Customer Experience News & Trends

4 keys to consistent communication that keeps customers engaged

Customers get mixed messages – one from Sales, something different from Marketing and another from Service – and that interferes with a great experience. Here’s how to keep messages consistent and customers engaged. 

One of the biggest problems with customer communication is it comes from different areas within companies – Sales, Service, Marketing, Accounts Payable, Shipping, etc. And each area may use different software and avenues, such as email, social media, calls and print, to communicate with customers.

And they all don’t speak the same language.

“Disjointed internal processes can lead to costly mistakes, like misspelled customer names or confusing jargon, that can frustrate customers and negatively impact a brand’s reputation,” says Dorian Stone, the general manager for Grammarly Business. “So companies need to ensure brand consistency is seamlessly built into workflows across teams and locations. Doing so enhances the customer experience, decreases customer frustration, and saves employees time on multiple revisions.”

Here are four tips to keep your customer communication consistent so customers feel engaged, not disconnected:

1. Be authentic

Even though much of the experience is digital these days, customers still want to feel an emotional connection with companies and brands.

“Research shows that larger companies have so many instances of inconsistencies in their customer-facing communications that they often negate the value of any strategic investments made to the brand experience,” Stone says.

Sign, tag or author communication with real names and faces. Use language that sounds like a verbal conversation, not a corporate letter. Be the first to share good and less-than-ideal news from your organization with a down-to-earth tone, showing authenticity. And make sure the same language and tone is used in tweets, emails, letters, posts, blogs, etc.

2. Create guidelines

If you’re like most organizations, customer communication doesn’t come from one source, person or department. So many people from different areas create the content customers see and/or hear.

To keep all that communication consistent, create a style guide for your organization. Define your most important product, service and solution terminology. Determine the few words you’ll use as acronyms with customers (because customers seldom understand your inside acronyms as much as you do). Decide how you’ll address customers – first name, titles and surnames?

“It’s important to understand the nature of the communication gaps. For example, inconsistent uses of a company’s name or product can be addressed with simple alerts as employees write,” says Stone. “Uses of jargon or terms that are not brand-approved may require an alert with an explanation and edit suggestion to help the employees determine how to address the issue.”

3. Make it easy to access

Style guidelines are perfect for anyone who communicates with customers … but only if the employees have easy access to the guidelines. Even better, give them access to templates. Your wordsmiths – perhaps in Marketing or Service, who work most frequently with customer communications – might be able to create templates for the most common communication, plus a library of content and a listing of when each is appropriate to send to customers.

“From there, it’s important for teams to have easy access to the brand-approved messaging so they can easily incorporate it into their workflow,” says Stone. “That might look like an aligned-upon message bank, or leveraging tools like style guides, which integrate easily into teams’ workflows and require minimal oversight, training, or extensive administration.”

4. Review it regularly

One of the most important aspects to customer communication is its relevance. It won’t be relevant to customers and their needs or concerns if it’s not current.

Create a system so a person or people regularly review the content that most often reaches or responds to customers. Update information that’s not current. Trash information that’s not in line with your brand or tone. Create new content and templates that reflect employee and customer communication needs.

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