We have all heard it, “I want more communication from our customers” but what do they really mean?
What is more communication?
How do we provide this?
Over the years I have asked myself these questions many times. Do they really want me to communicate with them more? What would that look like? Is this an emotion created out of another problem?
Digging deep into your customer experience will shed some light on these questions and what I have found is that these are emotions that come from communication breakdowns and the only response the customer knows is I want more communication even when they don’t really want more, they want EFFECTIVE communication.
Let me break this down,
Do you feel you communicate well with your customers?
Really think about this and be honest with yourself. Chances are you do but there is room for improvement, this is the same for most people. When there is a communication breakdown along the way it puts the tinder in place for a fire to start and become fully engulfed into a 5-alarm fire leaving the customer feeling many emotions, as well as the business owner and staff.
How do we avoid this and not have little communication breakdowns that lead to an escalated customer problem?
1. Use one form of communication with all customers
It’s 2022 and the number of ways we talk to each other daily is unlimited and these caused the start of many fires. When everyone is using something different to communicate with each other, what do you think will end up happening? It’s a simple solution: find and use a platform designed for communication with your customers and use it! On every project and let your customers know from day one what that platform is and how to use it. By singling everything down you take the risk of messages and emails being missed by creating a single place of data and contact for all involved with the customer.
2. Be clear with your communication
Customers don’t really mean they want more communication. This is an emotion they feel from communication breakdowns. What they really need is clear communication that they can understand. What does this mean? Your customer is not in your industry and the lingo and dialog you use can be very confusing to them. Always break it down in a way customers can understand and be clear about it. From the expectations to the outcome to be achieved. Don’t underestimate the power of being clear with your customers and the outcome this will create. Practice and train with your team on how to be clear when talking with customers, this will pay a thousand-fold for your customers and business.
3. Create consentient updates
Have a plan for updating your customers. Don’t just wing it and update them when you feel it is necessary. Once you have a plan, stick to it! This is very important because without execution everything will fall apart. Spend time walking through your customer experience with your staff asking what every interaction should look like? When should there be updates given? Look at past customers and what would have made the difference in their experience. Take all these data points and put together the communication update timeline for your company. The great thing is it doesn’t have to be perfect the first time and can grow and change as your business does.
Summing It Up
At the end of the day when you hear a customer say “I want more communication” think about what they are really saying. Did you communicate with them? Is this a result of emotions and not a real need? Where did the breakdown happen?
By implementing the strategies outlined here, you can create an environment where you never hear these unclear statements and create lifelong customers that are excited to work with you because they feel communicated with.