Net Promotor research from over 550,000 phone-based interviews identified communication as the number one complaint in business that impacts loyalty.
The challenge today is there are so many types of communication; email, phone, letter, multiple types of social media, text, chatbots, cloud software and the list goes on. The market has more information than ever before and yet the biggest complaint from all the feedback is still communication.
Let’s look at what the feedback identifies as the issue with communication.
Firstly, the more choices we have the more issues arise around the variation of preferences. The Millennials prefer text and social media, they don’t want a phone call or email, the over 50s like it to be simple, ‘just give me a call’. The challenge today is looking at how the business model in question needs to communicate with its market and its not a one solution fits all. Many companies rely on the internal opinion of management and consultants on to how to best connect and in most cases fail the simplest test of all. They don’t research their customer base and market to ask them how they want to be communicated to.
The key issues with communication
There are several key issues that every business needs to assess in regards to how well they are supporting their customers. Your business model can impact the best solution, however, as a sound guide, the following are very accurate in most situations.
You need to be clear on what your customers expect from you as the barest minimum of having effective and quality communication. What does this mean? If I need to have certain updates or notifications, then when do I receive them, how are they delivered, is it short and sharp or highly detailed, who is the ideal person to receive the communication? Just think of your own frustrations with some suppliers, too much or not enough or sent to the wrong contact, etc.
What is the ideal frequency? Don’t assume. How many times have you deleted emails or texts because you get too many? Ask your customers what the ideal frequency for communication is and be clear on what they expect to receive.
The type of communication is also vital. When you know how your customers prefer their communication the more attention will be given to receiving it. Do they prefer, email, text, blog, report format, face to face?
Are you sending your communication to the correct people? So often companies assume that their information is what everyone wants to hear. The more you can ensure the relevance of the information to the person you are sending it to, the greater their interest will be in your company.
Head Vs Heart Connection
A very powerful distinction and one that’s rarely considered. Is your communication directed to their head or their heart? Head connection is facts and figures, features and benefits, documents and details. All essential to loyalty, however, it can become very same-same to your competitors, so why choose you? Heart connection, friendly and helpful, caring and understanding, supportive and committed, reliable and trustworthy, kind and considerate. The heart connection is what builds the most unshakable loyalty. It’s personal and most of all it is appreciated.
Your market wants to know what to expect from you and the opportunity is to go above and beyond that expectation. If you just do the head connection, it’s effective but not necessarily different. If you focus on ensuring a very strong heart connection, it’s a very powerful and emotional engagement that’s better than your competitors.
Different isn’t always better but better is always different.
Make sure your standards of communication are better than anyone else’s and that will make you different.