Communicating to both your internal and external customers is an important component to sustaining your CX program and driving results.
Here are five best practices that will help you frame your communication efforts:
- Know your audience
- Make people (team members and customers) the focus of your content
- Stay on message for at least 6 months straight
- Integrate your messages into multiple channels
- Evaluate the effectiveness of your communications
Let’s begin with
1 Best Practice: Know your audience. This is the ‘who’ are you communicating with. The key here is to be as specific as possible. Thinking about your internal audiences, you want to break down your organization by key groups of people that you want to influence.
Key internal groups can be any or all of the following:
- All team members
- Customer facing team members
- CX Champions
- People Leaders / Managers
- CX Steering Team
- Board Members
You want to be as distinct as possible in your audience groupings – and for each one you will determine the WILL (motivation) and SKILL (understanding) that each group has on your topic of Customer Experience. Will :”why should they care?” Skill : “what do they know or don’t know?”
Here is an example:
Audience: All team members
Will: High – they really want to feel part of helping customers
Skill: Low – they do not know how they can best impact their customers
Once you determine the will and skill of each audience, then you are ready to build a more effective and sustainable CX communication plan that truly drives excitement and action.
2 Best Practice: Make people (team members and customers) the focus of your content
So much of the time we get focused on numbers, metrics and actions — and forget that PEOPLE are involved in making it all happen or not happen. This is where you have a great opportunity to share WHO is doing what; which customers are benefiting from your CX initiatives; and best practices by teams. Connect the WHO in your communications to the audience you are targeting – talk about them, make them feel special and critical to what has to happen to improve your customer experience.
3 Best Practice: Stay on message for at least 6 months straight
With our world constantly changing and sometimes the focus of our companies… work to keep your CX messages simple, consistent and relevant. Below is an example of some potential ‘top line’ content categories that frame your CX communications and drive towards an impactful customer experience strategy throughout the year. Start with defining your program; then discuss what the initiatives are and why they were chosen; drill into the team impact… who and how; always link back to your company values… etc.
4 Best Practice: Integrate your messages into multiple channels
The objective of your Customer Experience (CX) communication plan should be that it is part of the overall company communication plan – not something different or adhoc. Leverage the company Intranet site; newsletters; CEO communications; Website; Investor meetings; Quarterly Analyst Calls – if CX is truly a differentiator to your company… everyone should be talking about it. Here is an example of an all colleague email. If you do use email be sure to coordinate with other company emails to ensure this gets read and stands out. Your communication team should help build and manage an overall company communication calendar.
Also it is important to lay out the frequency of your communications by audience so you can determine your team’s ability to execute. Typically we plan to do too much and then give up because it ends up being overwhelming. So start slower and then speed up as you gain momentum and capacity. It usually takes longer in the beginning to create templates for your CX communications and a rhythm of writing them. Here is a good visual of what an overall plan might look like:
Integrating your messages can also mean making it part of the space your company works in – making your messages more visible. See a fun example below:
5 Best Practice: Evaluate the effectiveness of your communications
How do you know if your communications are working? There are two ways to evaluate effectiveness:
1) Ask them; and
2) Review progress of your customer experience efforts.
Ask your ‘audience’ via roundtables; CX communication surveys; town halls; employee surveys; etc. It is a great way to engage them and show their feedback is important. It also demonstrates you are willing to make changes based on their feedback if something is not working.
Lastly, it all comes down to results. Are your customers telling you that their experience is improving, e.g. via customer surveys and financial results (retention; increase spend; new customers)? Your communication efforts are a means to an end… ultimately they are meant to drive the right behaviors by audience that positively impact your customers’ experience.
CustomersFirst Now (CFN) has been refining our CX solutions for more than 40 years – working with and for many Fortune 100 companies. We provide the only proven, predictive process that links Customer Delight to financial performance by implementing and measuring CX Best Practices across all key business disciplines. For more information contact Kerri K Nelson, CEO & President, at firstname.lastname@example.org