints and begin with the communications that are sent most regularly. In many instances, this will be the billing, statement or account summary communications, along with your marketing of course. Start with these particular journeys first.

3. Enhance existing customer communications

This means that you have to tackle the fractures as they stand now, by looking at your customer journeys and touchpoints and making them consistent across the board. Small tweaks here and there to individual email types will help, as you put the larger policies, systems and processes in place.  The key is to start somewhere and to start now.

4. Identify communication gaps

These are your quick wins: Ask critical questions about the communications currently being sent out. This includes looking left, then looking right at the communications that come before and after each other and then expand outwards. What should come next?

5. Ensure content is relevant

The landscape has evolved but our practices have not. Customers have evolved, but you haven’t. The only thing that remains constant is the channel – email.

6. Work with a team

You must have a cross-functional team that consists of operators, marketers, IT, analytics, customer voice professionals, etc. Only once you all work together to audit and determine your path forward, will you have confidence that the enterprise as a whole can implement the changes that will enhance the customer experience across all your digital communications.

Elizabeth Stephen

Elizabeth Stephen

VP of Customer Engagement, The Americas

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