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How to Communicate Your Way to a Better Customer Experience

Updated: Apr 3


How to Communicate Your Way to a Better Customer Experience

Communication is core to customer-centricity.

Our research into customer-centric culture uncovered one cultural dimension that supports Employee Engagement and customer Net Promoter Scores more than any other. It is also the one dimension that is most challenging to fix. This dimension is what we call: "How We Work Together." It speaks to removing or making the most of organisational silos. It says to share information; seek ideas and input; understand, and work toward common goals.


When organisational groups are on the same page, everyone understands the "right" choice for the customer at every level, channel, regional office, and department. And everyone is encouraged to make that choice. Disconnects can happen between people serving customers and those marketing to customers or between people developing products and those selling them. When such disconnects exist, the customer invariably suffers.

Internal communication can facilitate better working relationships and a more consistent focus on the customer, two reasons we are so excited to see tools like Slack being adopted in corporations today. However, if your company still needs to adopt new communications tools, feel free. You can adopt some simple methods today to improve employee and customer engagement. By taking on these three suggestions, you can quickly improve customer experience.


Shine a spotlight behind the curtain.

Remember when you were a child, precisely when you weren't in the spotlight? When your sister scored the winning goal, or your brother got better grades on his report card, and for a moment, your parents focused all their attention on them. A small part of you couldn't help resenting your sibling just a bit (i.e., "Why should they all get the glory?"). In our experience, the dynamics in companies are similar to those in families. Some teams perceive that they get the spotlight shone on them less often than others.

In customer-centric companies, the focus is on the front-stage teams interacting directly with the customer. And the support teams—those that make it possible for the customer-facing departments to create customer loyalty and retention—can also feel invisible. Their effort isn't recognised. Their expertise isn't valued. Or their daily struggles aren't addressed.


One of our clients in the retail banking sector has taken deliberate steps to strengthen internal working relationships by showcasing the successes of employees in all departments—not just those on the front line. Their internal newsletters regularly feature one internal team member and one customer-facing employee and their positive impact on customers and the business. Finding and sharing these stories can strengthen internal ties and build a greater appreciation for the role everyone plays.

When was the last time you told a story that connected the work of an internal department or team member to customer happiness?


What would you say if asked right now to tell such a story?


Mix it up.

A lot is written about the LEGO turnaround story. One aspect of their Rags-to-Riches-to-Rags-to-Riches story that resonates most with me was when they put Customer Service Reps and Product Innovation employees on the same team. At the time, sales were down, despite producing more SKUs associated with successful Hollywood franchises than ever. What LEGO learned through marrying front and backstage staff was instrumental in returning to their roots.


Customer Service reps knew that because customers were telling them so, parents didn't want easy toys for kids to build. They wanted a system of play that entertained children for hours on rainy weekend afternoons. Sharing this knowledge with the product teams put the whole company back on track. And you can bet that everyone felt more successful together as a result.


How often do your customer-facing representatives and backstage employees work together (physically or virtually) to tackle a customer-related problem or opportunity?

What can you do to make this cross-team working part of your regular operations?


Make it easy for employees to share.

Even if your employees aren't talking directly to customers, they might be in their personal lives. Depending upon your brand and industry, their neighbours, church, school, or other community associations may contain people who do business with your company. What are they hearing about the experience you are delivering? Do they have a mechanism for sharing customer feedback with others in the company?

Today, there is a growing trend to move away from annual or bi-annual employee engagement surveys and begin an ongoing dialogue with employees about the business. Feedback Fridays, Tip Tuesdays, SharePoint, and Slack channels dedicated to employee suggestions and feedback are increasing.


These channels allow employees to openly or anonymously share their ideas for improving the customer and employee experience. And, with the advent of Text Analytics, it is easier for leaders to analyse and interpret the feedback quickly—identifying trends in ideas, themes, and sentiment—and follow up on what they are hearing. Some suggestions will get acted upon. Some may not. But companies that are listening recognise the importance of closing the loop with employees. Acknowledgement is an essential step toward forging solid relationships up and down the organisation between leaders and team members.


Do you make it easy for your employees to share their ideas, suggestions, and customer impressions with the business?

Are you analysing that feedback and closing the loop with them if they can?


The World of Work is Changing

Whether it's through shifts in technology or culture or both, companies that encourage transparency, manufacture cross-team collaboration, seek ideas, and share recognition and gratitude with all will be the ones that win at engaging both employees and customers.


If your business would like help navigating customer experience in 2024, get in contact with us to discuss further: experience@yourcxc.com

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