Communication is a significant driver of human connections. HOW messages are delivered is as important as WHAT is shared. Talking in person is ideal. However, sometimes it is not possible given physical location and related factors.
Seth Godin talks about using the appropriate medium. His words and suggestions below resonate a lot because the lack of communication is a significant reason customers and employees are dissatisfied. The good news is that communication is in our control and easy to fix when issues arise.
Stacy’s communication tips to create better experiences:
- Ask customers about how well you’re communicating. What is their view of response times? Are their expectations met? Remember: perception is a reality!
- Distribute customer feedback throughout your organization. Increase your communication skills by reading books, watching TedTalks etc.
- Follow up often with customers. Silence is not an option. If you don’t have updates, let customers know that you have not forgotten about them. Explain you’re working on a solution and will provide status soon. They’ll be more forgiving than when nothing is communicated.
- Pick up the phone as Seth says. While technology is a blessing, it’s also a curse too. Email and text messages are often misinterpreted. There’s no replacement for personal communications the “old-fashioned” way.
- Show up and often. Customers appreciate it when company owners and leaders are available to them. Read a great CX Example That Stands Out Above The Rest.
- Establish weekly team meetings and avoid cancellations. So much happens in a day never mind a week. Devoting even 30 minutes together to discuss the company and department updates sends a positive message to employees that they are important.
- Humanize communications. Meet in person and leverage video conferencing with remote workers. Seeing each other’s faces helps create and maintain personal connections.
- Show up and often. Just like I mentioned above about maximizing customer satisfaction, employees feel valued when the company owner and leaders are visible and available to them.
- Get employee feedback from across the company, especially the frontline. Asking employees their perspectives is a great way to make them feel valued. Happy Employee fuels Happy Customer. They go hand in hand.
- Take action based on employee views. Close the loop. It’s one thing to ask for feedback but it’s most meaningful when employees see improvements happen because of their opinions. They will naturally want to communicate more and serve as brand advocates.
What would you add to the list to improve communications and relationships where you work?